FDI 2016 Poznań, Poland

World Oral Health Forum

Friday, 9th September, Pavilion 1, 10:00 – 12:30

Are you ready for amalgam phase-down? How the Minamata Convention impacts your Dental Practice

The United Nations imperative to reduce exposure to environmental mercury exposure, embodied in the Minamata Convention, has profound implications for the practice of dentistry through its requirement to phase down the use of dental amalgam.  The momentum to implement the recommendations of the Minamata Convention is now building and FDI recognizes the importance of taking a proactive role in the amalgam phase-down discussions and leading the debate on the implications of this decision for global oral health and on the practice of dentistry.  Organized in partnership with the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), this World Oral Health Forum will carry that debate forward.

The session will explore the challenge of finding new materials to replace dental amalgam, all the way from basic discovery science, through clinical trials to evaluate efficacy and safety, to their introduction into clinical practice. It will also include a systematic consideration of those materials that dentists will have at their disposal after the phase down of dental amalgam. 

Importantly, the Minamata Convention creates the opportunity to take a systematic, critical appraisal of current strategies for caries prevention and to propose more effective approaches. This will include a consideration of how clinicians, educators, policy makers and industry can work together to improve both oral and general health. 

The impact of the Minamata Convention is likely to be considerable in low- and middle-income countries where dental amalgam is still the most effective and affordable restorative material available. A key contribution to the forum will be an account of how the dental profession in Africa is responding to the challenge posed by the Convention.

1. Why we need to commit to the phase down of dental amalgam use (Dr Christopher Fox)

2. The Minamata Convention: what are the challenges of phasing down the use of dental amalgam? (Dr Jocelyne Feine)

3. Restorative materials after Minamata: What will be left? (Prof Gottfried Schmalz)

4. New materials for a post-Minamata era (Dr Jirun Sun)

5. What does Minamata mean for dentistry in a resource-constrained setting? The WHO views and perspectives for the Africa region (Dr Benoit Varenne)