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Bisphenol A Benefits in Dentistry May Outweigh Risks

Researchers suggest they continue to be applied in childhood dentistry with precautionary techniques

TUESDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Bisphenol A (BPA) and BPA derivatives have endocrine-disrupting and estrogenic properties and may pose a health risk, but their benefits may outweigh potential risks when they are used with care in childhood dentistry, according to research published online Sept. 6 in Pediatrics.

Abby F. Fleisch, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues evaluated literature regarding BPA content of materials used for dental sealants and fillings to assess the potential risks of exposure to these materials and develop guidelines for reducing BPA exposure and promoting dental health.

The researchers found that BPA was detectable in the saliva of resin recipients up to three hours after placement. They could not determine the quantity and duration of BPA absorption from the available data, but found that dental products with BPA derivative glycidyl dimethacrylate had less estrogenicity and were less likely to hydrolize to BPA than those with BPA dimethacrylate, and that exposure to BPA could be lessened by cleaning and rinsing dental materials immediately after they are placed.

"On the basis of the proven benefits of resin-based dental materials and the brevity of BPA exposure, we recommend continued use with strict adherence to precautionary application techniques. Use of these materials should be minimized during pregnancy whenever possible. Manufacturers should be required to report complete information on the chemical composition of dental products and encouraged to develop materials with less estrogenic potential," the authors write.

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