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Letters: Amalgam safety

September 21, 2015 I want to thank Craig Palmer for his review of a report by Europe's scientific committee on emerging and newly identified health risks ("European Panel Updates Amalgam Science," June 1 ADA News). Once again, the safety and effectiveness of amalgam has been confirmed. The mercury controversy has been ongoing for decades now with supposed experts warning in mass media and to patients of disastrous consequences from dental amalgam filling. Once again, however, a reputable scientific body has refuted these claims with statements like, "Current evidence does not preclude the use of either amalgam or alternative materials in dental restorative treatment," and "The longevity of alternative materials in posterior teeth has improved … but, is in certain clinical situations (e.g. large cavities and high caries rate) still inferior to amalgam." Both amalgam and alternative materials (like composite) are good restorative materials when used with sound clinical judgment.
I also want to criticize the ADA News for putting the story on the last page of the June 1, 2015, edition. Doesn't an important story like this deserve top billing on the front page? Is an article about California really more important than a story that affects all ADA members and all patients in the nation? Shouldn't this story be on the front page so more ADA members will see it and pass the good news to patients? Or is the ADA News hiding this story in the back page because it may upset some readers who have been telling a slightly different story to the public?

Thomas R. Osborn, D.D.S.
Dayton, Ohio