The Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 states that it shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety, and welfare at work of all his employees (UK Parliament Statutec37, 1974). The act is designed to protect workers from unsafe conditions, whether by illness or injury, from exposure to toxins, infectious diseases, dangerous facilities, or unsafe equipment. For the dental practice, risks to dentists and assistants must be considered, in developing standards and procedures that promote health and safety, within the dental practice or dental care facility. Dental Amalgam, one of the oldest materials used in dental health care, is a combination of elemental liquid Mercury and an alloy powder, such as copper, zinc, silver, tin, palladium, or indium (Department of Health, 1998). Amalgam has been widely used for a variety of medical placement circumstances or conditions and is reasonably resistant to the presence of wetness during placement (Christensen, 2005). Amalgam offer many advantages over other substances. It is inexpensive, relatively simple to manipulate or control when used in placement, hardens quickly, and lasts longer than other direct recuperative materials such as resin-based compounds. This essay explores the use of amalgam in dentistry, where dental amalgam is used to repair the damaged teeth, to restore normal function. In this sense, there are many people who have damaged teeth due to infection resulting from dental caries: processes whereby the teeth undergo mineralization and demineralization is reversible because of fluoride and dental plague respectively. In the past several decades, dentists have used amalgam to restore damaged teeth. However, as time passed, fears that mercury might be hazardous were taken into consideration. Consequently, the use of Amalgam has gradually lessened. This paper analyzes the use of dental amalgam and explores the credibility of the fears related to health and safety, with the use of dental amalgam. Moreover, the essay will include a statistical account of the prevalence of injury or illnesses associated with amalgam use in dentistry. The essay also addresses epidemiological evidence and offers recommendations that may reduce risks associated with amalgam use.
An Exploration of the Amalgam Use in Dental Industry