New dental amalgam restrictions come into effect

NEW regulations on the use of dental amalgam in treatment come into effect from 1 July.

UK law will now state that dental amalgam should not be used in the treatment of deciduous teeth in children under 15 years old and in pregnant or breastfeeding women. The only exception is when this is deemed strictly necessary by a dentist, based on the specific medical needs of the patient.

The Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) has published implementation advice on Restricting the Use of Dental Amalgam in Specific Patient Groups. This has been developed to facilitate the implementation of the new regulations and aims to “support dental professionals across the UK in interpreting and applying these environmentally-driven legal requirements and provides information on caries prevention, alternative caries management approaches and restorative materials to inform practitioners’ clinical decision making”.

The implementation advice, along with supporting tools including patient information, can be accessed via the SDCEP website.