Written by Dentistry Today Friday, 18 March 2011 12:26
The debate over dental amalgam continues.
The United States Food and Drug Administration recently held a town hall meeting in Irving, Texas to discuss the concerns about dental amalgam. Average Americans, public health figures and dentists attended the meeting.
The issue at hand is the possible health problems caused by fillings. The new white composite fillings are the first choice for most people compared to the old silver dental amalgam fillings that contain mercury. The new fillings blend in with the tooth and are regarded as safer than the older types of fillings.
The problem is that the new fillings are more expensive and are not completely covered by all insurance plans. Fillings impact most people, considering about three-quarters of people have had a cavity before they turn 18.
The older style fillings could cause several health problems stemming from mercury poison.
The FDA wanted to hear what the average person had to say, which is why it conducted the town hall meeting.
While other countries have banned amalgam fillings, the US has not because there is still no concrete evidence that—aside from some cases with extenuating circumstances—the mercury in amalgam causes harm to humans.
There are still millions of people who haven’t had any problems with mercury. Only other underlying health issues could cause problems after mercury exposure.
The FDA is using an advisory panel to analyze the issue before any final decisions are made.