At the follow-up three years after all amalgam fillings were removed, the experimental group reported on average decreased intensity of health complaints. Compared with the reference group the decrease for complaints related to the oral cavity and general health was statistically significant (Sjursen et al 2011).
There may be several possible explanations for the decline in reported health complaints. Reduced exposure to mercury after changing to other dental materials may be one explanation. Patients’ expectations that amalgam replacement is an effective treatment, and to no longer need to worry about having amalgam in the teeth, can also be thought to be factors that could have affected the result. The general care and interest that patients over time have experienced in connection with treatment and follow-up can also be thought to have had an impact on the reduction of health complaints.
About the project
Twenty randomly selected patients, examined by the Adverse Reaction Unit during the period from 1993 to 1999, had all amalgam fillings replaced with other materials and have been followed for 5 years after the replacement including blood tests, questionnaires and psychological testing.
The project objective is to gain knowledge regarding changes in health complaints over time after removal of amalgam fillings in patients with suspected adverse effects from amalgam.
Data from the project has been presented at several international scientific conferences and data from follow-up after three years is published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation (Sjursen et al 2011). Changes over time of trace elements and cytokines in serum are also studied in the project (Björkman et al 2012).
Patient perception of health complaints, and the changes over time, is the theme of two qualitative studies related to a PhD-project at the University of Bergen. Aspects that have not been adequately considered through questionnaire may be uncovered through research interviews.