Following the recently agreed Minamata Convention, a phase-down in the use of dental amalgam will become a priority for the profession. With a lead-in period of a number of years, important changes in the mind-set of the profession are required to ensure that patient safety is not compromised. Posterior composites have been a viable, and in many cases preferable, alternative to amalgam for many years. However, notwithstanding considerable developments in dental school teaching on the application and placement of posterior composites, growing evidence to support the use of composites in the restoration of posterior teeth and advances in composite systems, many practitioners remain reluctant to place composite rather than amalgam. This paper considers the present and future use of posterior composites and highlights ways in which dental school teaching and continuing professional development (CPD) may contribute to the successful phase-down, and now inevitable discontinuation, in the use of dental amalgam.