Dental amalgam is a filling material that has been used by dentists for over 150 years. A mixture of metals that typically includes silver, copper and tin, dental amalgam fillings (commonly referred to as “silver fillings”) also contain trace amounts of mercury.
Amalgam fillings remain a safe, cost-effective and durable choice when it comes to the restoration of decayed teeth.
why is amalgam still used to fill teeth when composite materials are available?
While composite (or “tooth colored”) fillings are more durable than ever thanks to advancements in technology, there are still many cases where amalgam fillings perform better (and longer). This is often the case with teeth that are naturally subjected to extensive chewing force, such as the back teeth. Amalgam fillings set differently and contain unique elements that allow it to be manipulated with ease during placement and then harden quickly after. This allows for placement of a filling in areas of the mouth where white fillings can’t set properly or may be compromised.