FDA warns of dental amalgam risk for pregnant women and children

June 9, 2008

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated its position on dental amalgam by stating that the mercury within the substance may pose risks to pregnant women, fetuses, and children.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated its position on dental amalgam by stating that the mercury within the substance may pose risks to pregnant women, fetuses, and children.

According to the FDA, "Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses.... Pregnant women and persons who may have a health condition that makes them more sensitive to mercury exposure...should not avoid seeking dental care, but should discuss options with their health practitioner."

A 2006 advisory panel had concluded that there was inadequate information to judge whether children or pregnant women should altogether avoid the use of dental amalgam fillings. However, from April 28 to July 28, 2008, the FDA is fielding comments regarding the possible classification of dental amalgam as a class II device with special controls.

The updated warning can be found on the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health section of their website (http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/consumer/amalgams.html).