Composite Restorations or “White Fillings” and the surrounding controversy
A little history
The dental industry used to and still do use Amalgam to do fillings since the early 1900’s. Amalgam is an amalgamation of mainly silver and mercury with small amounts of zinc, copper and other trace mineral. Since the 1980’s the industry started using composite, a resin to fill the need for a more durable, easier technical properties and more aesthetic material. Resins are also used in sealants. Generally used in youths 16 years and younger.
Where we are now
Over the last several years the health community has brought to our attention that plastics have a softening chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) which is toxic. No manufacturer uses BPA in their resin. Although plastic drinking water bottles and other plastics used with food is of concern. Bis-GMA is used in composite fillings which does release BPA. The amount of BPA released is very small. There is no manufacturer which has a composite filling material which is BPA free. The choices available to avoid BPA are silver-mercury amalgam, porcelain, white (silver) or gold cast metal restorations. Only porcelain is tooth colored but is bonded to the tooth with a chemical containing minute amounts of BPA.
Some links to information on health and composite fillings
This is a very informational page written by Dr. Michael Goldman in Maryland. He surmises as I do that the so called BPA free composite Diamond Lite has no written proof of that fact. Also that it’s chemistry which is phenol based is not proven to be healthier. [link coming soon]
The American Dental Association has released this article concerning the issue: [link coming soon]