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When you go to the grocery store and buy toothpaste, have you ever noticed a label on the packaging showing the ADA Seal of Acceptance? Perhaps you wondered who the ADA (American Dental Association) was and what the Seal meant for you. There are more than 300 dental products which carry the Seal of Acceptance.

For over 125 years the American Dental Association—a non-profit entity—has been helping consumers gain access to dental products and technologies by setting standards for safety and effectiveness. The products can range from toothbrushes to denture products and even chewing gum. Today the ADA has more than 157,000 members who are dentists. Dentists who are members of the ADA must follow the Principles of Ethics, the Code of Professional Conduct and the Advisory Opinions set by the ADA.

The ADA does not receive payment for their endorsements, so they are free to set strict industry standards for safety and effectiveness, both for products as well as technologies. All products must meet rigorous testing requirements and their advertising must be truthful. All marketing claims must be accurate and substantiated.

In fact, the ADA often requires companies requesting the Seal to meet higher standards than the law requires. These companies applying for ADA the Seal of Acceptance must meet the following criteria:

1) Supply a list of ingredients and other relevant information about the product to be reviewed and approved to the ADA.

2) Supply data from clinical or laboratory studies backing up their claims for product safety, effectiveness, and any claims the company will be making when promoting the product.

3) Conduct clinical trials in strict compliance with the guidelines and procedures provided by the ADA.

4) Provide evidence of proper supervision of the manufacturing and laboratory facilities used to provide purity and uniformity of the product, and also show how the product is manufactured in compliance with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices).

5) Supply all product packaging and labeling for review and approval. The product will also need to comply with ADA standards for accuracy and truthfulness in advertising.

Next, after a company’s product or technology has been approved, they must not only carry The Seal of Acceptance on the product label, but also a Seal Statement and any advertising that accompanies it. This Seal Statement lets consumers know the reasons why the product was accepted by the ADA.

To provide an example of what a Seal Statement looks like, the Seal Statement found on the Save-A-Tooth product (an emergency tooth-preserving system) reads:

“The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs’ Acceptance of Save-A-Tooth is based on its finding that the solution in Save-A-Tooth has been shown to increase the survival rate of a knocked-out-tooth, when used as directed. Although data show that the solution is effective up to 24 hours, the survival rate is highest if the knocked-out-tooth is implanted by a dentist within one hour.”

Once a product earns the Seal of Acceptance, for the following five years the company can enjoy the confidence of the consumer in knowing the product is safe and works as advertised. After five years the company will need to reapply and requalify to make sure they are still in compliance with all ADA standards. This is why dentists can confidently recommend ADA approved products for their patients.

If you have any further questions, or would like to schedule your next dental visit, please contact the staff at Dr. Mario Roybal’s dental office at 228-388-4519 today!