Mike Maroon, DDS
I had the privilege of reading the entire debate between Bill Dickerson and Joe Steven. My applause goes to Bill for his position on the issue, and my deepest sympathy goes to Joe Steven for his.
One of the biggest problems with our profession is the mindset of the majority of our colleagues who continue to embrace archaic treatment methods for the sake of "tradition."
The pro-amalgam arguments are many - ease of use, convenience, financial, etc. But I submit that the reason amalgam still is in use in this country is because the majority of dentists are too afraid or too lazy to retrain themselves. Organized dentistry sits idly by and does nothing to help the matter because it fears litigation.
I discontinued amalgam use in my practice eight years ago and have not looked back. At first, it was difficult to be consistent with adhesive dentistry. Just like anything new, if you really want to master it, you do it over and over, and pretty soon it works! Imagine how empty the golf courses would be if all dentists gave up the sport after a bad round!
My patients are absolutely thrilled not to have silver/mercury fillings placed in their mouths!
I would bet my life that if Joe Steven and all the other pro-amalgam dentists charged the same fee for amalgam and composite restorations, and gave their patients a choice, not one would choose amalgam.
I guarantee you that the father of dentistry, G.V. Black, is looking down on us with dismay. This man was a pioneer in his field during his lifetime. If you don`t believe that he would be on the leading edge of the esthetic revolution, you are disillusioned. He would be "leading the charge" to find materials even better than composite resin that satisfies the requirements of biocompatability, esthetics, and longevity.
It`s time for the profession to give up its crutches (amalgam) and start taking steps in a new direction!