What is amalgam (silver filling)?

Amalgam is the name dentists use to describe one of the most common forms of dental fillings. Fillings are used to repair cavities or damage to teeth caused by decay. Fillings made from amalgam are often called silver fillings, but they are made from a variety of metals, including tin, copper, mercury, silver, and others. Amalgam fillings are generally used to repair cavities in the rear teeth.
Todd A. Welch, DMD
A silver filling is an alloy of an element or a metal with mercury. In dentistry, primarily of two types: silver-tin alloy, containing small amounts of copper, zinc and perhaps other metal; and a second type containing more copper (12%–30% by weight); amalgams are commonly used to fill cavities.
Dental amalgam is a stable alloy made by combining elemental mercury, silver, tin, copper and possibly other metallic elements. Dental amalgam continues to be a safe, commonly used restorative material. The mercury in amalgam combines with other metals to render it stable and safe for use in filling teeth.

Continue Learning about Tooth Enamel Erosion

Can my asthma make me susceptible to tooth erosion?
Millions of people who have asthma may be at risk of tooth erosion. The inhalers and other medicin...
More Answers
Can eating pickles and yogurt cause tooth erosion?
Pickles and yogurt are among the common foods that contain high amounts of acid. When you eat them, ...
More Answers
Does restore mouthwash protect and restore enamel?
Jerry P. Gordon, DMDJerry P. Gordon, DMD
Any mouthwash that contains fluoride can protect and restore enamel if it has been damaged by early ...
More Answers
How is tooth erosion in children treated?
If tooth erosion is caught early, your dentist may recommend fluoride rinses and toothpastes in ...
More Answers

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.