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J Public Health Dent. 2017 Jun;77(3):207-215. doi: 10.1111/jphd.12198. Epub 2017 Jan 10.

Dentists' perspective about dental amalgam: current use and future direction.

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Preventive Dental Sciences Department, University of Dammam, College of Dentistry, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Health Policy and Health Services Research, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.



In 2013, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reached a binding agreement - a.k.a. the Minamata treaty - to decrease dental amalgam use. This study aims to investigate US dentists' current practice and opinions about amalgam use, and to determine factors affecting their amalgam use and opinions.


A total of 45,557 general dentists and 5,101 pediatric dentists were invited to participate in a pre-tested electronic survey. The survey consisted of 12 close-ended questions using a 5-point Likert Scale. The Qualtrics™ software was used to distribute the survey, followed by three reminders.


Response rate was 5.2 percent for general dentists, and 17.6 percent for pediatric dentists. Sixty-two percent of general dentists and 56 percent of pediatric dentists reported using amalgam. Most dentists disagreed with banning amalgam, while agreeing with installing amalgam separators. Environmentally conscious dentists were more likely to agree with banning amalgam and installing amalgam separators.


Responding dentists favor the continued use of dental amalgam. Their perspectives vary by several factors including dentists' environmental consciousness. Policies toward minimizing amalgam's environmental impact need to be implemented.


dental amalgam; dental health survey; health policy; mercury; underserved population

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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