I just got some dental work done- three fillings, they were done with regular dental amalgam. For whatever reason I failed to look into things before I had the work done and have only now researched the controversy over mercury fillings.
I have just finished reading the entire wikipedia entry on this issue and am throughly confused. It seems to be one of those issues where there is strong reliable evidence in both directions.
Some quotes -
[quote]Another review published in 2005 by the Freiburg University Institute for Environmental Medicine found that “mercury from dental amalgam may lead to nephrotoxicity, neurobehavioural changes, autoimmunity, oxidative stress, autism, skin and mucosa alterations or non-specific symptoms and complaints”, that “Alzheimer’s disease or multiple sclerosis has also been linked to low-dose mercury exposure”, and that “removal of dental amalgam leads to permanent improvement of various chronic complaints in a relevant number of patients in various trials.”
In 2002, the Food and Drug Administration issued a statement on dental amalgam which asserted that “no valid scientific evidence has shown that amalgams cause harm to patients with dental restorations, except in the rare case of allergy”
The FDI World Dental Federation performed a meta-analysis of the literature on mercury toxicity and concluded that there is no documented scientific evidence to show adverse effects from mercury in amalgam restorations except in extremely rare cases of mercury hypersensitivity.
Maths Berlin 2002 study(recent review of 700 papers) concludes:
"With reference to the fact that mercury is a multipotent toxin with effects on several levels of the biochemical dynamics of the cell, amalgam must be considered to be an unsuitable material for dental restoration. This is especially true since fully adequate and less toxic alternatives are available. With reference to the risk of inhibiting influence on the growing brain, it is not compatible with science and well-tried experience to use amalgam fillings in children and fertile women. Every doctor and dentist should, where patients are suffering from unclear pathological states and autoimmune diseases, consider whether side-effects from mercury released from amalgam may be one contributory cause of the symptoms.
(same review ( Maths)) - The lowest exposure, in terms of urinary mercury secretion, that has been found to give rise to a demonstrable toxic effect has fallen from 30-50 Î¼g/l till 10-25 Î¼g/l. Accordingly, the safety margin that it was thought existed with respect to mercury exposure from amalgam has been erased.
So all these conflicting views has got me worried now…
Prof X ?