By Edgar Kieu
With reference to an article on MyPaper on Friday:
Dear Mr. Nanayakara,
I object to your insinuations in your article dated July 11 2008, especially your paragraph, quoted below:
“Mercury, which by itself is a highly poisonous metal, makes up almost half of an amalgam filling, which also contains silver and a small amount of copper and tin. When introduced to the body via such amalgams, mercury can have neurotoxic effects on growing children and foetuses.”
This is a very damning and highly scientifically inaccurate statement to make.
Two very good studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association have shown no neuropsychological, renal or neurobehavioural effects of dental amalgam in children. Moreover, elemental mercury itself has a different toxicity profile in the form of vapour, liquid or as part of a restoration.
Neuropsychological and Renal Effects of Dental Amalgam in Children, A Randomized Clinical Trial JAMA.2006;295:1775-1783. David C. Bellinger, PhD, MSc; Felicia Trachtenberg, PhD; Lars Barregard, MD, PhD;Mary Tavares, DMD, MPH; Elsa Cernichiari, MS; David Daniel, PhD; Sonja McKinlay, PhD
Neurobehavioral Effects of Dental Amalgam in Children, A Randomized Clinical Trial JAMA.2006;295:1784-1792. Timothy A. DeRouen, PhD; Michael D. Martin, DMD, PhD; Brian G. Leroux, PhD;Brenda D. Townes, PhD; James S. Woods, PhD, MPH; Jorge Leitão, MD, MS;Alexandre Castro-Caldas, MD, PhD; Henrique Luis, MS; Mario Bernardo, DMD, PhD; Gail Rosenbaum, MS;Isabel P. Martins, MD, PhD
Your article is unduly alarmist, badly researched, irresponsible and potentially misleading to dental patients.
There are many indications to use other types of restorative materials such as composites, glass ionomers or ceramics but there are still very good reasons to use dental amalgams.
It is indeed disappointing and sad that a newspaper such as yours with a broad public reach would have such poorly researched information thinly veiled as news.
I look forward to either an explaination, retraction or clarification of your article, preferably quoting good research to substantiate your claims.