I came across a piece that the United States had signed some kind of treaty a couple of years ago, agreeing to phase out mercury. It also said that several international groups were petitioning the FDA to take action, because nothing is being done yet. I have not heard anything about America signing any such agreement. Wouldn’t this have made national news if officials admitted that mercury fillings are dangerous? Nobody seems to know anything about this. Is there any truth to the story?
There was an agreement signed in November of 2013. Every dentist should be aware of it, because it impacts their industry. But, you’re right, it didn’t get much press.
The treaty was devised by the United Nations, called the Minamata Convention on Mercury, in honor of a Japanese city that was devastated by Mercury poisoning. Minamata disease, as it’s called, sickened 2,265 people, killing 900 of them. It’s a tragic story.
The Minamata Convention on Mercury does not focus specifically on dental fillings. It’s geared towards keeping waterways unpolluted, though the amalgam fillings that are commonly used in dentistry play a role in that. The United Nations has the entire text of the document posted on their website (Dental amalgam provisions appear on page 24.).
The FDA still says amalgam fillings are safe for most people. If you prefer to take a more cautious approach, and want to be treated by someone who will take extra precautions to protect the environment (and you), while waiting for the FDA to take action, it may be worth the drive to visit a holistic dentist.
A holistic dentist is committed to being mercury-free. They only do composite (white fillings), so you won’t have to wait on the FDA.
This blog is brought to you by Buffalo Dentist Dr. Warren Krutchick.