To the Editor: In his Editorial, Dr Needleman1 presents opinions that are not well supported by peer-reviewed scientific research, and he invokes medical literature without critically appraising the internal or external validity of the studies.
He states that “a number of investigations suggest that” mercury released from amalgam “has toxic consequences.” However, studies, including the 2 JAMA trials on which he is commenting, suggest that the low levels of mercury released from amalgam fillings have no toxic consequences. Brownawell et al2 reported that their recent review “uncovered no convincing evidence pointing to any adverse health effects that are attributable to dental amalgam restorations besides hypersensitivity in some individuals.”
Ismail AI. Neurotoxicity of Mercury in Dental Amalgam. JAMA. 2006;296(12):1461-1463. doi:10.1001/jama.296.12.1461-c