Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Dental amalgam and psychosocial status: the New England Children's Amalgam Trial.

Abstract Source:

J Dent Res. 2008 May ;87(5):470-4. PMID: 18434579

Abstract Author(s):

D C Bellinger, F Trachtenberg, A Zhang, M Tavares, D Daniel, S McKinlay

Article Affiliation:

Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.


High-dose exposures to elemental mercury vapor cause emotional dysfunction, but it is uncertain whether the levels of exposure that result from having dental amalgam restorations do so. As part of the New England Children's Amalgam Trial, a randomized trial involving 6- to 10-year-old children, we evaluated the hypothesis that restoration of caries using dental amalgam resulted in worse psychosocial outcomes than restoration using mercury-free composite resin. The primary outcome was the parent-completed Child Behavior Checklist. The secondary outcome was children's self-reports using the Behavior Assessment System for Children. Children's psychosocial status was evaluated in relation to three indices of mercury exposure: treatment assignment, surface-years of amalgam, and urinary mercury excretion. All significant associations favored the amalgam group. No evidence was found that exposure to mercury from dental amalgams was associated with adverse psychosocial outcomes over the five-year period following initial placement of amalgams.

Study Type : Human Study

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