If only a few days ago the U.S. was outraged by a dentist putting people at risk of HIV with reused syringes, a new study comes to add to the reasons why dentists are feared. The journal Pediatrics published a research that reads BPA tooth fillings have been linked to behavior problems in children.
So, there you have it: one more reason to worry about your children’s safety even when they’re being in a health care practice. Dentistry has long become one of the most hassle-free experiences in medical care. Although mercury-laced amalgam based tooth fillings are out of the picture for years now, the modern, metal-free, composite filing might soon become just as dreaded.
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health highlights a concerning issue. BPA tooth filings in children have been linked to an increased risk of behavior problems and disorders such as anxiety and depression. Given there are more than 10 million children in the United States receiving this type of tooth filling each year, the study is bound to get viral.
Although approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the ingredients in the composite filling haven’t been researched thoroughly. In fact, scientists have yet to study the filings’ long-term side effects accordingly. BPA, or bisphenol A is a substance the FDA has ruled to be safe in low levels. But it is noted that bishphenol A that breaks into the bloodstream does raise “some concern” as it impacts the patient’s brain and bring about behavior problems.
The current study shows that children that have bisphenol-A-glycidyl-methacrylate based tooth filings were doing worse in school than children with silver amalgam fillings or other composite materials. The data presented showed the side-effects were noticeable even five years after the treatment.
At the same time, experts noticed a link between Bis-GMA filings and psychological problems that require assistance from a medical trained professional. These children presented a risk 2 to 4 times to develop such problems. Most at risk children are those who had their back molars filled with the Bis-GMA material.
While the risks aren’t surging out of control, experts say it is best parents know all their options. And as it is the case with any other health care issue, prevention is essential.