For over 150 years, amalgam fillings have been used to fill cavities in the teeth created by tooth decay.
Amalgam is combination of silver, tin, zinc, copper and about 50% mercury. This material is silver in color, lasts many years, can withstand normal periodontal wear and is the least expensive of all dental filling materials. Another term used to describe Amalgam Fillings is “silver fillings.” This is because of their silver appearance in the mouth.
To place an Amalgam Filling in the mouth, the dentist must complete certain steps. First the tooth must be drilled into to remove the tooth decay. Once clear, the tooth cavity is prepped and shaped in order to insure proper placement of the filling. Next, a putty created by mixing powdered alloy and liquid mercury is inserted. Upon completion, this putty hardens and creates a solid filling.