More commonly known as “silver fillings,” dental amalgam is a metal alloy of several metals and has been a popular filling material for teeth for more than 150 years. Although our team at Higson Dental Group often recommends tooth-coloured restorations, under the right certain circumstances, amalgam is a better choice. For starters, these fillings are lower cost, strong, durable and have bacteriostatic effects.
One reason that we like to use amalgam in dentistry is because the material is very easy to work with. The material stays soft for a limited time, which allows us to fill any irregular space before it hardens. In some applications, amalgam has been known to last longer than some other restorative fillings like composites, or white fillings. However, as technology continues to improve, composites are becoming stronger and longer-lasting.
Every person and condition is unique. In some cases, composites will be a much better choice than amalgam. For example, with small occlusal restorations, using amalgam would require removing a healthy tooth structure.
The best thing to do is to discuss your all your options with the knowledgeable and helpful staff at Higson Dental Group.
Both amalgam and composite materials are trusted, safe and effective materials for tooth restoration. Find out more about the Canadian Dental Associations position on dental amalgam.