placing sealantAccording to the logic of the American Dental Association, the BPA released from many dental sealants is “safe” because kids get more exposure to this endocrine disrupting chemical from other products.

We didn’t say we understand how that logic works. We can say that it totally sidesteps the fact that exposure from sealants does occur.

Now a new paper in Environmental Research suggests some of the scope of the problem.

An international research team studied the composition of 70 dental resins available for sealant use in the US, representing 19 brands from 15 manufacturers. Of these, 65 were found to contain either BPA or bisphenol A diglycidyl ethers (BADGEs).

That’s over 90% of all products.

And it’s in line with the results of a survey of 130 resins marketed in Europe. Over 86% of them were found to be based on BPA-derivatives. Only 18 products were completely BPA-free.

In the US study, researchers

found that 65 of the 70 sealants contained at least one of eight bisphenol analogues. Among these analogues, BPA was the most abundant (46%), at concentrations that ranged from below quantification levels to 1,070 µg/g. The group noted that unpolymerized BPA-based monomers can leach into saliva, followed by systemic absorption into the bloodstream.

Bisphenol F was the second most abundant bisphenol found, with a detection rate of 24% and concentrations ranging from below quantification levels to 374 ng/g. Other bisphenols were less frequently detected.

BADGE levels were found as high as 1780 µg/g.

And the worst case scenario? The authors noted that

The worst-case exposure scenario with the highest measured concentration of total BPs and BADGEs and application on 8 teeth at 8 mg each yielded an estimated daily intake (EDI) of 1670 and 5850 ng/kg·bw/day for adults and children, respectively. Although the EDI is below the specific migration limit set by the European Food Safety Authority, dental sealants are a source of exposure to BPs and BADGEs, especially in children.

Because of this, “It would be ideal to have BPA/BADGE-free dental sealant to avoid exposures in people who receive sealants and dentists who apply sealants,” noted one of the study’s authors.

We agree. And they do exist. And the conscientious biological or holistic dentist will do their utmost to make sure that only those resins are used when placing sealants.

But what if you or your child already has BPA-releasing materials in your mouth? The safest and sanest thing to do is leave them there. The greatest exposure has already happened. Within a week of placement, BPA release dwindles to near zero. Removing the sealant would only subject the teeth to unnecessary trauma while delivering very little benefit.

Then, if your dentist recommends sealant again, make sure the new one is BPA-free.

Image via Studio Dentaire

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