Can you help me understand this? I read on a natural news site a couple of years ago that the US signed a treaty agreeing to phase out the use of mercury. People were having to petition the FDA because no one was taking any action. Yet, today, my sister tells me that her pediatric dentist wants to place a mercury filled filling on her son. Haven’t we dealt with this yet?
You’re referring to the Minamata Convention on Mercury. This was mostly to deal with mercury disposal. Named after a Japanese town who lost almost a thousand citizens to mercury poisoning in the water. Anyone who handles mercury, including dentists, should be aware of the agreement.
That being said, the FDA still considers mercury safe in fillings and they’re not banned in the U.S. That doesn’t make your nephew is going to be forced to have mercury in his mouth, but it may require going to a different dentist.
Getting Mercury-free Fillings for Children
There are quite a few dentists who still prefer to place amalgam (silver) fillings in children despite the fact that their main ingredient is mercury. The reason for that is the wiggly nature of children. Composite fillings have to be kept perfectly dry while they’re being placed or the bond could fail.
There are both mercury-free dentists and mercury-free pediatric dentists. If a child is particularly wiggly, you might consider using some form of sedation. Even something as mild as nitrous oxide can relax a child and put them to sleep during the procedure.
Just talk to your sister. Let her know the amalgam fillings aren’t her only option for her son.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Newkirk.