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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
Periodontics
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.

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