Amalgam fillings have been one of the most popular dental filling materials since the nineteenth century. Amalgam is an alloy including 15% tin and 35% silver (sometimes copper is used to replace silver), a little bit of zinc is also required along with mercury which consists of almost 50%. This amalgam filling or mercury filling is quite useful to fill dental cavities. It is also called a silver filling, because of its color.
Dental Filling Procedure
The dental amalgam placement is divided into a series of steps. The dentist first anesthetizes the patient then he removes the decay and the affected portion of the tooth to eradicate the deteriorating area. Next, the tooth cavity is shaped and the powdered substance is mixed with mercury to create the muddy amalgam. The soft putty-like amalgam is then properly placed in the cavity hole and solidifies in the necessary amount of time.
Amalgam fillings are considered one of the best filling methods of all time. Here’s why:
- Getting an amalgam filling is not expensive so everyone can afford it.
- Patients who suffer from a high risk of tooth decay and severe gingivitis are ideal candidates for amalgam fillings because this material works better than tooth-colored fillings in this type of oral environment, so they will last longer.
- This pulpy mixture is quite malleable, so it can be widely used.
Due to these advantages, mercury amalgam is one of the preferred dental repairing materials. However, it’s important to remember that the metallic replacement will never substitute the natural strength of your teeth.
At the same time, dental amalgams have a lot of disadvantages to consider.
- The color of the dental amalgam does not match your normal teeth so you need to get used to this unnatural look. Moreover, this silver amalgam will develop dark spots over time also known as amalgam tattoos.
- It has been reported that some people suffer from sensitivity issues due to expansion and contraction of the amalgam metal with temperature changes.
- Mercury used in the amalgam can cause severe environmental pollution due to its toxicity. This happens when the dental wastes are not correctly treated or disposed of properly. It is highly recommended for pregnant women to avoid getting mercury fillings.
Any sort of allergy to metals such as silver, mercury or copper may result in sensitivity issues. In this case, you should consider other choices. For more information on dental issues and dental health, give our office a call at 212-481-2535. We look forward to speaking with you.