White Fillings & BPA

We all want the best for our kids, from their diapers and shampoo to the food they eat. We care about reading labels and understanding ingredients. One such ingredient, BPA (biphenol-A), we try to avoid, and for good reason. BPA in unsafe amounts has been linked to increased levels of estrogen toxicity and other potential adverse health effects. Unfortunately, there is a misconception circulating regarding BPA and the white sealant and composite filling material used in dentistry.

Because the jaws of children are undergoing constant growth, choices for fillings and restorations are limited to composite (white fillings), amalgam (silver fillings), stainless steel crowns, and zirconia crowns. We must use materials that can accommodate a child’s growth, making porcelain and other ceramics unsuitable choices. It is important to stay informed on what materials we use, so let’s set the record straight with data that we know.

White fillings, commonly called resin composites, are not made from pure BPA, but a BPA derivative. Further, the white fillings used in our office contain a compound called bis-GMA, which does NOT convert to BPA. A large review of several studies done in the journal of Pediatrics showed that white fillings and sealants do not result in trace levels of BPA in human saliva after placement.

The authors of the Pediatrics article recommended rinsing sealants and composites with water immediately after placement, which we do at PDS. The authors state, “The evidence is strong that resin-based dental sealants improve children’s oral health…we recommend continuing application of resin-based sealants in dental practice and in school-based/school-linked dental-sealant programs.” Drs. Katie, Stephanie, and Taryn base their treatment recommendations on accepted science and research and attend regular continuing education courses to ensure your child receives the safest and highest quality dental care. For more information on appropriate restorative materials for your child, please don’t hesitate to ask us!

Science in the News, “Pediatric Authors Evaluate Exposure to BPA from Dental Materials” September 21 2010. www.ada.org

Fleisch A, et al., “Bisphenol A and Related Compounds in Dental Materials”, Pediatrics published online Sept 6 2010; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-2693