Amalgam fillings or silver dental restorations have been used in dentistry for more than a century. Over the years, the safety of amalgam restorations has come into question. You can rest assured that amalgam fillings have had more in depth research and testing than any other restorative dental product.
It has been proven time and again that amalgam fillings are safe, durable and highly resistant to breakdown or wear and tear. This stable alloy is made up of a combination of elemental mercury (small, safe amounts) tin, copper, silver with other possible added metallic elements. The mercury in amalgam fillings is rendered safe when combined with other metals. Silver fillings are most commonly used in rear molars. Because of amalgams ability to handle excessive chewing and pressure, it is an ideal product for cavity restorations in the rear of your mouth.
With the introduction of composite or white fillings, amalgam restorations have taken a bit of a back seat to the newer more visually appealing tooth colored products. Composite fillings are preferred by many for front teeth, or teeth that are visible when you smile. Your dentist will have to remove a bit more of your tooth for amalgam restorations vs. composite. Occasionally patients experience sensitivity to cold or hot when an amalgam filling is used as a treatment option.
Because of the reliability, effectiveness, low cost and bio-compatibility (a rare occurrence of allergic reaction) amalgam fillings will remain a staple in the dental industry for years to come. With proven safety assurance from sources such as the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Public Health Service, and the World Health Organization you can feel confident and comfortable having amalgam restorations used by your dentist as an effective and safe dental treatment.