A study in the current issue of the journal Public Health Reports examines the potential economic impact of a ban or restriction on the use of dental amalgam to fill cavities. The authors conclude that US dental care costs would increase by up to $8.2 billion in the first year alone (10% of current dental expenditures) if amalgam were no longer available as a treatment option.

Dental amalgam contains a mixture of metals, including mercury, which combine to form a stable alloy that dentists have used for more than 150 years to fill cavities. Numerous peer-reviewed, scientific studies, including those published as recently as 2006 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, attest to amalgam’s safety and efficacy.

L. Jackson Brown, DDS, PhD, a dentist, economist, epidemiologist, and former ADA managing vice president for health policy agrees, saying, "The dental community and public health dentists have long known that amalgam restorations are a vital component in the arsenal to manage dental disease. This study documents the large impact the absence of amalgam would have.A small group of activists has for years called on state and federal governments to ban amalgam, claiming, with no credible scientific basis, that it causes systemic diseases. The ADA and numerous state, national, and international health authorities oppose such proposals.Dental care would cost more, and untreated caries (dental decay) is likely to increase."

The article, "Economic Impact of Regulating the Use of Amalgam Restorations," can be seen [removed]here[/removed].