Fillings are the most common type of 'restorative treatment'. A filling
replaces the part of the tooth that has been lost either because decay
has caused a cavity in the tooth or because the tooth has broken. One
option in restoring the tooth is to have an Amalgam filling however with
high quality tooth coloured fillings available, amalgam usage is now
- Amalgam - Sometimes referred to as a silver filling. This is an
alloy which is made up using Mercury, Silver, Tin, Copper and Zinc.
- It is extremely durable and able to withstand the grinding and chewing of the molar teeth over long periods of time.
- They are less expensive than white fillings
- They look unattractive in the tooth due to its colour.
- Some people are concerned about the mercury content; please discuss this with your dentist.
- Amalgam expands and contracts with temperature which can weaken the remaining tooth.
- The colouring leaches into the dentinal tubules inside the tooth,
leaving a permanent blue-gray halo that bleaching cannot remove.
- A local anaesthetic will be given to numb the tooth and the surrounding tissue.
- The tooth will be thoroughly cleaned. All decay, food debris or
tartar will be removed. The tooth will then be shaped to accept the
amalgam by mechanical retention rather than being bonded or cemented.
- Depending on the size of the filling, a band may be placed around
the tooth which helps to hold the filling material in place whilst it is
being packed into the tooth.
- The Amalgam is packed into the tooth, then carved in to the correct shape.
Although amalgam hardens within a few minutes, it takes 24 hours for it to set fully.
"Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before
proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately
qualified health practitioner."