An advisory committee from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended the FDA look at information regarding mercury amalgam in dental fillings that may be harmful to patients. Amalgam fillings are made of various metals; 50 percent of the content is mercury, and toxicity of mercury is well documented. However, the data on amalgam fillings are limited.
Many dental professionals like to use amalgam fillings because they are less expensive and more durable than resin composite fillings. The American Dental Association (ADA) and the FDA agree that the amalgam fillings are safe. Other experts believe that mercury from these fillings can penetrate the body and bloodstream and damage human cells, specifically in the brain, bones, and kidneys. The extent of the damage has not been determined, which is why the advisory committee has come back to this issue.
During a recent public hearing, 30 people, including dental professionals and patients, testified both for and against amalgam fillings.
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