You know that what you put in your mouth affects your whole body, including what materials your dental work is made out of. That’s why you’ve chosen to look into composite resin (white fillings) instead of amalgam, or toxic mercury.
But are all composite resins created equal, or do they too have a hidden danger: BPA? Here’s what you should know about composite fillings and the risk of BPA exposure.
First, let’s learn a little about BPA:
What Is BPA?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), BPA – or Bisphenol A – is a compound used to create polycarbonate-based plastics. It can be found in products like food containers, safety equipment, toys, and countless other items, as well as some types of dental materials.
Why Is BPA Harmful to the Body?
In the 90s, the Stanford University School of Medicine discovered that minute amounts of Bisphenol A could leach out of the plastic products into nearby organic compounds. This became concerning as the CDC discovered that approximately 93% of Americans have detectable levels of BPA in their bodies.
In a 2019 review published by Scientific African, BPA is described as a “reproductive, developmental, and systemic toxicant” and is generally classified by scientists as an EDC, or endocrine-disrupting compound. The review discusses the potential development of significant side-effects from BPA exposure, including but not limited to “metabolic disorders such as low sex-specific neurodevelopment, immune toxicity, neurotoxicity and interference of cellular pathway.”
In “Bisphenol A Release: Survey of the Composition of Dental Composite Resins” published by the Open Dentistry Journal, the authors write that BPA “is an endocrine disruptor, with potential toxicity in vitro and in vivo. Among other effects, it can cause changes in the structure of the unborn child’s mammary glands – promoting further tumor development – and has effects on the brain and behavior, the female reproductive system, and metabolism and obesity.”
While the jury is still out on how much BPA absorption is necessary to begin creating ill health effects, it’s a good idea to reduce or eliminate your own exposure to the compound when and where you can. One simple way to do that is to ensure that any material used in your dental care is BPA-free.
Not All Composite Resins Contain BPA
While Bisphenol A isn’t directly used in composite dental fillings, according to the Open Dentistry Journal article, its derivatives are routinely discovered in material samples. Fortunately, not all composite resins are created using BPA-derivatives, and there are many holistic alternatives that can be used for patients who prefer to limit their exposure to BPA.
At Green Dentistry, we believe in the importance of reducing the body’s exposure to toxic chemicals and compounds for overall health and wellness. We use only BPA-free, biocompatible materials to treat our patients’ oral health and cosmetic needs.
If You’ve Had Fillings With BPA, You Don’t Have to Remove Them Like with Mercury Fillings
With amalgam or silver fillings, poisonous mercury can continue to leach out into your mouth throughout your life, every time you chew or bite down on something. They also release mercury vapors into your mouth when you increase the temperature of the filling, such as when drinking a hot beverage. Mercury fillings have been linked to chronic illnesses and health conditions that can make daily functioning difficult.
In this case, having your mercury fillings removed is your best option to reduce your ongoing exposure to the toxic substance. We use the SMART Dentistry technique to safely remove mercury fillings without putting patients and our staff at risk of exposure.
In the case of composite resin fillings that contain BPA derivatives, exposure generally occurs when the material is being placed and does not continue to leach BPA into the body over time. Therefore, your best course of action when it comes to composite resin or white fillings is to leave the ones you have alone and ensure that future fillings are done with BPA-free materials.
Book Your Appointment for BPA-Free Dental Fillings with Dr. Namrata Patel
Almost everyone gets a cavity from time to time and needs a filling, even with a rigid dental hygiene routine. For your next dental appointment, make sure you’re protecting your whole-body health by paying attention to what goes into your mouth. Choose BPA-free composite fillings and enjoy cavity relief without the concern of exposure to toxic chemicals.
Contact Green Dentistry today at (415) 433-0119 to book your dental exam with Dr. Namrata Patel and begin your journey to better overall health and wellness, starting with your teeth.