The Minimata Convention Regulation (EU) 2017/852 of the European Parliament from 1 July 2018, has restricted the use of amalgam fillings. ‘ [amalgam fillings] shall not be used for dental treatment of deciduous teeth, of children under the age of 15 years and for pregnant or nursing women, except when deemed strictly necessary by the dental practitioner, based on the specific medical needs of the patient’

This means even NHS dentists will have to place white fillings in children younger than 15.

I think most people will be pleased to see the beginning of the end for metal fillings. Except perhaps dentists. Especially those who are not well trained enough or do not have the time to place good white fillings.

White fillings are harder to do well. It means the tooth has to be kept dry throughout the procedure and the filling itself takes much longer to place. They are also more expensive to buy. A poorly placed white filling will leak and therefore decay while a poorly placed metal filling will often seal itself after a few months as it corrodes into place! It’s not uncommon for me to see people who are in their fifties, sixties or even seventies who swear they still have metal fillings placed as a school child. There is no way white fillings are going to last this well.

The best solution is not to require the filling in the first place. But with the ready availability of sugar in our society, decay rates have been steadily creeping up in children over the last 15 years after nearly half a decade of decrease. So I’m likely to continue to have to do fillings for children for the foreseeable future.

So while you will be pleased to see you child having a white filling at your next appointment make sure it is done well and you are not having to watch your child have the filling redrilled in the not too distant future or even extracted.

If you need a good dentist for you, your child or your family please give us a call.

We offer a £5.25 per month payment plan for children that includes simple fillings as well as all their check ups, flouride and x-rays.

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