A recent article in the June 2006 issue of Cancer Research, presents findings from a study which concluded that laboratory rats exposed to bisphenol A, an environmental estrogen, and estradiol, a naturally occurring form of the hormone estrogen, had increased susceptibility to precancerous prostate lesions. A common misperception in dentistry is that bisphenol A is present in dental sealants, which are frequently placed on teeth for caries prevention.

As noted in a 1999 report from the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, “there is no evidence to suggest a link between any adverse health condition and bisphenol A leached out of dental sealants.” The report also evaluated blood samples of dentists (with and without sealants on their teeth), and found no BPA in the blood samples of either group of dentists.

Researchers have concluded that bisphenol A is not used as an ingredient in the manufacture of resin-based dental sealants. Among the many manufacturers of dental sealants, only one product may result in trace levels of bisphenol A (detectable only in saliva, not in serum) up to 3 hours after a sealant is placed. This is due to the hydrolysis and salivary esterase conversion of BisDMA, an ingredient not used in sealants made by other manufacturers.

While the study demonstrated low-dose effects on laboratory rats, further research is required and based on the scientific evidence, there are no adverse health risks, including prostate cancer, that are known to result from dental sealants.

[www.ada.org, June 26, 2006]