Policies on Dental Amalgam

Development of national public health policy requires consideration of both scientific research and experiential data. It is often influenced by the views of governmental and private health organizations with specialized knowledge about a particular subject. It is instructive, therefore, to examine the policy views that exist on dental amalgam. This is a useful process in the formulation of guidance to the Nation's dental care providers who look to the U.S. Public Health Service, among others, for expert advice on known and potential hazards and acceptable standards of practice. The policy views of others can also serve as guideposts for policy makers in the PHS who must decide on new program initiatives and the priority and funding levels that should be assigned to them.

Taken together, these policy statements reflect a general consensus that appears to be supportable by the latest scientific knowledge.

Canadian Dental Association, 1986

National Board of Health and Welfare of Sweden, June 1988

Food and Drug Administration, October 1990

American Dental Association, December 1990

National Institute of Dental Research, March 1991

U.S. Public Health Service, March 1991

Federal Dentaire Internationale, June 1991

Federal Public Health Office of Germany, 1992

Swedish Medical Research Council, June 1992

During 1991-92, the U.S. Public Health Service Committee to Coordinate Environmental Health and Related Programs conducted a thorough assessment of the risks and benefits associated with dental amalgam, including a critical evaluation of the most current scientific information. Based upon those reviews, the PHS reaffirms its policy statement issued in March 1991 (as excerpted above). A full discussion of the rationale for this reaffirmation is discussed in Appendix VII of this report.

U.S. Public Health Service, Committee to Coordinate Environmental Health and Related Programs, December 1992.

Return to Table of Contents

Return to Committee Reports Page