ANCHOR LEAD: THE FDA HAS ANNOUNCED IT WILL LOOK AGAIN AT THE ISSUE OF MENTAL TOOTH FILLINGS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
The FDA will once again address the issue of metal or amalgam fillings for teeth, with an eye to assessing the health consequences of the mercury they contain. At the same time the fillings will be reclassified as medical devices. Anthony Schwartz, a dentist at Johns Hopkins, says the whole argument could be settled with prevention.
SCHWARTZ: The best thing is to take care of your teeth and prevent the need for fillings, but there’s certainly no scientific evidence available today that amalgam fillings have caused any problems for adults so I would say to most people don’t worry about it. Certainly the idea of having one’s silver fillings removed is a bad idea because that exposes the patient to many many more times the amount of mercury than they would get in a lifetime. :23
Schwartz says most fillings these days are composite materials, not amalgam, so as time goes on the mercury containing fillings will become less and less common. One downside to composites is they’re not as durable. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.