HC Deb 29 February 2000 vol 345 cc221-2W
32. Mr. Llwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what preparation is normally used to insert necessary fillings into the teeth of pregnant women under NHS treatment; and for what reason this is used. [110887]

Mr. Hutton

The most commonly used tooth-filling material in the general dental service for all adults, including expectant mothers, is dental amalgam. This is because it has the strength and durability necessary to restore cavities in back (posterior) teeth, particularly when restoration of the biting surfaces are involved. This is important to securing and maintaining oral health when treating tooth decay. The health benefits of using dental amalgam outweigh any theoretical risks from their use.

In April 1998, a statement from the Government's Advisory Committee on the Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) on the toxicity of dental amalgam was published. This confirmed that there was no evidence that the placement or removal of amalgam fillings during pregnancy was harmful. The Committee did, however, advise that it might be prudent to avoid, where clinically reasonable, the placement or removal of amalgam fillings during pregnancy.

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