Dental Amalgam Fillings

Dental amalgam is a self-hardening mixsture of silver-tin-copper alloy powder and liquid mercury and is sometimes referred to as silver fillings because of its color. It is often used as a filling material and replacement for broken teeth.

 

Advantages

  • Durable; long lsating
  • Wears well; holds up well to the forces of biting
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Generally completed in one visit
  • Self-scaling; minimal-to-no shrinkage and resists leakage
  • Resistance to further decay is high, but can be difficult to find in early stages
  • Frequency of repair and replacement is low

 

Disadvantages

  • Gray colored, not tooth colored
  • May darken as it corrodes; may stain teeth over time
  • Requires removal of some healthy tooth
  • In larger amalgam fillings, the remaining tooth may weaken and fracture
  • Because metal can conduct hot and cold temperatures, there may be a temporary sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Contact with other metals may cause occasional, minute electrical flow

 

 

The durability of any dental restoration is influenced not only be the material it is made from, but also by the dentist's technique when placing the restoration. Other factors include the supporting materials used in the procedure and the patient's cooperation during the procedure. The length of time a restoration will last is dependent upon your dental hygiene, home care, and diet and chewing habits.