Why Did The European Parliament Ban Dental Amalgams?
- The European Parliament voted to ban dental amalgam use and production by January 1st, 2025 for the European Union. Why did they ban it?
- As part of the 2018 Minamata Convention on Mercury treaty, regulations in the UK and EU restricted use of dental amalgams to reduce global environmental pollution caused by mercury, including the release of the heavy metal during the production of dental amalgam.
- Since there are viable mercury-free alternatives, such as dental resins and glass-ionomer resins, dental amalgams shall no longer be used for dental treatments of any member of the EU starting January 1st, 2025. The proposal also includes a ban on its manufacture and export, making an important contribution to reducing mercury emissions internationally.
- The use of dental amalgams for children under the age of 15, as well as breastfeeding and pregnant women, has already been banned in the EU since 2018.
- Other countries have previously phased out the use of amalgams, including Sweden, Norway, Moldova, Lithuania, Switzerland, Bolivia, Ecuador, Indonesia and the Philippines.
What is Dental Amalgam?
- Amalgam is any alloy that contains mercury. Copper, silver and tin are the major components in dental amalgam but it may also contain zinc, indium, mercury, gold, platinum, and palladium.
- Silver and tin are the most common elements found in dental amalgam alloy, although amalgam alloys are sometimes referred to as either low-copper or high-copper alloys.
What does the American Dental Association (ADA) Say?
- The ADA states that dental amalgam is a safe, affordable and durable restorative material.
- Although amalgam remains an effective and inexpensive restorative option, environmental concerns regarding mercury have prompted legislative and regulatory action in the United States and other countries pertaining to amalgam.
- Considerations of post-placement sensitivity, longevity, esthetics, the conditions under which the restoration is to be placed, and cost may all be factors in choosing a restorative material.
What is Wilmette Dental Doing?
- Wilmette Dental has long discontinued the use of dental amalgams.
- Dr. Robert Madrigal, Wilmette Dentist, states the following regarding dental amalgams: “We inform our patients that dental amalgams can often ‘outlive’ the tooth. Meaning, that dental amalgams lead to an increase in fractured teeth as a result of their material properties. Dental amalgam expands and contracts under temperature changes in the mouth with hot and cold foods and drinks. The tooth does not expand and contract as much, as a result cracks and fractures start occurring.”
- Our philosophy is to replace amalgams that present with damage, such as a failing restoration that is accessible, recurrent decay, crack/fracture or by a patient’s request. The Food and Drug Administration states, “The majority of evidence shows exposure to mercury from dental amalgam does not lead to negative health effects in the general population. Exposure to mercury may pose a greater health risk in certain groups of people, who may be more susceptible to potential adverse effects generally associated with mercury.
- The FDA does not recommend anyone remove or replace existing amalgam fillings in good condition. Unless it is considered medically necessary by a health care professional.
Wilmette Dental has been serving the Wilmette, Kenilworth, and Winnetka communities since 1937. Dr. Robert Madrigal and Dr. Thomas Moscinski are the dentists at Wilmette Dental and the office can be contacted by accessing their website: www.wilmettedental.com