Thursday, January 29, 2009

Formocresol Blood Levels in Children

Formocresol is a solution used by dentists for over 100 years as a medicament in baby teeth requiring the removal of pulpal tissue (pulpotomies). The solution used by most dentists is composed of 19% formaldehyde, 35% cresol in a vehicle of 15% glycerin and water. Concern has always been expressed about the exposure of these chemicals to young children and the impact on their health.

In a great study by Jeff Kahl and his colleagues, he showed that:
  1. Formaldehyde is undetectable above baseline physiologic concentrations in plasma
  2. Cresol is undetectable in plasma in patients receiving treatment
  3. Benzyl alcohol was detected in plasma but in levels far below the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) recommended daily allowance
  4. It is unlikely that formocresol when used in doses typically employed for vital pulpotomoies pose any risk to children

Source: Kahl J et al, Formocresol Blood Levels in Children Receiving Dental Treatment Under General Anesthesia, Pediatr Dent, 2008;30:393-9.

Take care

Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD
Promenade Court Dental Health Group in Mississauga
2233 Hurontario St., Mississauga, ON, Canada
(1/2 km north of the QEW in the Dome Building)
(905) 273-7100