§ Mr. Tredinnick
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will make a statement on the comparative costs of restoring teeth with(a) amalgam and (b) white fillings;
(2) what percentage of dentists in the national health service have the necessary skills to restore teeth with fillings other than amalgam;
(3) what percentage of dentists in the nation health service restore teeth with fillings other than amalgam.
§ Mr. Malone
Skills taught during training of dentists include the selection of appropriate materials for fillings. In 1993–94 there were 10,691,884 courses of treatment where dental amalgam was used as the filling material and 6,028,756 courses involving glass ionomer-composite. This excludes courses of treatment where it is not possible to distinguish the type of material used. No data are available centrally on the number of dentists who use only fillings other than amalgam. The range of fees for dentists for fillings using dental amalgam starts at £5.30. The range of fees for a tooth coloured restoration starts at £9.95.