Dental Board Continues Head in Sand Stance

Press Releases: 07.16.01

Contact: Lori Reed Jay Geer

California Dental Association Miller/Geer & Associates

(800) 736-7071 (562) 467-2020




As Dental Board of California Expects to Approve Revised Document,

Statewide Dental Group Weighs In

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (July 16, 2001) The Dental Board of Californiaís (DBOC) revised Dental Materials Fact Sheet that encourages dialog between patients and dental care providers, does not break new ground. It continues to support scientific study that the safety of materials used in restorative dentistry are safe for patients, according to the California Dental Association (CDA) leaders.

The revised Fact Sheet is expected to be approved in a public meeting of the State Dental Board on Wednesday, July 18th at the Westin Hotel in Millbrea, California from 5-9 pm.

"The draft of the Dental Materials Fact Sheet holds no surprises for dental professionals," states Steve Chan, DDS, president-elect of CDA. "The comprehensive and exhausted search of the current scientific literature sustains the long-held position of dentistry that except for extremely rare instances of allergic reaction, the materials used in restorative dentistry are safe. We hope the Board will adopt the Fact Sheet as written, as it clearly represents current science."

The Dental Materials Fact Sheet will replace the original Fact Sheet created in 1993 by the DBOC and represents a thorough review of the current scientific literature by an approved independent contractor hired by the DBOC through a Request for Proposal process.

The California Dental Association and the American Dental Association have recently come under attack for "conspiring" to withhold the presence of mercury in dental amalgam from the public. "Education of the public regarding dental health and the care that is available to them is a high priority for CDA." said Jack Broussard, CDA President. "To imply that the entire healthcare profession would attempt to deceive or mislead the public is reprehensible. This claim would require the collusion of organized dentistry, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Adminsitration, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through its Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and a variety of worldwide health organizations," he said.

Dr. Broussard said that the claims key issue refers to the use of the phrase "silver amalgam" as opposed to "mercury amalgam." "Silver" is a shortened version of "quicksilver," a term synonymous with mercury and the usage of which dates back to before the 12th century. Because of the presence of mercury as well as many other amalgam filling metals including tin, silver and copper, the name "silver" fillings remained the common term. Today, "silver fillings" also is used to refer to the color of the material, as much as "white fillings" do to describe resin-based composite dental fillings. "To infer that the use of the term ësilver amalgamí is an attempt to hide the presence of mercury in a safe,

durable, cost effective restorative material represents the best pseudo science alarmists have to offer to the public," says Dr. Broussard.

CDA is the nonprofit organization representing organized dentistry in California. Founded in 1870, CDA is the largest and most high profile constituent (nearly 20,000 members) of the American Dental Association. CDA contributes to the dental health of consumers in California through various programs aimed at improving dental health.

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