The news that Norway Denmark and Sweden have all banned the use of dental mercury amalgam (effective this year) has brought little support from dental associations world wide. Although it is one of the most important and critical assessments of the dangers of mercury from these implants, there has been virtually no reporting of this in the Australian media. If you feel that others should be made aware of this situation I would ask that you pass this letter on.
Following is the Response of the Australian Dental Association to the bans imposed by Norway, Sweden and Denmark on the use of mercury releasing dental amalgam fillings.
“Australian Dental Association News Bulletin March 2008
“President’s Comments” Page 3
Author John Mathews Federal President
Norway moved over the Christmas period to ban amalgam as a filling material and it is likely that other Scandinavian countries will follow suit. The Norwegian Government, as a significant third party funder of dental services, has this power. (Don't you hate third parties directing clinical decisions!) The decision was made on environmental grounds and because "composite was an acceptable alternative". As an older dentist I would hate to lose the option of amalgam as an inexpensive material in certain circumstances. Certainly the disposal of surgery waste is a problem. The ADAVB is about to develop a disposal programme with a happy union of the EPA, ADA and the dental industry. I expect other states will follow.”
Robert Gammal Comment:
Clearly the Australian Dental Association, as represented by its Federal President, Dr Mathews, has low regard for the findings of the health authorities in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The insult to these authorities is clear in that they are called a ‘third party’ who is directing clinical decisions. Since when was the implantation of mercury into living human beings the realm of a dentist’s clinical decision? The dental associations world wide have refused to take responsibility for this mass poisoning. It is timely that some governments in the world are taking responsibility.
Reuters News agency states; “The Swedish amalgam ban is for both environmental and health issues, according to authorities...”
Perhaps the Federal President did not read the report clearly or just forgot (forgetfulness and poor comprehension are caused by mercury poisoning).
He states that “As an older dentist I would hate to lose the option of amalgam as an inexpensive material in certain circumstances.”
It seems to me that as an older dentist he has seriously lost the plot. Perpetuating the old argument of cost-effectiveness is pathetic when we are talking about human and environmental health – not that they are different accept in the mind of Dr Mathews. Perhaps he really believes that it is a safe and effective filling material or surely he would not use it.
This clear admission from the Federal President of the Australian Dental Association that he continues to use and promote mercury amalgam, flies in the face of well documented science and the responsible action of some governments in the world.
He does not care that both the environment and the patients are seriously at risk from mercury exposure caused by amalgam fillings. His older-dentist-clinical-decision-making seems to be seriously compromised.
I would suggest that the Australian Dental Association find a better representative than one who openly has disregard and distaste for the wellbeing of his patients, the environment and even the membership of this organisation. Even the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia has warned against the use of amalgam in pregnant women, children and people with kidney disorders. Perhaps Dr Mathews has contemptuous disregard for his own health-authority warnings. I wonder if they interfere with his clinical decision making.
Perhaps Dr Mathew’s happy union with the EPA etc will be held underground with the other mad hatters.
I too am an older dentist (graduated 1974) – one who has not used amalgam for over twenty years. I personally am appalled at the blatant disregard this man shows for anyone’s wellbeing.