Amalgam Fillings - Changes in the law

From the 1st of July 2018 it is illegal for dentists to use amalgam in children under 15 years old, or in women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding. There are exceptions to this and amalgam can still be used when “deemed strictly necessary by a dentist based on the specific medical needs of the patient”. However, the fact is that most situations where an amalgam filling would normally be used, these teeth can be restored with modern dental materials, and the use of amalgam can be avoided altogether.

Why the ban? 

Despite the concerns about the safety of mercury, it is specified that this is not the reason, and that there is no evidence that amalgam fillings would not be safe to the patients. The reason for the ban is environmental one, with the aim of reducing mercury levels in the environment.

How will it affect me? 

There is a gradual “push” for amalgam fillings to be phased out. This may happen gradually, but in the meantime it is good to be aware that, modern dental materials are suitable alternative to amalgam. In Elstead Dental Surgery, we have a great variety of other materials available -from resin based composite filling materials to all-ceramic inlays and onlays. Although amalgam is a strong material and has served its purpose well, modern restorative materials are equal in strength but offer far superior aesthetic qualities.

If you would like to find out more about filling materials and the amalgam ban, you can contact the surgery on 01252 702477.

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Minna Miettinen