The ban needs to be officially ratified, but this is expected to be a formality as the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament have already agreed to it.
Health agencies in each of the member countries must also submit plans as to how they will be reducing the use of amalgam fillings in the rest of the population by 2019.
The edict is a triumph for consumer groups who have played a major role in the six-year consultation period—and a blow to the dental associations that still maintain that amalgam fillings are safe.
Groups such as the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry predict the ruling marks the beginning of the end for amalgam fillings across the developed world.
Amalgam fillings—which are a mix of silver, tin and copper in liquid, or elemental, mercury—have been used by dentists for more than 150 years because the material is inexpensive and pliable.
Dental associations have maintained the mercury—which makes up around half the filling—is locked in, and can't escape.
But, as WDDTY revealed last month (http://www.wddty.com/magazine/2016/december/the-secret-life-of-your-fillings.html) the mercury does escape, and can damage our brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune system—because our gut converts the elemental mercury into methyl mercury, its most lethal form.