Bangladesh Dental Society-BDS and Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO jointly organized a round table meeting to propose changes in Dental School Curriculum. At the meeting, professionals and environmental experts emphasized the need of education and hand on knowledge of mercury free alternatives for the next generation of dentists. They urged the authority to exclude dental amalgam from dental school curriculum and to adopt mercury-free alternatives.
Experts in the meeting on “Dental Collage Curriculum Revision and Adoption” say, Amalgam emits mercury vapor when it is implanted into the body. It crosses the placenta, accumulates in the fetus and cause serious damage. Mercury dental amalgam is the known health risk for children, pregnant women, nursing infants and people with impaired kidney function. Due to mercury exposure from amalgam in the workplace, dentists, students, the technician and patients may suffer from the problems of elevated mercury level in blood. Amalgam pollutes air, water and soil via dental clinic release. Experts describe that once mercury is released into the environment, it gets converted into more toxic methylmercury. It acts as the major source of mercury pollution in fishes we eat. Many alternatives such as glass ionomers, resin composites are now available. The harmful impact of dental amalgam and the necessity of using alternatives is not yet involved in the dental school curriculum of Bangladesh.
Mr. Syed Marghub Murshed, Former Secretary, Govt. of Bangladesh and Chairperson of ESDO recommended the need of medical and dental council (BMDC) initiative to change and adoption of dental education curricula. He urged the professionals and dentists to come forward and work hand in hand to eliminate mercury from dental care and education.
BDS President Prof. Abul Kashem said, we need to take joint initiative to revise the current dental curriculum and adopt a new chapter of alternatives of mercury amalgam. He said its our duty and responsibility to protect public health from mercury pollution.
Dr. Shahriar Hossain, Executive Vice President of World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry also attended the meeting, he highlited to World Alliance initiatives of mercury-free dentistry and Minamata Convention ratification and implementation process.
Amongst other Dr. Humayun Kabir Bulbul, Secretary General, BDS; Siddika Sultana, Executive Director of ESDO; Executive members of BDS and dental professionals involved in dental curriculum were present at the meeting.
At the end of the event, all the invited dental professionals expressed their willingness to work and assist ESDO and BDS to ensure mercury free dentistry and ultimately a mercury free environment.