The EU Bans Mercury in Dentistry

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A transformative regulation is reshaping dental health care across Europe. The revised Mercury Regulation signifies a monumental shift towards mercury-free dentistry, prioritizing health and sustainability.

A Leap Towards Safer Dental Practices

In a bold move, the European Union has revised its stance on mercury use, particularly in dental amalgam. By January 1, 2025, the use of dental amalgam will be prohibited within the EU. This decision underscores a commitment to reducing mercury exposure, a substance known for its toxic health implications.

Mercury-Free Dentistry: A Health Priority

The prohibition of dental amalgam is part of a broader effort to protect individuals from mercury’s harmful effects. Mercury, used in dental fillings for decades, has been linked to various health risks. The EU’s decision aligns with its zero-pollution ambition, promoting safer, mercury-free alternatives for dental care.

Transitioning to Safer Alternatives

Member States are now tasked with shifting from dental amalgam to alternative filling materials that do not contain mercury. This transition not only benefits patient health but also contributes to environmental protection. Alternatives like composite resins and glass ionomer cements offer effective and safer options for dental restorations.

Key Points of the Regulation

  • The use and export of dental amalgam will be banned by January 1, 2025.
  • A temporary exemption until June 30, 2026, allows Member States additional time to adjust.
  • Dental amalgam may still be used in specific medical situations, as deemed necessary by healthcare professionals.
  • This regulation is part of a comprehensive approach, including the cessation of mercury-containing lamp production and export, to minimize mercury’s environmental footprint.

The Path Forward

The regulation awaits formal endorsement by the European Parliament and the Council. Once adopted, it will come into effect 20 days post-publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

The Impact on Dental Health

Mercury’s toxicity poses risks to the central nervous system and kidneys, among other health concerns. The EU’s proactive stance in banning dental amalgam reflects a significant advancement in dental health care, ensuring safer practices for future generations.

Background: Mercury and Health

Mercury has long been identified as a major health and environmental hazard. The Mercury Regulation, alongside the global Minamata Convention on Mercury, represents concerted efforts to mitigate these risks, highlighting the critical need for mercury-free alternatives in all sectors, including dentistry.


The EU’s decision to ban mercury in dental amalgam marks a pivotal moment in dental health care. It embodies a move towards safer, more sustainable dental practices, protecting both human health and the environment.

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