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ADA Supports FDI World Dental Federation Dental Amalgam Resolution

Safety, affordability and environmental concerns addressed

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Telephone: 312-440-2806
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CHICAGO, Feb. 25, 2010—The American Dental Association (ADA) joins with the FDI World Dental Federation's recent "Resolution on Dental Amalgam," reiterating that dental amalgam is a safe, effective and affordable dental filling material that serves the oral health needs of the majority of communities around the world, particularly those most disadvantaged and in need of dental treatment.

The FDIWorld Dental Federation is a membership organization, comprised of more than 200 worldwide national dental associations and specialist groups, altogether representing more than one million dentists globally.

In the resolution, passed by the FDI General Assembly late in 2009, FDI acknowledges its responsibilities with regard to mercury and the environment, reaffirming "its commitment to upholding best environmental practices with regard to dental amalgam." The ADA likewise supports use of its own best management practices (BMPs) for the handling and disposal of waste dental amalgam and is engaged in ongoing efforts, partnering with the United States EPA, to promote those BMPs.

FDI stresses that other currently available dental filling materials may not represent "economically viable, affordable alternatives in many circumstances, most particularly in developing countries where the use of alternatives may present additional clinical, logistical, economic and infrastructure challenges."

The ADA shares the concern expressed by FDI, that "general restrictions governing the use of mercury may lead to a significant global public health problem, with respect to the delivery of dental care."

Dental amalgam is a cavity-filling material made by combining mercury with other metals such as silver, copper and tin. Numerous scientific studies conducted over the past several decades, including two large clinical trials published in the April 2006 Journal of the American Medical Association, indicate dental amalgam is a safe, effective cavity-filling material for children and others. And, in its 2009 review of the scientific literature on amalgam safety, the ADA's Council on Scientific Affairs reaffirmed that the scientific evidence continues to support amalgam as a valuable, viable and safe choice for dental patients. In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration likewise concluded that dental amalgam is a safe and effective treatment option.

The FDI's environmental concerns are consistent with those of the ADA. In addressing these concerns, the ADA was in the forefront of developing and implementing best management practices for disposal of dental amalgam waste.

About the American Dental Association

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit www.ada.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website www.MouthHealthy.org.