The World Health Organization published the 22nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) and the 8th Model List of Essential Medicines for Children (EMLc).
These lists now include Glass Ionomer Cement (GIC), an effective alternative to amalgam fillings with a convincing justification:
In the light of the agreed phase-down of dental amalgam as stated in the UN Minamata Convention on Mercury, GIC provides a cost-effective alternative. Its inclusion on the EML would enhance availability on different levels of the healthcare system, particularly in primary health care, and further promote use and uptake of the material. The unique caries-preventive properties of the material make it superior to any other material available.
HV-GIC fillings have the same success rates as amalgam in preventing recurrent signs of caries (enlarged carious lesion) when used with conventional techniques. Even though HV-GIC fillings tend to fall out more, the caries-preventive effects are better than all other materials.
Prof Habib Benzian, Head of the WHO Coopertating Center for Quality-Improvement, Evidence-Based Dentistry,New York University College of Dentistry, added in an interview with Melissa Busch, (DrBicuspid.com) that it is important to have global access to the alternative material, glass ionomer cement, since the Minamata Convemntion calls for amalgam to be gradually phased out starting in 2030.