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American Dental Association objects to The Doctor Oz Show segment on dental amalgam

March 28, 2013

Contact Information:
Telephone: 312.440.2806
Email: (Journalists) or Contact ADA (All Others)

CHICAGO, March 28, 2013 — The American Dental Association (ADA) strongly objects to the recent segment about dental amalgam, broadcast on a March 28 segment of "The Dr. Oz Show" and its reliance on sensationalism while ignoring sound science.

"As a physician, Dr. Oz missed an opportunity to educate his viewers, and instead focused on conjecture rather than fact," said ADA President Dr. Robert Faiella.

The segment, entitled "Are Your Silver Fillings Making You Sick?" erroneously portrays dental amalgam, or silver-colored fillings, as a health risk, when in fact not one credible scientific study supports such a position. The segment ignored that major U.S. and international health and scientific organizations, such as the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the ADA agree that, based on extensive scientific evidence, dental amalgam is safe and effective for patients. Producers for the Doctor Oz show also rejected requests by the ADA to provide credible scientific experts to participate in the program.

Other organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Alzheimer’s Association have previously posted public statements about amalgam based on scientific evidence, which may be accessed at: Dental Amalgam: What Others Say.

The demonstration on the Dr. Oz Show related to brushing amalgam fillings in a synthetic mouth model and measuring vapor does not simulate real world conditions in the mouth. For example, the mouth model is in a closed, dry environment, yet people have saliva in their mouths. The water protein barrier in the mouth reduces vapor activity. The amount of vapor released from amalgam fillings is so small it’s in the billionths of a single ounce. A noted researcher calculated that it would take nearly 300 amalgam fillings in real life for even the most sensitive person to exhibit symptoms.

Dental amalgam is one of several safe and effective choices available to dental patients. It is a durable, cost-effective, long-lasting filling material, making it appropriate for restoring back teeth, and more affordable than gold or tooth-colored fillings made of composite resins.

"Of course, the best outcome is no filling at all," said Dr. Faiella. "A tremendous amount of dental decay can be prevented simply by brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, eating a balanced diet and visiting the dentist regularly. Sadly, that is the most important public service message that Dr. Oz failed to deliver."

For more information on dental amalgam, please read the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs statement.
For information on all forms of restorative materials, visit the American Dental Association’s website at MouthHealthy.

Editor’s Note: Reporters are invited to follow the ADA on Twitter @AmerDentalAssn

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 163,000 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 For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website