Dental Services

Department of Health written question – answered on 25th November 2015.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the appropriateness of the use of amalgam in dental fillings.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Minister of State, Department of Health

Dental amalgam has been in use for over 150 years to restore teeth in millions of patients and, apart from rare instances of hypersensitivity, no adverse reactions have been identified. Alternative dental restorative materials are not so easily, quickly and reliably placed. Neither are they so durable. Due to improvements in oral health, the number of restorations is decreasing with the result that the safe management and disposal of dental amalgam is more easily achieved.

The World Health Organization report Future Use of Materials for Dental Restorations November 2009 concluded that dental amalgam remains a dental restorative material of choice in the absence of an ideal alternative. The Department concurs with the conclusions of the report which can be found at:

http://www.who.int/oral_health/publications/dental_material_2011.pdf

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