With the American Dental Association supporting the move to reduce the use of mercury in fillings, ADA member Dr. Deepika Verma comments on tooth decay and the importance of preventative dental care.
Governmental representatives from 140 countries approved a treaty to phase down the use of amalgam, a mercury alloy utilized in the treatment of tooth decay. Concerns about the environmental impact of mercury disposal prompted the convention to address methods of reducing the use of amalgam fillings.
The treaty will not require participating nations to ban amalgam fillings altogether. Rather, it will begin a collaborative international process to limit mercury use over time. Each country will be responsible for pursuing at least two essential points from a list of international objectives produced by the convention. The convention’s objectives include emphasizing preventative dental care to reduce tooth decay, promoting mercury-free alternatives in dentistry, and funding ongoing research initiatives and education on amalgam use.
The American Dental Association commended the convention’s decision to reduce rather than eliminate the use of amalgam fillings, citing nations in which no feasible alternative exists in the field of dental restoration. Under the treaty, countries whose dental care system relies entirely on the use of amalgam are exempt from implementing mercury-free objectives.
Reducing the environmental impact of mercury disposal remains a priority for all attending nations, however. The ADA particularly emphasized the importance of preventative dental care to reduce tooth decay. As delegates explained, increasing worldwide awareness of oral health will ultimately be the most significant method of reducing the need for amalgam fillings.
ADA affiliate Dr. Deepika Verma asserts the absolute necessity of implementing preventative oral hygiene on both a personal and professional level.
Establishing regular contact with a trusted, professional dental health team is the first essential component of preventative care. Experienced dental experts will work on an individual basis to promote sound oral health routines and regular care to ward off tooth decay and related dental issues.
While Dr. Verma confirms that preventative care can eliminate multiple threats to dental health, she also notes several treatments for identifying and treating conditions that develop without appropriate care. Radiographs, or dental X-rays, allow professionals to note areas of concern that are not visible through examining the mouth directly. Twice-yearly checkups and timely radiographs will allow for the swiftest and most effective preventative care. If tooth decay is already problematic for a particular patient, dental sealants are effective methods of preventing future deterioration, particularly when applied to premolars or permanent molars not yet affected by decay.
Dr. Deepika Verma notes that, without proper treatment, tooth decay and related issues can lead to serious health effects. In these cases, extraction–removal of a tooth by a professional–can contribute to continued oral function. When it comes to extraction, consulting with a knowledgeable and trusted professional is the indispensable first step.
While supporting the reduction of amalgam usage in conjunction with heavily emphasizing the importance of preventive dental care, the ADA and its affiliates continue their campaign to increase oral health awareness and high-quality dental care on a global scale.
As a dental health practitioner, Dr. Deepika Verma is affiliated with a number of noteworthy dental health organizations, including the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Verma endorses preventative dental care to improve patient well-being and reduce cases of tooth decay and deterioration.