On Wednesday, a US advisory panel said that there has been so much uncertainty about the silver-coated metal dental fillings containing mercury. US regulators said that there should be more caution for dentists and patients in using this.

There had been past data that supported the cavity treatment. However, the Food and Drug Administration’s panel of outside advisers said that the use of these silver-coated dental filling should be done with utmost care and warnings of its unknown risks. Children and pregnant women are the ones most vulnerable to the risks of these dental fillings. According to Suresh Kotagal who stands as a panelist and neurologist at the Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota, there is no place for mercury among children.

These metal fillings have been widely used by millions of Americans to cover up the decaying teeth. However, in time, the metal fillings have been rejected for bone-colored resin because it looks more natural.

There are neurological damages at high levels of exposure that have been connected to metal fillings, half of which are said to be caused by the fillings. The FDA admitted that there have still been no recent evidences gathered to show that the dental fillings are safe to use. The said agency wanted to gather inputs on how the assessment of data is done, and how conclusions are drawn after it has received petitions that questioned its 2009 ruling.

The panel requested the FDA to take a look at the latest data and reconsider their guidelines after the FDA announced last year that the fillings are safe. The advice of the panel is followed by two-day public meeting on how the FDA handles the dental fillings which are also known as dental amalgam. It is the FDA who could give the proper decision on whether or not to continue backing up the said fillings.

As soon as the FDA comes up with a result, dental filling makers could see an effect. This includes dental makers like Danaher Corp’s, Dentsply International Inc, Kerr unit, Patterson Cos Inc and Henry Schein Inc.

Some critics have magnified the connection of mercury fillings and side effects most especially to patients who are more vulnerable. They said that the mercury fillings should not be used unless patients give the consent. Furthermore, their best solution is to ban the use of mercury fillings. However, there have been a number of dentists and trade groups that present data showing that mercury fillings do not harm the teeth of patients.