Silver amalgam fillings are a mixture of silver, mercury, and other metals and have been used to restore teeth for more than 100 years. Now that we have better materials, we can acknowledge some of the shortcomings of silver amalgams:
- Expansion with hot and cold eventually leads to tooth fracture
- Amalgams do not completely bond to teeth, therefore there’s a steady leakage of fluids and bacteria, and decay can persist under the filling
- Amalgam needs to have bulk for strength; this meant that fillings had to be overly large and deep or they will be weak
- Dark and unattractive appearance
Today, technology has provided materials such as synthetic composites and ceramics that are white or colour-matched to your teeth. These materials are not only natural looking, they often times require minimal tooth removal. Since they are bonded or fused to the tooth, they also help to strenthen the teeth as well.