Dental Insider Blog

Observation and Commentary On the Dental Industry

Mercury Tooth Fillings: FDA Does an About Face

Posted by dentalinsider on December 1, 2008

I missed this one when it came out…better late than never…

When you’re sitting in the dentist’s chair waiting to have a cavity filled, you don’t see the package the amalgam filling comes in. But if you did your eye might well be drawn to a couple of “contraindications,” med-speak for “situations in which the dentist should not use this product.” In addition to ho-hum warnings about not using the amalgam, which contains about as much mercury as a thermometer, in patients known to be allergic to amalgam (duh), the manufacturers say it should not be used in children age 6 and under, or in pregnant women.

You can read the full article here.

Source: Newsweek



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7 Responses to “Mercury Tooth Fillings: FDA Does an About Face”

  1. Dick McManus, DMD. said

    Well,I couldn’t open the link to the article but I opened the MFG info sheets on three different amalgam alloys. Tytin from Kerr, Valiant PHD from Vivadent and Original D from Wykle research and as I suspected there are no such warnings on any of the three MFG recommendations for the use of their alloys. Now things change, and as I say I didn’t read the article but if you are claiming that dentist have been placing alloy against mfg recommendations that is not true; in fact, the Tytin MFG sheet says, “The US food & Drug administration and the World Health Orginization have stated that there is no basis for any restrictions on the use of amalgams”
    Dick McManus

  2. Doc,

    The link opens fine, if you still cant open it, shoot me an email and I will email you the article.


  3. Dick McManus, DMD. said – 06-03-2008 –

    This is the 6/08 FDA recommendations from there web site.

    Dick McManus

  4. Dick McManus, DMD. said

    I have reread the FDA recommendations and although I could be mistaken there is nothing in the “white paper” to indicate that children under 6 or pregnant women are at risk; nor has the FDA made any new recommendations and there is certainly no “About Face” concerning the FDA and Silver amalgam. The Newsweek article is a joke just like the rest of the magazine.

    Dick McManus

    DI – Thanks, the article did finally open for me.

  5. Dental Scholar said

    The possibility, remote or not, that amalgam debris may have been left inside a patient’s mouth after surgery is indeed a cause for concern. Some patients who believe this has happened to them have reported suffering from headaches, fatigue, skin pallor, and other symptoms of illness following the surgery. Mercury poisoning is a viable possibility. The potential consequences of long term exposure to amalgam debris are both unknown and unlimited. There is no …read more here

  6. Dick McManus, DMD. said

    Well, I’ve been packing alloy for 35 years and the only test for mercury toxicity (a urine test) tells me that my Hg levels are too low to measure. How could that be?

    Alloy does not release mercury vapor constantly. When chewing on the surface of the alloy it will release a very small amount of vapor that, until the 90’s, could not be measured by any of the available instruments. The alloy in your mouth is not a concern; however, once the alloy get in the waste stream it can frequently get heated at waste treatment facilities or in my area of the country in a incinerator. When heated the release of HG vapor is very real and a concern and should be avoided. This is why we have mercury separators in our office now to keep the alloy out of the waste stream to keep it from being heated. We do not throw extracted teeth with alloy fillings in the trash as they will get incinerated or burned at a landfil.

    The alloy debris in wounds is a very small issue. The stuff shows up on x-rays so well that it’s no secret that it’s there and we see it but not very often and once the wound has healed the alloy cannot be irritated (as in chewing) so there will be no release of vapor so there is no concern. In ancient time they drank Hg as a cure for stomach irritation and it came out the same as it went in. It’s the vapor that is harmful not the material itself.

    You have the right to have any type filling placed in your mouth that you wish. If you do not wish alloy for whatever reason just tell your dentist. It’s as simple as that. I do not believe however that you have the right to tell me I cannot use alloy in my patients that request it. The Dental scholar is not spreading accurate info and has confused the issues so completely I doubt he has spent any time researching the issue but just spreads false info from other web sites that pretent to be “scholars”.

    Dick McManus

  7. Rick Lindquist said

    Much ado about nothing.
    That’s all that can be said regarding the ‘great amalgam debate’
    Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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