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Dental Amalgams Compared With Composite Resin

Published on: April 6, 2017
Project Number: HT0021
Result type: Report

Dental caries is a major oral health issue worldwide, affecting 60% to 90% of school children and most adults. The evidence suggests that amalgam has been an effective and affordable choice for dental restoration. As amalgam is partly composed of mercury, a known toxic substance, there are concerns over the safety of this filling material for human health, and for the environmental impact of mercury released from amalgam waste generated by dental offices. Resin-based composite used as dental filling material is the most common alternative to amalgam. With an increasing reliance on resin-based composite restorations, there is a need to understand the potential implications for Canadian dental care access, practice, and affordability.

CADTH is undertaking a health technology assessment to assess the clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and safety of dental amalgams compared with composite resin fillings. Patient preferences and experiences, ethical and implementation issues, and the potential environmental impact will also be addressed.


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