FGDP(UK) would like to remind dental teams of the latest requirements on the use and disposal of amalgam, which come into force in the new year and apply to both NHS and private practices.
Article 10(1) of EU Regulation 2017/852 on Mercury states that from 1 January 2019, dental amalgam must only be used in pre-dosed encapsulated form, and Article 10 (4) requires all dental facilities to be equipped with an amalgam separator.
The new rules are part of the regulated phase-down of the use of dental amalgam. Since January all new separators have had to be capable of retaining at least 95% of amalgam particles, and all separators must meet this requirement from 1 January 2021. And since July, the use of amalgam on children and pregnant or breastfeeding women has been forbidden in most circumstances under Article 10(2).
The requirements, as notified by the Chief Dental Officers, are here.
While most practices will have been compliant with Articles 10(1) and 10(4) well ahead of legal implementation, Article 10(2) is less straightforward, and the Faculty welcomed the implementation advice published by the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme in June, despite raising concerns about an earlier draft.
The advice provides information on alternative approaches to amalgam use, and aims to help dental teams interpret, and patients understand, the new regulation, and is accompanied by patient information leaflets, and a discussion points document which practices may find useful.