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Dental Amalgam

Overview

Dental amalgam (or "silver-colored filling") is a durable metal alloy comprised of silver, copper and tin, in addition to mercury, which binds these components into a hard, stable substance. It has been used to safely restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans.

Dental amalgam has an established record of safety and effectiveness, which the scientific community has extensively reviewed and affirmed. Moreover, the ADA encourages dental offices to follow its Best Management Practices for Amalgam Waste, which will help reduce discharges of used amalgam into dental office wastewater.

Letters and Testimony

  • December 15, 2010—ADA testimony delivered by Drs. Rod Mackert (PDF) and Jon Knapp (PDF) to FDA panel examining the science behind the agency's 2009 rule on dental amalgam.
  • December 14, 2010—ADA statement (PDF) to FDA panel examining the science behind the agency's 2009 rule on dental amalgam
  • August 11, 2010—Letter (PDF) to the State Department regarding a possible mercury control treaty.
  • May 26, 2010—Testimony (PDF) of William J. Walsh to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's Domestic Policy Subcommittee, on the memorandum of understanding ("MOU") with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).
  • April 4, 2010—Letter (PDF) sharing scientific information with EPA on potential releases of mercury from amalgam-related sources into the environment
  • February 24, 2010—Letter (PDF) urging members of the House to oppose H.R. 4615, the Consumers Have Options for Molar Protection Act. 
  • September 15, 2009—Letter (PDF) urging members of Congress to oppose H. Res. 648 on the grounds that it contains false and misleading statements about the toxicity of dental amalgam. 
  • August 12, 2009—Letter (PDF) commending the FDA for allowing credible, peer-reviewed science to guide its final rule categorizing encapsulated dental amalgam as a Class II medical device. 
  • June 23, 2009—Letter (PDF) commending the Environmental Protection Agency for its ongoing efforts to help promote the Association's Best Management Practices for Amalgam Waste. 
  • July 28, 2008—Comments (PDF) on the FDA's proposal to reclassify encapsulated dental amalgam and dental mercury as Class II devices and add special packaging and labeling controls for amalgam alloy. 
  • July 8, 2008—Testimony (PDF) of William J. Walsh to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's Domestic Policy Subcommittee, on voluntary efforts to limit the environmental impact of dental amalgam. 
  • December 21, 2007—Comments (PDF) on the EPA's proposals to study an amalgam pretreatment requirement for dental offices. 
  • November 14, 2007—Testimony (PDF) to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's Domestic Policy Subcommittee, on the regulation of dental amalgam and its impact on the environment. 
  • October 25, 2007—Comments (PDF) by the ADA, et al., on the draft Mercury in Products Phase-Down Strategy. 
  • September 7, 2006—Testimony (PDF) of Dr. Milton V. Marshall to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA's) Dental Products Advisory Panel, supporting the safety of dental amalgam. 
  • September 6, 2006—Testimony (PDF) of Dr. Amid Ismail to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA's) Dental Products Advisory Panel, supporting the safety of dental amalgam. 
  • September 6, 2006—Testimony (PDF) of Dr. Ronald R. Zentz to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA's) Dental Products Advisory Panel, supporting the safety of dental amalgam. 

ADA Resources

Additional Resources

Contact Us

For additional information, please contact:

Federal Affairs
1111 14th Street NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
202.898.2400
Fax: 202.898.2437
Email: govtpol@ada.org 
  State Government Affairs
ADA Chicago Headquarters
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
312.440.2525
Fax: 312.440.3539
Email: govtpol@ada.org