Alexandria, Va., USA – The International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) have published the proceedings from the Dental Materials Innovation Workshop (DMIW), which took place December 10-11, 2012, at King’s College London. The meeting was sponsored by IADR, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the FDI World Dental Federation (FDI), and King’s College London Dental Institute. The proceedings are published in the November issue of the IADR/AADR Advances in Dental Research, an e-supplement to the Journal of Dental Research.
The DMIW was timed as part of IADR’s commitment to the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership and as an NGO participant in the UNEP negotiations to develop a global legally-binding treaty on mercury. Those UNEP negotiations were completed in January of this year and the treaty, called the Minamata Convention on Mercury was formally adopted on Thursday, October 10, in Kumamoto, Japan. IADR President-elect Yoshimitsu Abiko attended the signing ceremony.
IADR participated in the UNEP negotiations along with the FDI World Dental Federation and the International Dental Manufacturers. Working as a team, the dental NGO’s advocated that a phase-down of dental amalgam was only possible with a phasing-up of dental prevention, further research on suitable alternatives, and the use of best management practices for dental amalgam waste. Those provisions are largely intact in the signed treaty.
The goals of the workshop were to identify performance gaps in our current armamentarium of dental restorative materials, identify promising areas of dental materials research, and to develop a prioritized agenda and global action plan in dental materials research to address individual and population-level health with environmental compatibility and economic feasibility.
"With the recent adoption of the Minamata Convention, this issue of the Advances is very timely and relevant,” said IADR President Helen Whelton. “Untreated dental caries in permanent teeth was the most prevalent condition evaluated for the entire Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. For a preventable disease, it poses an enormous global problem with widespread need for dental restorative solutions. This meeting and the subsequent proceedings explore the future of dental restorative materials and new innovations to improve oral health.”