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 Dental Composites for Kids: Even Worse Than Mercury Amalgam?

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Join date : 2012-05-29
Location : Manchester UK

PostSubject: Dental Composites for Kids: Even Worse Than Mercury Amalgam?   Wed 19 Sep 2012, 07:55

Dental Composites for Kids: Even Worse Than Mercury Amalgam?

Sayer Ji, Contributor
Activist Post

Research published in the journal Pediatrics indicates that some
dental composites -- long promoted as overall safer than mercury-based
amalgams -- are having a significant negative impact on the psychosocial
functioning of children. In fact, bisphenol-A based dental restorations
were found to be worse than mercury-based amalgams when it came to
learning impairment and behavioral issues.

The study used data from The New England Children's Amalgam Trial,
which, surprisingly, found that children randomized to amalgam
restorations had better psychosocial outcomes than those assigned to
bisphenol-A based epoxy resin composites (bisGMA) for tooth
restorations. The new analysis aimed to "examine whether greater
exposure to dental composites is associated with psychosocial problems
in children."

The results of the study, which looked at a group of 534 children, 6 to 10 years old, were as follows:
<blockquote class="tr_bq">Children with higher cumulative exposure to bisGMA-based composite had poorer follow-up scores on 3 of 4 BASC-SR [self-reported Behavior Assessment System for Childre]global
scales: Emotional Symptoms (β = 0.8, SE = 0.3, P = .003), Clinical
Maladjustment (β = 0.7, SE = 0.3, P = .02), and Personal Adjustment (β =
-0.8, SE = 0.2, P = .002). Associations were stronger with
posterior-occlusal (chewing) surfaces, where degradation of composite
was more likely.</blockquote>Moreover,
researchers found that "at-risk or clinically significant scores were
more common among children with greater exposure for "total problem
behavior," and and numerous "BASC-SR syndromes."

They noted "No associations were found with [non BPA-based] compomer,
nor with amalgam exposure levels among children randomized to amalgam."

In conclusion
<blockquote class="tr_bq">Greater exposure to bisGMA-based dental
composite restorations was associated with impaired psychosocial
function in children, whereas no adverse psychosocial outcomes were
observed with greater urethane dimethacrylate-based compomer or amalgam
treatment levels.</blockquote>It should be emphasized that this study
should not be misinterpreted to mean that amalgams are safe. So, let us
dispel the myth of a "safe" or "safer" amalgam in the following way.
What follows is an article published in the journal [i]The Science of the Total Environment,
well worth reading in its entirety, which covers disturbing facts about amalgams quite thoroughly:
<blockquote class="tr_bq">Dental amalgam is 50% metallic mercury (Hg) by
weight and Hg vapour continuously evolves from in-place dental amalgam,
causing increased Hg content with increasing amalgam load in urine,
faeces, exhaled breath, saliva, blood, and various organs and tissues
including the kidney, pituitary gland, liver, and brain. The Hg content
also increases with maternal amalgam load in amniotic fluid, placenta,
cord blood, meconium, various foetal tissues including liver, kidney and
brain, in colostrum and breast milk. Based on 2001 to 2004 population
statistics, 181.1 million Americans carry a grand total of 1.46 billion
restored teeth. Children as young as 26 months were recorded as having
restored teeth. Past dental practice and recently available data
indicate that the majority of these restorations are composed of dental
amalgam. Employing recent US population-based statistics on body weight
and the frequency of dentally restored tooth surfaces, and recent
research on the incremental increase in urinary Hg concentration per
amalgam-filled tooth surface, estimates of Hg exposure from amalgam
fillings were determined for 5 age groups of the US population. Three
specific exposure scenarios were considered, each scenario incrementally
reducing the number of tooth surfaces assumed to be restored with
amalgam. Based on the least conservative of the scenarios evaluated, it
was estimated that some 67.2 million Americans would exceed the Hg dose
associated with the reference exposure level (REL) of 0.3 μg/m(3)
established by the US Environmental Protection Agency; and 122.3 million
Americans would exceed the dose associated with the REL of 0.03 μg/m(3)
established by the California Environmental Protection Agency. Exposure
estimates are consistent with previous estimates presented by Health
Canada in 1995, and amount to 0.2 to 0.4 μg/day per amalgam-filled tooth
surface, or 0.5 to 1 μg/day/amalgam-filled tooth, depending on age and
other factors.</blockquote>While bisphenol-A is actually better known
for its endocrine disrupting properties, as it mimics and/or interferes
with estrogen receptors and pathways in the body, research indicates
that it moves freely through the blood-brain barrier, due to its
lipophilic (fat-loving) properties.[ii]
This means that whatever bisphenol-A is released from the composite
material will eventually have direct access to the children's developing
central nervous system.

There is also preliminary research indicating that bisphenol A may result in central nervous system hyperactivity. BisGMA-based dental composites have also been studied in vitro experiements to be highly toxic to human DNA,
raising concern that the the adverse effects of these dental
restorations stretch far beyond behavioral/cognitive problems to
increasing childhood cancer risk.

Unfortunately, BPA (and similar bisphenol analogs, such as Bisphenol-S),
are omnipresent in food liners, thermal printer papers, and paper
currencies, to name but a few common sources of exposure, making the
issue far larger than dental restorations.

While reducing or eliminating exposure should be the first priority, there are natural substances which have been studied to reduce bisphenol A toxicity
either through enhancing its elimination from the body, or by enhancing
its degradation. One of the most interesting examples are probiotics.

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