Amalgam has been used as dental fillings for the last 150 years and is a durable mixture of metal material used to restore teeth. The material is inexpensive and easy to manipulate when placing.

What are the advantages of dental amalgam?
Amalgam possesses great strength and can be used in all individuals of all ages. Amalgam is used in stress-bearing areas as well as in medium to larger cavities in the posterior (back) teeth. Amalgam restorations are encouraged when oral hygiene is compromised or when there is recurrent and rampant cavities. At times maintenance of a dry environment when restoring the tooth moisture can be difficult; amalgam is an appropriate material in these cases. Amalgam can also be used as buildup material for ceramic, metal, and cast-metal restorations.

When are other restorative materials used? 
Due to improvement in oral health and improved hygiene in the last 30 years, other materials such as composite resins (tooth colored fillings) are being implemented as restoration material. When aesthetics are involved, composite resin material are often recommended. In cases of hypersensitive or allergy to mercury, other restorative material besides amalgam should be used.