In the June issue of Dental Economics, Dr. Gordon Christensen writes about the growing use of composite resin. As a long-time admirer of Dr. Christensen, I found that his article made some salient observations about the amalgam debate.
However, I must point out that the statement, OIt is well known that several countries are reducing or eliminating the use of amalgam...O may not be accurate. I have checked with the Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Dental Association, as I have in the past regarding the banning of amalgam restorations. The representative of the Council informed me that he is not aware of any country that has eliminated the use of amalgam. Unfortunately, there is at least one other national lecturer who states in promotional literature that at least one country has banned all use of amalgam.
As a member of the clinical faculty of Creighton University, I am not aware of this statement on amalgam-banning being purveyed in our department to the students. Despite what the future brings to the fate of amalgam use, we should not try to hasten its OdeathO by using inaccurate statements.
Benton Kutler, DDS
Dr. Christensen responds: Thanks for your comments on the amalgam issue. Several countries have reduced the use of amalgam for various reasons and by different recommendations. I have not made the subject a major part of my continued observations. However, on numerous events in Scandinavia, Western Europe, Asia, and Canada, I am aware of limitations placed on amalgam use. Details would have to be obtained from the specific dental studies.
A continued decline in amalgam use is predictable. Whether it is justified or rational will continue to be an emotional issue.