Friday, January 25, 2008

Amalgam fillings don’t affect children’s brain

Dental amalgam tooth fillings do not adversely affect children’s brain development and neurological status, researchers report in the February issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

The authors of the report—members of a joint team from the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and the University of Washington, Seattle—studied the possible neurological effects of dental amalgam tooth restorations. Dental amalgam contains elemental mercury combined with other metals such as silver, copper, tin and zinc to form a safe, stable alloy. Dental amalgam has been used for generations to fill decayed teeth that might otherwise have been lost.

Beginning in 1997 and continuing for seven years, the authors studied 507 Portuguese children aged 8 through 12 years who received either amalgam or resin-based composite fillings. They conducted routine clinical neurological examinations to assess two types of neurological signs: hard (indicating damage to specific neural structures) and soft (subtle signs of central nervous system dysfunction that likely point to immature sensory-motor skills rather than to any structural damage in the brain). The researchers also evaluated the children for presence of tremor.

After seven years, the two groups of children did not differ in terms of the presence or absence of hard signs or tremor. They also didn’t differ in terms of the presence or absence or severity of soft signs at any point. Also, as expected in healthy children, the severity of any neurological soft signs diminished as the children aged.

“Even at the levels of amalgam exposure in this study (a mean of 7.7-10.7 amalgam surfaces per subject across the seven years of follow-up),” the authors write, “[we] conclude that exposure to mercury from dental amalgam does not adversely affect neurological status.

“These data indicate the absence of a generalized negative effect on children’s nervous system functions stemming from the presence of dental amalgam,” they continue, “and while we cannot rule out potential adverse reactions in individual children, we found no indications of any.”

JADA, a monthly journal, is the ADA’s flagship publication and the most widely read scientific journal in dentistry.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Expert denounces ban on dental amalgam

In an editorial published today in the February issue of the Journal of Dental Research, Derek Jones, Professor Emeritus of Biomaterials, Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS, Canada), and Chair of the International Standards Organization’s Technical Committee on Dentistry, denounces new Norwegian regulations governing the use of mercury that will adversely affect the use of dental amalgam not only in Norway, but also in other countries around the world that are contemplating taking similar action.

Says Jones, “For the past 20 years, the public has been bombarded by sensational, confusing, and misleading media reports about health issues related to dental amalgam. The public opinion on this issue has been modified by minority, non-scientific views driven and supported by media sensationalism. Mobilization of irrational public fear is the strategy used by lobby groups to pressure governments to change public policy. It is important that governments adhere to scientific principles and base health and environmental policies on sound scientific knowledge. Dentistry is an applied science and needs to bring issues such those dealing with dental amalgam to the attention of governments.”

Effective January 1, 2008, the Norwegian government now prohibits the production, importation, exportation, sale, and use of substances that contain mercury, including dental amalgam. In the editorial, the author contends that, at present, there is no conclusive evidence in the scientific literature to demonstrate a link between the cause of irreversible neurological disorders or of impaired kidney function and mercury vapors from dental amalgam. Further, although it is generally accepted that some 50% of mercury pollution comes from natural sources, the relative contribution from natural vs. anthropogenic mercury sources remains unclear, and the natural source may be considerably higher. Pollution from dentistry is insignificant compared with that from industrial use and natural sources. Clearly, the above information leads to the logical conclusion that banning "dental amalgam" is a political issue that will not only have no impact on total worldwide mercury pollution, but also removes a viable treatment option for dentists and their patients.

Deborah Greenspan (University of California-San Francisco), President of the International Association for Dental Research, co-publisher of the Journal of Dental Research, stated, “All policy decisions should be informed by evidence-based science, and we are pleased to provide a forum for this in the JDR.”

The editorial is freely available to the public at

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Laser Procedure Treating Gum Disease

New Study Shows Unique Scientific Support for Laser Procedure in Treating Moderate to Severe Gum Disease

Growing Body of Data Supports Effectiveness of Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure™ (LANAP™) as Alternative to Conventional Gum Surgery for Millions of Americans

Millennium Dental Technologies, Inc. ( today announced the results of a new peer-reviewed manuscript, published in the refereed specialty journal The International Journal of Periodontics & Restorative Dentistry, that demonstrates uniform histologic success in the treatment of moderate to severe gum disease (periodontal pockets) using the patented Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure™ (LANAP™). Millennium Dental Technologies estimates that LANAP-licensed practitioners are currently treating over 14,000 patients nationwide, on an annual basis.

New connective tissue attachment (CTA) and regeneration of root surface (cementum) was achieved in 100 percent of the cases studied in the human histology study using the PerioLase® MVP-7 variable pulsed Neodymium:Yttrium-Aluminum-Garnet (Nd:YAG) dental laser, the only laser designed especially for LANAP. Study results show the FDA-approved and patented LANAP is now a legitimate treatment alternative to conventional scalpel/suture flap surgery.

Gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, is a chronic bacterial infection that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. It is often painless and can go undetected or ignored until severe gum and bone destruction catches the individual’s attention. The American Dental Association (ADA) conservatively estimates that three out of four adult Americans have some form of gum disease and about 25 million adults suffer from serious forms of the disease, but some estimate the figure to be much greater. In an address at the 7th Annual Conference on Periodontal Surgery on November 8-9, 1996, Michael Newman, DDS, PhD, Adjunct Professor of Periodontics, UCLA School of Dentistry and former president of the American Academy of Periodontology, reported that more than 100,000,000 American adults have moderate to severe gum disease, yet less than 3 percent receive conventional treatment.

Led by Raymond A. Yukna, DMD, MS, now the Director of Advanced Periodontal Therapies, University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, the study documents consistently positive responses in humans treated with the LANAP. In a split mouth design, twelve single-rooted teeth with moderate to advanced chronic periodontitis were treated. Six teeth received treatment by LANAP, while the other six control teeth received scaling and root planing only.

After three months, 100 percent of LANAP-treated teeth showed new cementum and new CTA, whereas effectively none of the control teeth had any evidence of new attachment or regeneration. There was no evidence of any adverse changes around the LANAP specimens.

“I am quite pleased and encouraged by the results of this study. These positive results support the concept that LANAP can be associated with cementum-mediated new connective tissue attachment and apparent periodontal regeneration of diseased root surfaces in humans,” said Yukna. “Recent years have seen major advancements in periodontal technology, and this study is a successful demonstration of using a free-running pulsed Nd:YAG laser applying the specific LANAP protocol.” The study was the fourth largest prospective comparative human histology project in the entire peer-reviewed, periodontal literature.

“The findings presented in this landmark study are unprecedented and the culmination of nearly two decades of periodontal medicine,” said Delwin McCarthy, DDS, Millennium Dental Technologies co-founder. Robert Gregg II, DDS, co-founder and chief dental officer added, “The publication of this study in a prestigious, peer-reviewed journal adds to the growing body of scientific evidence that LANAP is a complete and effective periodontal disease treatment protocol that can routinely result in cementum-mediated new periodontal ligament attachment to the root surface in the absence of long junctional epithelium.”

“Millennium Dental Technologies has seen strong adoption for laser-based periodontal disease treatment protocol and the PerioLase MVP-7. The publication of this study addresses many of the concerns held by the dental community,” said Michael Minailo, president and CEO of Millennium Dental Technologies. “With growing demand and continued scientific support, we expect to see significant momentum in 2008.”

About The International Journal of Periodontics & Restorative Dentistry

The International Journal of Periodontics & Restorative Dentistry is a pre-eminent journal with an international reputation for high-quality, peer-reviewed editorial content and unparalleled color illustrations. Providing clinically relevant information for the daily practice is the main focus of this often-cited journal.

About Millennium Dental Technologies, Inc.

Millennium Dental Technologies, Inc. ( is a manufacturer and distributor of dental products. Millennium Dental Technologies is the first and only company to receive exclusive clearance for a complete periodontal disease treatment protocol, the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP), for cementum-mediated new periodontal ligament attachment to the root surface in the absence of long junctional epithelium. The Company is organized and operated under the leadership and direction of laser dentists for the express purpose of advancing LASER PERIODONTAL THERAPY™.