Dental amalgam has been used for almost 150 years as a popular dental filling. It contains at least one other metal in addition to mercury. Amalgam provides several benefits over competing restorative materials, including minimal price, sturdiness, durability, and bacteriostatic properties
There are several reasons why amalgam is used in dental care procedures. It’s fairly simple to use and easier to control during insertion. These fillings stay soft for a short time, allowing them to be stuffed into an uneven volume, and then harden. Other direct restorative substances, such as composite, have a shorter life span than amalgam fillings. Most amalgam restorations last up to 10 to 12 years approximately, whereas resin-based composites last only half that duration. However, with recent advances in composite material research and greater knowledge of placement technique sensitivity, this gap is reducing.
There are several situations where composite or white fillings work better than amalgam. When dental amalgam is not permitted or more conservative treatment is desired, composite (white fillings) is the preferred restorative material. Some examples of such scenarios are during minor occlusal restorations and enamel regions beyond the proper height of contour. In these situations, dental amalgam would necessitate the removal of the existing tooth structure.