Should special precautions be taken with pregnant women or with children?
Dentists consider a number of factors in determining treatment for children and for pregnant patients. Assuming that they are aware of the pregnancy, and in consultation with the patient, dentists may recommend alternative restorative materials, other forms of treatment, or delay of treatment. In many instances amalgam presents the best possible option for restorative treatment.
There is no scientific evidence of ill effects, although mercury is known to cross the placenta. A stakeholder committee convened by Health Canada concluded that while “the research evidence did not support excluding children, pregnant or lactating women…from receiving amalgam fillings…common sense dictated that pregnant women should avoid any elective medical or dental intervention until after delivery.”
Most children today have far fewer cavities than in the past, and, consequently, less exposure to mercury. Dentists give special consideration to restorative treatment for children and any concerns expressed by parents. Dental amalgam offers distinct advantages in many cases. Alternative materials are considered when suitable and recommended as indicated.