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Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. Supporters claim that it is safe, effective and long-lasting while critics argue that claims have been made since the 1840s that amalgam is unsafe because it may cause mercury poisoning and other toxicity. Those who are not opposed to the use of amalgam point out that it is safe, durable, relatively inexpensive, and easy to use. Consumer Reports has suggested that many who claim dental amalgam is not safe are “prospecting for disease” and using pseudoscience to scare patients into more lucrative treatment options.
Those opposed to amalgam use suggest that modern composites are improving in strength. In addition to their claims of possible health and ethical issues, opponents of dental amalgam fillings claim amalgam fillings contribute to mercury contamination of the environment. The WHO also points out that amalgam separators, installed in the waste water lines of many dental offices, dramatically decrease the release of mercury into the public sewer system. However, critics say that the separators are not mandatory in some states of the United States.
It is the position of the FDI World Dental Federation as well as numerous dental associations and dental public health agencies worldwide that amalgam restorations are safe and effective. Numerous other organizations have also publicly declared the safety and effectiveness of amalgam. These include the Mayo clinic, the U.
Health Canada, Alzheimer’s Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Autism Society of America, U. Environmental Protection Agency, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, New England Journal of Medicine, International Journal of Dentistry, National Council Against Health Fraud, The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research NIDCR, American Cancer Society, Lupus Foundation of America, the American College of Medical Toxicology, the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, Consumer Reports Prevention, and WebMD. Dental amalgam has had a long history and global impact. It was first introduced in the Chinese materia medica of Su Kung in 659 A.
In Europe, Johannes Stockerus, a municipal physician in Ulm, Germany, recommended amalgam as a filling material as early as 1528. In 1818, Parisian physician Louis Nicolas Regnart added one-tenth by weight of mercury to the fusable metals used as fillings at the time to create a temporarily soft metal alloy at room temperature.
This was further perfected in 1826, when Auguste Taveau of Paris used a silver paste made from mixing French silver-tin coins with mercury, which offered more plasticity and a quicker setting time. The neutrality of this section is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met.
The Crawcours were a family of five Polish dentists who acquired “superficial knowledge” of dentistry in France before moving to England in the 1780s. They advertised extensively, proclaiming their skill, and claimed to be surgeon-dentists to European royalty.
In 1833, two members of the Crawcour family invaded the growing United States of America with a cheap coin silver amalgam they called “royal mineral succedaneum”. The Crawcours set up elegant dental “parlours” in New York City and competed with the ethical dentists and catered to the wealthy and influential residents of the city. The patients reclined on comfortable easy chairs and, unlike other dentists, their dentistry was painless since they did not remove any tooth decay, but rather thumbed a soft mixture of their impure amalgam material into cavities.
As the Crawcours’ business boomed, the conscientious practitioners, who were still working with gold and tin, lost patients. Later, as the brothers’ fillings began to fall out, discolor the teeth, and cause tooth fracture because of the cheap amalgam’s expansion, the public realized it had been cheated. With that, the brothers returned to Europe in 1834, leaving “a long trail of victimized patients and exasperated dentists”.
However, the damage had been done: amalgam now had a bad reputation, despite the fact that, if used properly, it would later prove to be a safe and effective restorative material. The so-called “Amalgam War” raged from 1840 to 1855, “broke up friendships and, even threatened to disrupt the profession. In 1841, the American Society of Dental Surgeons, which had been founded the year before as the first national dental society in the United States, appointed a committee to study the amalgam problem. The committee reported that all filling materials in which mercury was an ingredient were, “hurtful both to the teeth and every part of the mouth, and that there was no tooth in which caries in it could be arrested, and the organ rendered serviceable by being filled, in which gold could not be employed.