“In a stunning move made without fanfare or headlines, the American Dental Association (ADA) has retreated from its decades-long, steadfast support for (mercury-based) amalgam, aka ‘silver’ fillings in teeth.
The change in policy appeared in an updated, 2022 version of the ADA’s ‘Use of Amalgam as Restorative Material’ on its website. Significantly, the revised policy now says the ADA supports the globally recognized need to reduce environmental mercury as set forth in the Minamata Convention on Mercury (September 2019) as a common good, and recognizes the responsibility of dentists to care for their patients’ well-being …
Mercury is a heavy metal known to be poisonous to the human nervous system. Dental amalgam is a tooth filling material that is approximately 50% mercury. While it is recognized as a hazard to human health, many dentists still use amalgam despite having viable alternative filling materials for restorative procedures.
The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. One of its goals is to end the use of amalgam worldwide.
In the past, the ADA has steadfastly refused to align with this goal, but the rewording of its policy shows that the ADA is taking the convention seriously. While they still haven’t outright conceded that amalgam is unsafe, the policy revision is stunning and encouraging, said Charlie Brown, national counsel for Consumers for Dental Choice. With your support, we can keep push out amalgam use entirely — for everyone.”
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