Amalgam fillings are used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. They are the traditional way of filling cavities and have been in use for more than 150 years now. Liquid mercury and a powdered alloy of silver, tin, and copper are mixed to obtain dental amalgam. Almost 50 percent of the amalgam's composition is elemental mercury by weight.
Amalgam fillings are known as silver fillings because they have a silver-like appearance. Due to this silver-like appearance, the amalgam fillings are used to fill the back teeth.
Why is mercury used in dental amalgam?
We know that almost half of an amalgam filling's composition is liquid mercury and the other half consists of a powdered alloy of silver, mercury, and copper. Mercury is used in dental amalgam because it allows the particles of silver, tin, and copper to amalgamate and produce a strong and durable filling. Mercury also makes the dental amalgam very pliable. As a result, the amalgam filling can be easily pressed into the dental cavity. Also, mercury causes the filling to harden quickly, which enables the filling to withstand the forces of chewing and biting.
Are amalgam fillings safe?
There has been quite an uproar about the amalgam fillings not being safe. However, it is essential to understand that millions of people have amalgam fillings and the FDA has marked them safe for adults and children of age six and above.
How is an amalgam filling placed?
Your teeth are cleaned to remove plaque deposits and trapped food particles. The decay is drilled out and the tooth is prepared to receive the filling. Your dentist will then mix the powdered alloy with liquid mercury to prepare the dental amalgam. The pliable amalgam is then pressed into the tooth cavity. Amalgam hardens quickly and you can resume your regular lifestyle immediately.
What are the benefits of amalgam fillings?
Amalgam fillings have the following benefits:
- They are the least expensive type of dental filling.
- Amalgam fillings are strong and durable. They are not prone to cracks, chips or fractures.
- Amalgam fillings can easily withstand the chewing and biting forces of the back teeth.
- The placement of amalgam filling is easy as the amalgam is tolerant towards the moisture present in the mouth.
- Once the amalgam filling has been pressed on to the tooth's surface, a little corrosion takes place and as a result, all the microscopic voids are filled with the amalgam. The filling acts as a fluid resistant coating and inhibits bacterial growth and resists decay.
- Amalgam fillings harden quickly and you can immediately resume your regular lifestyle.
- You can get your amalgam fillings in a single dental appointment.
We, at LaCanne Family De, Menominee, provide for all your needs pertaining to dental services and routine exams. Our dentists with their entire team persist to present you with exceptional treatment that enhances and maintains the beauty of your smile.
If you have any further question, queries or dental emergencies and are looking for an accomplished dentist, feel free to contact us at (906) 352-4100 to schedule an appointment.