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Association testifies on behalf of amalgam

Gaithersburg, Md.—The ADA testified Tuesday before a U.S. Food and Drug Administration Advisory Panel tasked with assessing whether amalgam regulations issued in 2009 accurately represented the strengths and weaknesses of available data.

Dr. J. Rodway Mackert, an expert on restoratives and professor of dental materials at the Medical College of Georgia, School of Dentistry, and Dr. Jonathan Knapp, a general dentist and a member of the ADA Council on Dental Practice, testified on behalf of the Association.

As its title indicates, the advisory panel can advise the FDA, but it has no authority to change amalgam regulations supported by the Association and adopted in July 2009. The federal agency at that time concluded that there was no scientific evidence linking amalgam to any disease and that it is a safe and effective restorative material.

The Association supports the FDA’s 2009 regulations and has strongly urged the advisory panel to reassure the FDA that it made the right decision then and should stick to its regulatory course in light of the scientific evidence.

During his testimony, Dr. Mackert addressed what he described as flaws in research cited by those seeking to ban amalgam.

Dr. Knapp, a general dentist from Bethel, Conn., explained why dental amalgam remains an important treatment option for restoring decayed teeth. The ADA News will update coverage after the hearing closes tomorrow.

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