Description: Amalgam fillings have traditionally had a high percentage of mercury or silver in them. These silver-colored or dark fillings have been the restorative method of choice for many years due to their low cost, ease of application, strength, and durability. In recent years, however, a number of factors have led to a decline in use. These include lingering concerns about detrimental health effects, aesthetics, and improved alternatives. In addition, amalgams contain mercury, which can cause serious health conditions over time and contaminates the environment.
From a purely cosmetic standpoint, of course the metallic color does not blend with the natural tooth color. This is especially important when amalgams are used on front teeth. On one hand, amalgam or mercury fillings can last for a long time, but on the other hand, they can also weaken the tooth structure over time as they corrode and leak, leading to fractures and recurrent decay.