California City Says No to Silver Fillings

Costa Mesa, California has become the first city in the United States to call for an immediate end to dental amalgam, the controversial filling material that is 50% mercury.  Voting 5-0 on 19 October 2010, the Costa Mesa City Council adopted the resolution sponsored by Councilman Gary Monahan that (1) calls on federal and state agencies to eliminate amalgam, (2) asks dentists in Costa Mesa to cease using mercury and switch to non-toxic alternatives, and (3) requests that the other 33 cities in Orange County join Costa Mesa in opposing dental mercury. 

 While as a resolution, it does not ban amalgam, it is an important step toward ending this health and environmental scourge.

The problems with dental amalgam are 2-fold.  One, the material is 50% mercury and the controversy arises about it's toxicity.  For every study that says the material is potentially toxic, there is a study that says it is not toxic.  Two, the material does not add strength back to the tooth and in factmakes the tooth more likely to fracture, as the material expands and contracts.  Composite resins and ceramic restorations have become the choices of many people in the 21st century.

Costa Mesa is not the only area to see the problems in dental amalgam.  Japan and most of western Europe do not use amalgam fillings, and have not used them for many years.  We stopped placing these type of fillings in our office 20 years ago.  We have excellent alternatives, composite resins and ceramics are tooth colored, contain no mercury, and reinforce the remaining tooth structure.

Bryan Police Department and NET

Monday I walked up to the front of my office and to my surprise I saw a police officer using my telephone.  I didn't know if I was in trouble or if there was trouble in the office.  Kimm then introduced me to Officer Albert Neveu.  Officer Neveu explained to me that he is a member of the Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET),  and is assigned to our neighborhood.  Bryan Police Chief Eric Buske has implemented this program to build partnerships with Bryan residents, business owners and religious leaders to foster better community involvement in problem solving. Officer Neveu had just come from answering a call in our area and had asked to use our phone to file his report.  He told us that he is permanently assigned to our area, and that he is our liason to the City of Bryan for issues ranging from quality of life issues, ongoing criminal acts, and visual plight, both on city and private properties. 

This is such a novel idea that we had to get some photos with Officer Neveu.   He is a very personable and I want to commend Chief Buske and the City of Bryan for utilizing this NET program.  I am sure that it will pay large dividends.