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Dental Amalgam Toolkit

Dental Amalgam Toolkit

 OVERVIEW  | REGULATIONS & GUIDELINES | BEST PRACTICES | INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES | PATIENT RESOURCES  


Overview             

Dental amalgam is a dental filling material used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. It has been used for more than 150 years in hundreds of millions of patients.

Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals, consisting of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper. Approximately 50% of dental amalgam is elemental mercury by weight.

Dental amalgam fillings are also known as “silver fillings” because of their silver-like appearance.

When placing dental amalgam, the dentist first drills the tooth to remove the decay and then shapes the tooth cavity for placement of the amalgam filling. Next, under appropriate safety conditions, the dentist mixes the powdered alloy with the liquid mercury to form an amalgam putty. (These components are provided to the dentist in a capsule as shown in the graphic.) This softened amalgam putty is placed in the prepared cavity, where it hardens into a solid filling.

Source: FDA

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Regulations & Guidelines                     

FDA


(1) Regulation of Dental Amalgams

(2) White Paper: Response to 2006 Joint Advisory Addendum to the Dental Amalgam  Panel Comments and Recommendations

ADA

(1) Statement on Dental Amalgam

(2) Dental Amalgam: What Others Say

(3) ADA Statement on Proposed EPA Amalgam Rule

(4) Amalgam Waste Best Management

EPA

(1) Mercury in Dental Amalgam

(2) Dental Effluent Guidelines (Draft)

(3) Fact Sheet

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Best Practices                  
Key Learnings as of January 2015

Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively, and has established a record of safety and effectiveness.

Related Articles

 FDA updates consumer advisory

FAQs

(1) Columbia University College of Dental Medicine - Types of Fillings

(2) California Dental Board – The Facts About Fillings

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Instructional Resources                  
Interactive Tutorial AGD - The Life of a Tooth 
Fact Sheets

(1)California Dental Association – Oral Health Fact Sheets

(2) USAF Dental Evaluation & Consultation Service – Amalgam Safety  

(3) USAF Dental Evaluation & Consultation Service –Amalgam Safety and Children

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Patient Resources               
FDA

(1) Dental Amalgam

(2) About Dental Amalgam Fillings

 MedlinePlus

(1) Dental Amalgam

(2) Tooth Decay

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