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Letters: Using amalgam

February 20, 2017 Regarding the letter “Amalgam Safety,” from Dr. Joseph M. Boesch in the Jan. 23 ADA News, you’re missing the whole point. When the regulatory transition occurred, magically morphing an extracted human tooth from common trash to biohazard, nothing changed except the sudden creation of multiple biohazard/waste hauling companies.

It was the same for amalgam. I was warned five years before Massachusetts required amalgam separators that the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority was “coming after dentists.” The problem was, no such products existed to rid dental office effluent of heavy metals.

The demon you’re looking for is not the material but the regulatory agencies. How does the Environmental Protection Agency, the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, etc. justify next year’s budget if new regulations aren’t written and new fees/taxes discovered?

The ADA is not a patient advocacy group. They try to buffer us from onerous regulations while setting the world’s best professional standards and science-based care.

I’ll gladly use amalgam where needed for my U.S. patients, and I always take it to treat patients in developing countries where they’re not afraid of it yet.

Kendrick R. Brede, D.M.D.
Needham, Massachusetts