Dentists’ attitudes towards the phase-down of dental amalgam in Ireland


This paper identified training and remuneration as the two main barriers to a future total phase-out of dental amalgam in the Republic of Ireland.


Aim: This study aimed to explore the attitudes of dentists in Ireland towards the phase-down of dental amalgam in relation to the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was adopted using a quantitative 53-question survey piloted and distributed to dentists working in general dental practice.

Results: The study had a response rate of 11.8% (n=285). The study found a high level of awareness regarding recommended guidelines concerning the Minamata Convention on Mercury, with 96% of participants reporting that they were aware of the recommendations. Over half of the participants (61%) reported that they felt the phase-down was a good idea.

Conclusions: Training and remuneration were identified as the main barriers to a total phase-out of dental amalgam in Ireland in the future.

Journal of the Irish Dental Association 2020; 66 (2): 75-79.

Aileen Callanan
Research Assistant

Prof. Christopher D. Lynch
Professor and Consultant in Restorative Dentistry

Dr Máiréad Harding
Senior Lecturer in Dental Public Health, Deputy Director of Oral Health Services Research Centre

Dr Francis M. Burke
Senior Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry, Vice Dean of Academic Affairs

Dr Martina Hayes
Senior Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry
All at University School and Dental Hospital, University College Cork

Corresponding author:
Dr Martina Hayes, University Dental School and Hospital, Wilton, Cork.