Dentsply International, a leading supplier of many quality dental supplies and equipment, has been issued a wake-up call. At the end of last month, the organization was urged publicly to phase-out the production of dental amalgam, a toxic material known to contain upwards of 50% mercury content. The plea for the phase-out comes just months after 140 nations signed an international mercury treaty, agreeing to do their part in reducing the production, disposal, and adverse impact the material has on both the environment and dental patients. Now, 23 of the world’s leading health and environmental agencies, including Consumers for Dental Choice, have pressured the 2nd largest amalgam producer in the United States to do the same.
The official notice was issued to Dentsply on May 29th, 2013 during a news conference at the Yorktowne Hotel in York, Pennsylvania. During the news conference, speakers presented a letter to Dentsply signed by a diverse coalition of faith-based, environmental, and international groups. Among the organizations and individuals that signed the letter include South Central Pennsylvanians for a Mercury-Free Environment and Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, along with representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, France, Lebanon, Philippines, Poland, and Uruguay.
The letter highlights at least 3 important concerns surrounding the controversial issue of mercury-rich dental amalgam:
First, it acknowledges that Americans are increasingly rejecting the material, a trend that has only grown since the Dr. Oz Show demonstrated on national television how dental amalgam can leak mercury vapor and cause serious health issues.
Additionally, the letter expresses concern over how the company will dispose of the toxic material. With such high mercury content, dental amalgam has the potential to cause irreparable damage to both land and water ecosystems.
Perhaps most noteworthy is the letter’s third concern: With such high profits from the manufacture and sale of so many other high quality, safe dental products, why does Dentsply continue to manufacture hazardous dental amalgam at all?
“We issue a wake-up call for Dentsply,” said Mary Lu Hale, chair of South Central Pennsylvanians for a Mercury-Free Environment. “Our communities like Dentsply and want it to make profits from its hundreds of quality dental products. But for the good of its reputation and that of this community, it should phase out making amalgam,” (i).
While Dentsply has yet to publicly respond to the letter, it is clear that the reputation of the multi-national company is on the line. In the coming weeks, mercury-free advocates and environmental groups can only hope that Dentsply will choose good corporate citizenship over the desire for dangerous profits, and announce a proactive plan to phase-out the production of toxic dental amalgam.
Safe Mercury Filling Removal at Assure A Smile
At Assure A Smile Miami Dentistry, we believe patients have the right to be informed and educated on the materials that are used in their dental procedures. We specialize in safely removing and replacing dental amalgams with biocompatible materials that are known for both safety and longevity, like white composite fillings. Our team takes every precaution necessary to ensure patient safety, and we utilize environmentally friendly disposal methods to do our part in waste reduction.
For more information, readers are invited to contact us online or call our practice directly at 305.274.0047. Readers may also visit the following page to learn more about mercury filling removal in Miami.
(i) “Dentsply Given ‘Wake Up Call’ By Community.” Campaign for Mercury Free Dentistry. Accessed 10 June 2013.
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