- Published: Wednesday, 04 July 2018 07:49
- Written by News Editor
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The UK Chief Dental Officers have written to all dental registrants to advise them on new restrictions on the use of dental amalgam, effective from July 1. From then dental amalgam shall not be used for dental treatment of pregnant or breastfeeding women, children under 15 years, and deciduous teeth, except when deemed strictly necessary by the dental practitioner based on the specific medical needs of the patient.
At the request of the UK’s Chief Dental Officers, the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) has developed implementation advice, which provides information on alternative approaches to amalgam use, and aims to help dental teams interpret, and patients understand, the new regulation.
In her letter, CDO England Sara Hurley stressed that “The aim of this advice document is to support dental professionals in interpreting and implementing the restrictions on dental amalgam use. As with all SDCEP publications, the information presented does not override the healthcare professional’s right, and duty, to make decisions appropriate to each patient, with their valid consent. It is advised that significant departures from this implementation advice, and the reasons for this, are documented in the patient’s clinical record.”
She wrote: “We are working closely with NHS Choices to ensure that information is available online to answer questions from the public, should these arise.” Patient information leaflets can be downloaded from the SDCEP website.
The Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP(UK)) has welcomed new advice for dentists on the phase-down of the use of dental amalgam and has now endorsed the finalised guidance.
The BDA said that several EU countries had called for a blanket ban on using dental amalgam when the EU Mercury Regulation was debated. The BDA had argued that it was neither practical for UK dentists, nor necessarily in the best interests of patients, to implement an immediate ban. They say that the wording of the new regulation leaves scope for dentists to exercise clinical judgement and ‘we are pleased that the concerns of UK dentists were taken into account’.
From 1 January 2019, dental amalgam must be used only in pre-dosed encapsulated form and amalgam separators will be mandatory. The BDA believes that most, if not all, dental practices in the UK already conform to this under existing compliance requirements, so no action will be needed. By 1 July 2019, the UK must have a national plan in place to outline their intended measures to reduce dental amalgam use.
With regard to January 2019 "From 1 January 2019, dental amalgam must be used only in pre-dosed encapsulated form and amalgam separators will be mandatory. The BDA believes that most, if not all, dental practices in the UK already conform to this under existing compliance requirements," not really sure what this statement means because the use of encapsulated amalgam is not universal nor is it existing compliance requirements . Perhaps they are confused , yet again ?
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