SAN FRANCISCO--The American Dental Association House of Delegates has called for the creation of a brochure to help patients understand the materials used to create dental fillings and the advantages and disadvantages.
Areas to be covered would include ease of placement, durability and relative costs of each type of filling.
Although this information has been available to the public for years through the ADA Web site and other outlets, the association wants to ensure its availability to all dentists and their patients in a consistent, comprehensive, easy-to-understand format.
The ADA particularly wants patients to have accurate information about dental amalgam, a silver-colored alloy made from mercury, silver, copper and tin that dentists have used for generations to fill decayed teeth.
Once the most commonly used filling material, it has been surpassed in popularity by tooth-colored composites. It nevertheless remains a safe and valued treatment option for some patients, particularly those needing large fillings in back teeth or who have special needs.
Despite a wealth of scientific evidence supporting the continued availability of amalgam as a safe and effective treatment option, both the mainstream media and the Internet frequently carry confusing and incorrect information about amalgam.
The ADA hopes, through production of this brochure, to provide all dentists and their patients with scientifically accurate information about dental materials to aid them in making informed treatment choices.
The ADA's House of Delegates is the legislative and governing body of the 155,000-member professional dental organization.
For more information about the ADA, visit the association's Web site at American Dental Association.