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BPA? What is it? BPA is short for Bisphenol A. BPA is an organic compound  that is used throughout the manufacture of many consumer plastic products, and has been found in some dental composites and sealants.

BPA has been shown to have hormone-like (estrogen) properties that raise concern about its suitability in consumer products and food containers. Some laboratory testing has suggested that BPA may effect reproduction and development in animals by mimicking the effects of the female hormone estrogen. This testing is raising concerns about its safety. Recent scientific research has found links between BPA and serious health problems, from heart disease, diabetes and liver abnormalities in adults to developmental problems in the brains and hormonal systems of children.

BPA and Dentistry

There are three ways BPA can become a part of dental materials:

1. As a direct ingredient in dental composites or dental sealants.

2. As a by-product of degrading dental composites or dental sealants in saliva. Composite resins are formulated from a mixture of monomers that are commonly based on bisphenol A glycidyl methacrylate (bis-GMA). Some composite resins may contain other monomers, in addition to bis-GMA, that are added to modify the properties of the resin. An example is bisphenol A dimethacrylate (bis-DMA). Bis-GMA and Bis-DMA-containing materials can release  BPA because both  bis-DMA and Bis-GMA are subject to degradation by salivary enzymes. Bis-DMA releases more BPA than Bis-GMA.

3. As a trace material during manufacture of dental materials. BPA may be used in the production of other ingredients found in some dental composites and sealants. Bis-DMA and bis-GMA are both produced using BPA as a starting ingredient, so residual trace amounts of BPA may be present in the final product.

There are many products utilized for “white” fillings. You can ask if your dentist is BPA free. The products utilized should not contain BPA, and even better if there is also no Bis DMA.

What Can Be Done To Limit Dental Exposure To BPA?

The big concern first was the use of traditional dental materials like dental amalgam. Amalgam contains mercury and there has been vigorous debate regarding its health effects. While all dental amalgam fillings contain mercury, not all dental composites and dental sealants contain Bisphenol-A (BPA). It is important to choose a dentist who carefully selects dental composites and dental sealants that are BPA free.

What if you already have dental composites or dental sealants? Should you be concerned?

It is important to remember the amount of BPA released in dental composites and dental sealants is very small. Although, the effect of BPA accumulation may be small it is important to note that it is a cumulative effect. Over the course of a lifetime the BPA will build up like most environmental toxins. Still, if the dental work in question is not causing any immediate health problems that you experience, removing the dental composite can do more harm than good. The trauma each tooth would undergo through the removal process may do more substantial harm to the teeth.

Common Items Containing BPA

-Baby Bottle

-Water Bottles

-Sports Equipment

-Medical and Dental Devices

-Dental composite filling

-Dental Sealants

-Cd’s and DVD’s

-Lining of Water Pipes

-Lining of Soda cans

How To Reduce Overall Exposure To BPA?

Choosing products that are BPA free  is important. Make good choices in everyday products as well as dental materials. Below are some tips to reduce overall BPA exposure for you and your loved ones.

-Choose Cardboard Or Glass Containers Over Cans. Most cans used in food preparation today are lined with BPA. The food in these cans are in contact with this lining allowing the food to leach BPA from the lining. Highly acidic foods (like tomato sauce) tend to leach more BPA than lower acidic foods. Choosing cardboard or glass will be safer in the long run.

Avoid Microwaving Plastic Food Containers. The packaging in many microwaveable foods can break down under the high temperatures of the microwave. This will release BPA into your food from the lining of the container. It is not required to report whether a container contains BPA but plastic containers that do are usually marked with a #7 recycling code on the bottom of the package.

Choose BPA Free Baby Bottles. The general rule for plastics is hard and clear contains BPA while soft or cloudy does not. Luckily, most major manufacturers now tout BPA free bottles for our children.

Use Powdered Infant Formula. Recent research has shown that liquid formulas contain more BPA than the powdered version.

Bisphenol-A (BPA) Conclusion

Research continues to mount regarding the health hazards of Bisphenol-A (BPA) so it would be wise to protect your family and be educated. While we can probably never live a BPA free life we can limit exposure by making smart choices in dental care as well as our lifestyle. Manufacturers are making their own choices, and moving towards many BPA free products. Hopefully, future research will continue with the evolution of even better products to keep us all healthier.

We, as a society have become more acutely aware of the ingredients in many products used for our health and even for our environment. This includes food, medications, and children’s products. Now we

Cosmetic Dentist Marielaina Perrone DDS

Educate Yourself On The Hazards Of Mercury, BPA, and Triclosan.

can include dental materials to the list. Controversies have developed recently surrounding the use of Bisphenol-A (commonly referred to as BPA) as well as mercury use in dentistry. What are the truths regarding dental materials and what can you do to keep you and your family safe and healthy at the dentist 89014?

Controversial Dental Materials

Mercury – This has long been used to restore tooth decay in something called a dental amalgam. A dental amalgam is a metal based restorative dental material that is a mixture of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy (composed of silver, tin, and copper). A dental amalgam is the cheapest of all dental materials used for restoring tooth decay and was developed over 150 years ago. While controversial in it’s use, It has been and will continue to be utilized around the world as an economical choice in dental restoration.

The controversy that surrounds dental amalgam is the incorporation of mercury. There are some who are allergic to dental amalgams. This allergy could be due to the mercury or one of the other components. The main concern is the inhalation of mercury vapors into the lungs. The NIH, and FDA have been conducting and comparing dental mercury research for quite some time. The general rule of thumb for mercury exposure is, low levels have no statistically significant or reproducible harmful effects whereas much higher levels can cause issues like, fatigue, memory loss, irritability, and headaches. Most research addresses levels released in the mouth following placement. Studies have concluded that, as these dental amalgams wear in the mouth, mercury is released mainly while chewing. While the research concluded that the level of mercury release was low, it can still be a cause for concern for many patients.

The FDA has released a final study on this stating that, “the levels released by dental amalgam restorations are not high enough to cause harm in patients.” The bottom line for the use of dental amalgam should be a dental materials choice between patient and dentist. It is an effective dental material (both in cost and function) and will continue to be an option for most dental offices in the near future.

Triclosan – This ingredient is found in many everyday products including soap, toothpaste, and many mouthwashes. It’s main use is to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination.  Since its main use is as an anti-bacterial, many wonder if its overuse in soaps and mouthwashes will cause new bacterial strains to develop that are able to resist triclosan’s effects. Other concerns are its effect on our immune and muscular systems. There have been small studies done that have shown an increased incidence of hay fever and allergies in general from over exposure to anti bacterial soaps.

The jury is still out on triclosan as the FDA has not given it a full vote of confidence. It has approved it for use in toothpastes as an effective aid in preventing the development of gingivitis. As of this writing, triclosan has not been determined to harm humans but studies are ongoing.

Dental Materials Marielaina Perrone DDS

Make Informed Decisions on Mercury, BPA, and Triclosan For Your Entire Family.

Bisphenol-A (BPA) – BPA is used in a variety of products mainly for the use in production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy type resins. Commonly household items include water bottles, baby bottles, and even compact discs. BPA is also found in many dental materials including dental sealants and dental composites.

The controversy surrounding BPA is the fact that BPA has been characterized as an endocrine disruptor. Studies have linked BPA to numerous diseases in humans including heart disease, diabetes, and fertility issues. One study followed almost 1,500 adult patients in the U.S. and associated higher levels of BPA in the urine to lead to a greater probability of being diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes, and liver enzyme abnormalities. Another concern is the effect it has on children, as dental sealants are predominantly placed on children. The jury is still out as there has been no definitive relationship to this point.  Ask your dentist if they know if they are BPA free?

Dental Materials Conclusion

There is continuing research looking into the effects of BPA use by the FDA. Nothing definitive has been stated yet but ask your dentist regarding products they use. Many dental companies in response have developed “BPA free” alternatives. Many products claim to be BPA free because they do not technically add BPA. However, all sealants and composite resins have Bis-GMA and/or Bis-DMA which are made from BPA and release BPA into the mouth as a by-product. Bis-DMA releases far more BPA, and some brands of composite or sealant release substantially higher amounts of BPA at normal ph levels.

There is countless information available on all of these products. The internet is full of truths and lies. It is important to look at these ingredients, and research studies objectively and make the right choices for you and your family. If there are any concerns about any dental materials, ask your dentist for more information to make an educated choice. An educated patient is an empowered patient who can make informed choices about their dental care.