Dental amalgam is a commonly used dental restorative material used for dental fillings. First introduced in France in the early 19th century, it contains a mixture of mercury with at least one other metal. Amalgam has been the restorative method of choice for many years due to its low cost, ease of application, strength, durability, and bacteriostatic effects.
Factors that have led to recent decline in use are concerns about aesthetics; because the metallic colour does not blend with the natural tooth colour and environmental concerns regarding mercury emissions during preparation or removal of restorations.
Amalgam is widely used for direct fillings, mainly for posterior teeth, and completed in a single appointment. While concerns have been raised of leaching, there is currently no evidence that any of this mercury remains in the body nor that dangerous levels are ever reached.
If you choose not to have amalgam fillings as part of your treatment, we are happy to work with you. Composite filling options for posterior teeth should be discussed with your dentist. We will help make you aware of the durability and cost differences or responsibilities. It is not common practice to automatically remove amalgam fillings to change to composite fillings unless it is in need of replacement and the situation is suitable.