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||| Anti-Amalgam Myths Part 1
Amalgam -- Resurrection and Redemption Part 2:
The Medical Mythology of Anti-Amalgam
Michael J. Wahl, D.D.S.
Dental amalgam filling material has come under attack for its
alleged effects on systemic health, its alleged poor physical
properties and clinical performance, and finally, for its unacceptable
cosmetic appearance [1-7]. Most reviews of the literature [8-15],
however, have concluded that except for rare cases of allergy
to amalgam , amalgam is safe. Despite a mountain of evidence
to the contrary, some anti-amalgamists still question the safety
of mercury-containing amalgam restorations [7,17,18]. A close
look at the literature on dental amalgam, resin composites, and
other restorative materials reveals that most of the anti-amalgamists'
assertions are based not on scientific facts, but rather on a
collection of myths and half-truths, creating a virtual "folklore"
of anti-amalgam that has rarely been challenged. This mythology
of anti-amalgam is discussed below. After years of unanswered
criticism and declining use, it is time for the resurrection and
redemption of dental amalgam. In a previous article, we examined
the clinical and legal mythology of anti-amalgam. In the present
article, we will examine the medical mythology of anti-amalgam.
- Simonsen RJ. Move over amalgam at last. Quintessence
- Christensen GJ. The death of amalgam is imminentAre you ready?
Dent Econ 1999;89(6):34.
- Lutz FU, Krejci I, Oddera M. Advanced adhesive restorations:
the post-amalgam age. Pract Perio & Aesth Dent 1996;8:385-94.
- Dickerson WG. Integrating cosmetic dentistry into a busy
practice. Dent Econ 1997;87(1):30-6.
- Dickerson WG. Why is esthetic dentistry grouped with the
outlaws? Dent Econ 1998;88(12):42-46,105.
- Maroon M. The fab five. The Dental Leader, March, 1998:2-3.
- Lorscheider FL, Vimy MJ, Summers AO. Mercury exposure from
"silver" tooth fillings: emerging evidence questions
a traditional dental paradigm. FASEB J 1998;9:504-8.
- Mjör IA. Biological side effects to materials used in
dentistry. J R Coll Surg Edinb 1999;44:146-9.
- Eley BM. The future of dental amalgam: a review of the literature.
Part 6: Possible harmful effects of mercury from dental amalgam.
Br Dent J 1997;182:455-59.
- Eneström S, Hultman P. Does amalgam affect the immune
system? A controversial issue. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 1995;106:180-203.
- Jones DW. The enigma of amalgam in dentistry. J Can Dent
- Mackert JR. Dental amalgam and mercury. JADA 1991;122(8):54-61.
- Fung YK, Molvar MP. Toxicity of mercury from dental environment
and from amalgam restorations. Clin Toxicol 1992;30:49-61.
- Li Y, Siew C, Shearer BG, ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.
Dental amalgam: update on safety concerns. JADA 1998;129:494-503.
- Mackert JR, Berglund A. Mercury exposure from dental amalgam
fillings: absorbed dose and the potential for adverse health
effects. Crit Rev Oral Biol Med 1997;8:410-36.
- Laine J, Konttinen YT, Beliaev N, Happonen R-P. Immunocompetent
cells in amalgam-associated oral lichenoid contact lesions. J
Oral Pathol Med 1999;28:117-21.
- Pleva J. Dental mercury a public health hazard. Rev
Environ Health 1994;10:1-27.
- Hanson M, Pleva J. The dental amalgam issue. A review. Experientia
- Wahl MJ. Amalgam -- resurrection
and redemption: Part 1. The clinical and legal mythology of anti-amalgam.
Quintessence Int 2001;32:525--535.
Dr. Wahl practices dentistry in Wilmington, Delaware. This
article was originally published in Quintessence International
32:696-710, 2001, and is reproduced here with the kind permission
permission of Quintessence
Publishing Co. The author thanks Drs. J. Rodway Mackert, Ivar
A. Mjör, and Fred Eichmiller for reading the manuscript and
offering several helpful suggestions.
Part 1: Intro
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5, 6, 7 ||| 8, 9 ||| 10,
Part 2: Intro
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