European Parliament to Phase Down Dental Amalgam by 2030
Dental amalgam has been a common material used in dentistry for more than 150 years. However, it faces legislation that would put an end to its use in the U.K. and other European countries.
The European Parliament signed a proposal in March that would gradually phase down the use of amalgam by 2030. Its proposed Regulation on Mercury bill represented a step forward in banning silver fillings, something that has been pushed for 10 years.
British Dental Association Chairman Mick Armstrong said that it took long before the industry came up with a clear solution, as an outright ban would affect healthcare systems around the world.
The bill follows the United Nations Environmental Programme’s support of phasing out dental amalgam due to issues related to mercury pollution. Despite the U.K. leaving the European Union, the country still supports the initiative, since it has signed the Minamata Treaty of 2013 which seeks to eliminate the use of amalgam.
By July 2018, the law would restrict dentists to use amalgam to patients below 15 years old, as well as for pregnant and breastfeeding women except in unique medical cases.
Dentists in the U.K. may still use amalgam, although they’ll need to reduce the frequency of using it. The phase out, however, will not be much of a loss since the industry has developed innovative dental products such as clear braces and Invisalign treatment. London, Warsaw, and other major cities in Europe offer some of the best professional services with the aid of innovative technology.
Still, the industry should find a suitable alternative to amalgam, since it has been known to be a low-cost yet quality solution for restoring teeth. The phase-out provides an opportunity for the industry to create a new alternative, which hopefully will be beneficial for both people and the environment.