ADA reaffirms that dental amalgam is ‘durable, safe, effective’ restorative material

Washington — The ADA reaffirmed its position that dental amalgam is a “durable, safe and effective” restorative material in response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Sept. 24 statement that existing evidence shows that dental amalgam is not harmful to the general population and treatment options should be thoroughly discussed by the patient and dentist.

The FDA did note that ongoing research into amalgam and alternative restorative materials is necessary, something which the ADA also supports.

The ADA also expressed support for the FDA recommendation that “existing amalgam fillings in good condition should not be removed or replaced unless it is considered medically necessary,” according to an ADA news release.

"Dentists have used dental amalgam for a long time, and we know that it’s durable, reliable and safe," said ADA President Chad P. Gehani. "While dental amalgam is one effective restorative material, dental treatment is not one-size-fits-all. As dentists we are always working with our patients to help them make well-informed decisions based on their individual needs."

In its statement, FDA advised patients with questions to discuss all treatment options with their dental provider, “including the benefits and risks of using dental amalgam and other dental restorative materials, to help [them] make an informed decision.”

While the FDA said certain groups may be at greater risk for potential negative effects from exposure to mercury, the ADA noted in its release that agency also said there is “little to no information” known about the effects dental amalgam may have on these specific groups and stressed there “was no new scientific evidence cited as part of the FDA recommendation.”

“Patients should consult with their dentists to decide which filling material is best for them based on a number of factors, such as size and location of the cavity, patient history, cosmetic concerns and cost,” the release concluded.

For dentists who have patients with questions about the FDA news, the ADA has information on all restorative materials at