1 Section 01 - Prosthetics, Department of Odontology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Section 01 - Prosthetics, Department of Odontology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
During the past 50 years, a series of key UN conferences have established a framework to minimize human health risks from environmental exposures to key chemicals. In January 2013, more than 140 countries agreed to the text of new treaty to minimize Hg effects on the environment (the Minamata Convention). Dental caries is omnipresent around the globe, affecting 60% to 90% of school children and most adults, and producing discomfort that affects quality of life. Dental amalgam is frequently used to treat carious lesions and its use releases mercury into the environment. The best way to avoid the use of dental amalgam is to emphasize caries prevention. Alternatives to amalgam are suitable in some applications, but no replacement for amalgam has been found for large posterior restorations. For any restorative material, safety and environmental impacts are part of clinical risk assessment. Safety is freedom from unacceptable risks. Risk is a combination of probability of exposure and severity of harm. Best management practices are crucial to manage dental amalgam, but these impose additional that are disproportionately more for developing countries. The Minamata Convention seeks a phase-out of all mercury-based products except dental amalgam, where a phase-down is the present goal. For dentistry, the most important focus is the promotion of caries prevention and research on new materials.
Advances in Dental Research, 2013, Vol 25, Issue 1, p. 8-17