What are the benefits of amalgam tooth fillings?

Jonathan B. Levine, DMD
There are several advantages of silver amalgam tooth fillings:
  • It is nearly as durable as gold fillings.
  • It can withstand chewing forces.
  • It is less expensive than both gold and composite fillings.
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There are several benefits of an amalgam tooth filling:
  • It is a stable alloy made of about 43 percent to 54 percent mercury with other metals, including silver, copper and tin
  • It has been used for fillings for over 150 years
  • It is very long lasting
  • It works well under pressure, so it is good for teeth in the back of the mouth, where chewing pressure is greatest
  • It is relatively inexpensive compared to other materials
Silver amalgam tooth fillings are strong and can withstand the forces of chewing. This makes them less likely to break than other types of fillings, such as composite or ceramic fillings. They also typically cost less than other types of fillings and, unlike gold fillings, require only one trip to the dentist. They typically last seven years or more.
There are several benefits to amalgam tooth fillings. First they can be used in difficult to get to areas of the mouth where moisture control is a problem. Tooth colored fillings must be completely dry when filled to be successful. Second, they are more economical than tooth colored fillings. Third, the edges of tooth next to the filling are more resistant to cavities than with tooth colored fillings. Patients prone to getting alot of cavities should consider amalgam fillings. Talk to your dentist about filling choices for your teeth. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.