Dental Editorial: Dentistry "Cash for Amalgam": Now Declared Safe by FDA!

Dentistry “Cash for Amalgam”: Now Declared Safe by FDA!

Cash for dental amalgam, now declared safe by FDAThe FDA has declared that mercury in dental fillings does not pose a health risk – and just when I was getting ready to suggest a “Cash for Amalgam” government stimulus package for dentistry! It worked for “Clunkers,” so why not Amalgam?

“FDA considers dental amalgam fillings safe for adults and children ages 6 and above.”
FDA website

It’s a bit of an about-face for the agency, and the news comes as a surprise to many. Last year, the FDA seemed to be inching closer to condemning silver mercury fillings, as the agency then acknowledged the data was not conclusive as regards young children, infants and fetuses.

“FDA concludes that the existing data support a finding that infants are not at risk for adverse health effects from the breast milk of women exposed to mercury vapor from dental amalgam.”

But the FDA is walking a fine line on this one. While they’re declaring amalgam safe, they also upgraded it from Class I (low risk) to Class II (moderate risk). The new label will include:

  • Warning against usage in people allergic to mercury.
  • Warning that dental professionals use adequate ventilation.
  • Statement of health risks, including inhaled mercury vapor.

The FDA seems to be acknowledging that dentists and dental professionals may be most at risk for mercury exposure. A dentist with no amalgam fillings but who places or removes them may have higher levels of systemic mercury than a patient with a mouth full of silver fillings.

Now, the FDA says its scientific review is complete, and the agency’s dental products director, Dr. Susan Runner, told the AP, “The best available scientific evidence supports the conclusion that patients with dental amalgam fillings are not at risk for mercury-associated adverse health effects.” (Read the AP report)

Are you all with me on this “Cash for Amalgam” program? Everyone can swap out their old silver fillings for nice new composite ones.

(We can even ship the amalgam to China. Then they can send it back to us in our toys or dental crowns – after all, they’ll need to replace the lead with something, right?)

Read the FDA’s statement

About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.

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