We may never know the truth about dental amalgams, but we are getting closer. On December 15th and 16th of 2010 the FDA heard an advisory panel of toxicology, risk assessment, epidemiology, and pediatric medical and dental professionals, to discuss the dangers of the amalgams being used in dentistry.
Although over the years the FDA has agreed that amalgams are safe, they seem to be changing their minds. The board demonstrated that dental amalgams are a class III on the medical device classification. This scale rates the devices used for medical treatments based on safety for the patient, safety for the environment, and the effectiveness of the treatment. A class III on this scale means there is insufficient information available with regard to the effectiveness and safety of the device through general or special controls. In other words, a class III medical device puts the patient at greater risk than that of a class I or class II treatment solution would.
The hearing resulted in further study on the amalgam materials and review of the FDA. We hope to see a ruling in early to mid February. We will wait on the edge of our seats to see what the ruling will be.