Scientists recommend mercury-free fillings for children and pregnant women

Close-up of little boy opening his mouth during dental checkup

For the first time, the European Commission’s scientific committee on health is recommending the use of mercury-free dental fillings instead of amalgam for children’s baby teeth and in pregnant patients.

In its final opinion on amalgam, the European Union government’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) concluded that “it can be recommended that for the first treatment of primary teeth in children and for pregnant patients, alternative materials to amalgam should be the first choice.” Additionally, “use of amalgam restorations is not indicated in primary teeth, in patients with mercury allergies, and persons with chronic kidney diseases with decreased renal clearance.”

This new scientific consensus clearly has the potential to protect millions of children, unborn babies, pregnant women, and people with kidney disorders from dental mercury exposure.  But as we know from experience in countries like Sweden that have ended amalgam use, it is also an important step toward eliminating amalgam use entirely.