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IAOMT Presents Award To IAOMT-Phils' Dr Lillian Ebuen

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Las Vegas, NV (10 September 2017) - Dr. Lillian Lasaten-Ebuen, President and Executive Director of the International Association of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) - Philippines was awarded today with the Dr Stephen Koral plaque of recognition by IAOMT International. The award is also the first to be given to an international chapter of IAOMT.


"It's unexpected. I am overwhelmed."€, exclaims Dr Ebuen. "It's a great honor to be praised by an organization that I highly respect.€

The award acknowledges and appreciates Dr. Ebuen's dedication in bringing the issue of dental amalgam toxicity to the public eye. Since establishing IAOMT-Philippines in 2008, Dr. Ebuen has been putting up the good fight and has been leading the call for mercury-free dentistry in the Philippines.

Mercury is a major component in dental amalgam fillings, a tooth restoration material preferred and believed to be safe by a majority of dentists for decades. However, continuous research by organizations such as IAOMT has revealed that its mercury component is far from innate and that long-term, continuous exposure - either to inhalation or direct physical contact can have negative effects on one's health .

Having experienced the detrimental effects of chronic dental mercury exposure herself, she made it a personal campaign to research and then to educate her patients and her colleagues about dental mercury. Dismissed at first, Dr. Ebuen and IAOMT-Philippines eventually gained the support of other dentists, NGOs, and even government agencies in her campaign to the phase-out of dental mercury use.

With the signing of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Philippines is reviewing its laws on mercury and mercury-containing products and Dr. Ebuen and IAOMT-Philippines has actively participated in drafting policies specific to the dental sector.

Be SMART

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Like handling and placing amalgam fillings, dental amalgam removal is risky. Without the proper protocols, mercury is released to the environment through vapour emissions and microscopic dental amalgam debris.

The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) has set guidelines for its safe removal. Known as SMART (Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique) protects the dentist, staff, patient, and environment from mercury exposure. For more details, check out IAOMT's information page on SMART.

World Will Be Two Steps Closer To Abating Mercury Damage

CHAMPIONSGATE, Fla., July 12, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This summer, the world is taking two essential steps toward abating the damage caused by dental mercury fillings.

Actions by both the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to restrict the use of dental mercury are being commended by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), a network of dentists, scientists, and other professionals. They have been researching the deleterious effects of dental mercury since 1984 and began calling for a complete ban on mercury fillings in 1985.


The EPA utilized measures in the Clean Water Act to develop standards requiring that dental offices install amalgam separators. This requirement will go into effect on Friday, July 14, and the EPA has estimated that it could reduce the discharge of mercury by 5.1 tons annually.

Now, the IAOMT is calling for the next steps needed to fully protect the globe from the adverse effects of dental mercury on human health and the environment. All silver-colored dental fillings, often called "amalgams," contain approximately 50% mercury. Dental mercury is known to pollute waterways and wildlife, and it is the predominant source of mercury exposure to people who have these fillings in their bodies. This creates an array of potential health risks for these patients.

Amalgam separators reduce mercury released from dental offices into the environment. For this reason, the EPA utilized measures in the Clean Water Act to develop standards requiring that dental offices install amalgam separators.

This requirement will go into effect on Friday, July 14, and the EPA has estimated that it could reduce the discharge of mercury by 5.1 tons annually.
However, the IAOMT notes that the EPA should also require routine maintenance for amalgam separators so that they do not fail and so that additional releases of mercury do not occur. It should also be remembered that amalgam separators only reduce dental mercury in wastewater and do not address the impact of mercury/silver fillings on human health.

Meanwhile, UNEP's Minamata Convention on Mercury will enter into force on August 16. This global agreement to reduce mercury usage includes initiatives to phase down the use of dental mercury. As part of this effort, a new EU mercury regulation plans to prohibit the use of dental mercury amalgam for vulnerable populations (pregnant or breastfeeding women, children under 15 years old), require amalgam separators in dental offices, and provide for discussion about ending dental mercury use in the European Union by 2030.

A number of countries have already banned or strictly limited the use of dental mercury. Shockingly, the use of mercury in dentistry continues in the US without any restrictions by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that pregnant women, children, and all other American populations are still having mercury fillings placed in their mouths. Subpopulations in the US known to have higher rates of mercury filling placement include Black/African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives/Asians/Pacific Islanders, and members of the United States Armed Forces.

"The world is getting healthier this summer with these latest actions against dental mercury," IAOMT President Tammy DeGregorio, DMD, ND stated. "But to truly protect people and the environment, the use of dental mercury must completely end for all patients, all dental offices, and all global regions."

NEWS VIA THE INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF ORAL MEDICINE AND TOXICOLOGY (IAOMT)

Dental Mercury's Toxic Journey

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IAOMT presents a clear picture of how dental amalgam finds its way into the environment. Like coal and mining industries, mercury released by the dental sector is quite significant. Check out this 5 minute video. Click here for the jump.

Bantay Ngipin 2017

Dental amalgam fillings, erroneously known as "silver fillings"€, is composed of 50 percent mercury and has been the dominant dental restorative material for the past century. Due to its low-cost and durability, it has been the dental restorative material of choice in low and middle class countries such as the Philippines. However, mercury is a neurotoxin and exposure can produce harmful effects such as neurological and behavioral disorders, lung and kidney problems, and even death. Children and women of child-bearing age are particularly vulnerable to mercury poisoning.

The International Association of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) in the Philippines is aiming to reduce dental mercury use in the country via addressing caries prevalence through basic dental health education and care. IAOMT believes that the best cure to dental health problems is prevention and it is vital to teach children and other sectors the importance of observing nutrition and proper dental care.

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altOur "Bantay Ngipin"€ program, dismisses the idea that dental health care is a luxury. Since its inception in 2009, IAOMT-Philippines has been actively promoting and providing dental health care and services to communities. In 2014, IAOMT-Philippines launched a partnership with Gota de Leche, a non-profit organization working to fill the nutritional needs of children.

IAOMT is looking to supplement this important public service by reaching out to other communities. And as such, we joined forces with the Behavioral Sciences Department of the University in the Philippines in Manila to help bring our campaign outside the National Capital Region.

BANTAY NGIPIN IN BOTOLAN, ZAMBALES

With the assistance of Prof. Tess de Guzman and her team, we were able to extend our "Bantay Ngipin" project to Barangay Palis,an Aeta resettlement area in Botolan, Zambales.

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On our first visit, we conducted distributed tooth brushes and taught children proper tooth brushing. Later, our volunteer dentists - Dr. Avelina Jahns and Dr, Estrelita Pensotes - together with Dr, Lillian Ebuen, provided basic dental services to the children in the community.

We wish to continue our "Bantay Ngipin"€ program and eventually reach out to other communities in dire need of dental services. We believe that through sustained education, services, and monitoring; IAOMT-Philippines will help in reducing dental caries prevalence and the use of dental amalgam fillings.

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