Position on Amalgam

*Under Review 

Dental amalgam has been used as a restorative material in dentistry for over 150 years. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that there is “more significant human experience with dental amalgam than any other restorative material.” The National Dental Association (NDA) supports the findings of the

FDA, The National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), the National Institutes of Health Technology Assessment Conference, The U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) that dental amalgam is a safe and effective restorative material.

Dental amalgam is an alloy formed by combining various metals including silver, copper, tin and mercury. Mercury chemically binds these components into a hard, stable and safe substance. Under the Code of Federal Regulation Title 21-Sec. 872-3050 amalgam alloy is identified as a medical device that is used to form a filling material for the treatment of dental caries. Under standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the maximum “safe” occupational dose of mercury-vapor concentration that the most sensitive of workers can be chronically exposed without suffering adverse effects is approximately three hundred (300) to five hundred (500) micrograms (ug) per day. A microgram is one millionth of a gram. Estimates predict that people with moderate to large number of amalgam fillings are only exposed to one (1) to three (3) micrograms of mercury vapor daily.

In addition, USPHS scientists analyzed approximately 175 peer-reviewed studies submitted in support of amalgam in response to three (3) citizens petitions received by the FDA after the 1993 scientific report about the safety and use of dental amalgam. There is no scientifically valid evidence correlating systemic disease with dental amalgam. Consequently, the relative risk of mercury anaphylaxis is negligible.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 April 2012 05:52 )


The National Dental Association (NDA) seeks to provide continued advancement of the highest quality of oral health care and safety for the public. As a resource to key decision makers and the public on a variety of oral health issues, it is our goal to provide timely, evidenced and researched based perspectives. Position papers are reviewed periodically by our policy committee for reaffirmation, updating or expiration. An update concerning a specific recommendation in a paper is released when warranted.