Dental amalgam is a very common material employed by dentists to fill tooth cavities, it has been used for more than 150 years and continues to be one of the most preferred, even if different alternatives are available.
This intensive use of amalgam is based on its properties and characteristic, but some doctors have concerns about this utilization.
Dental amalgam, or silver amalgam since it is silver-coloured, is a mix of several metals: liquid elemental mercury and powdered silver, tin and copper. Small amounts of zinc, indium or palladium also may be use; the chemical properties of elemental mercury allow it to react with and bind together the silver, copper, tin alloy particles to form an amalgam.
Amalgam restoration. Durability.
As a dental filling material, amalgam is being used since many years because it has specific properties that make it easy to be applied, it is durable and strong and it isn’t expensive. When mercury is mixed with an alloy powder, it creates a compound that is soft enough to mix and press into the tooth, but it also hardens quickly and can support the forces of biting and chewing.
Given that, amalgam is a common choise when molars or premolars have to been fill.
As regards as amalgam disadvantages there are some points: first of all, it can last more than 10 years, but it seems that amalgam filling is more likely to set up temperature-related fractures in a shorter period of time, since when we eat hot or cold foods, teeth and filling materials are exposed to the change in temperature and expand or contract in reaction to this.
Moreover, amalgam is safe, but in recent years some there are concerns about the employ of mercury, for the total amount of mercury absorbed from all sources.
Scientific studies show amalgam is safe and effective for filling cavities, since when combined with the other metals, mercury forms a safe, stable material. The American Dental Association, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U. S. Food and Drug Administration all agree that based on extensive scientific evidence, dental amalgam is a safe and effective. Also the Alzheimer’s Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Autism Society of America and National Multiple Sclerosis Society say that amalgam represent no health risk.
Amalgam fillings. Removing amalgam.
Patients may turn to the dentist for every kind of informations, but dentists don’t suggest to have amalgam fillings removed; of course some kind of people, as allergics, pregnant women or people who have high exposure to mercury are discouraged from using it.