Looking to the future of glass hybrid technology
JM: How is the phase out of dental amalgam affecting clinicians in daily practice?
AB: Technically, the approach is still a ‘phase-down’ of the use of amalgam, due to the environmental impact of mining and disposing of mercury. There are already restrictions in place, as advised by SDCEP guidelines, requiring the use of alternative materials in children and pregnant/breast-feeding women in the UK and other countries. Several Scandinavian countries have banned the use of amalgam in dentistry for many years.
Primarily, practitioners are now having to master the use of adhesive direct plastic materials – glass-ionomers and resin composites – as prevention of caries takes a more prominent position in minimum intervention oral healthcare plans, especially in the post-pandemic era. There is still some resistance to the changes, but the clinical indications for the use of amalgam as the first-choice, go-to restorative material are nowadays limited.
JM: The profession and industry often refer to an ‘amalgam alternative’ – is this a fair description of what is required clinically?