Amalgam is a common dental filling that has been around for over 150 years. It’s made of mercury mixed with at least one other metal. Among Amalgam’s advantages are low cost, strength, durability, and bacteriostatic effects.

In dentistry, Amalgam is relatively easy to use and manipulate during placement. Since it remains soft for a short time, it can be packed to fill any irregular space and then forming a hard compound.

Amalgam has greater longevity than other restorative materials such as composite. For the most part, amalgam restorations last between 10 and 12 years, whereas resin-based restorations last half that time. That being said, with recent improvements in composite material science, the difference has been decreasing.


Occasionally, composite (white fillings) serves better than amalgam, such as when a more conservative preparation would be beneficial.


Amalgam and composite materials are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration, as determined by The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs.

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