Despite the broad challenges inherent in reducing amalgam use in dentistry, some countries have already considerably restricted or banned its use. While every country needs to develop an approach that is appropriate to its own circumstances, the various measures described below may provide inspiration to other governments taking steps to phase down the use of amalgam in their own populations. As cited in the country responses to the survey questionnaire, the main factors that have contributed to a decline in amalgam use include national and/or individual environmental concerns, patient and professional preferences to avoid mercury, patient preferences for tooth-colored fillings, professional preferences to favor viable techniques that preserve as much of the natural tooth structure as possible, etc. Moreover, oral health and dental hygiene programs that reduce the overall incidence of dental caries have also contributed to a decline in the need for dental restorations – both amalgam and non-amalgam (WHO 2011).
Please use the map below to see the experiences of the various countries that responded to the survey questionnaire which are summarized below.
Michael Bender, Mercury Policy Project
UNEP: Lessons from Countries Phasing Down Dental Amalgam Use (2016)