Silver Amalgam Filling- Silver Colored Fillings For Dental Restoration
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Silver Amalgam Filling- Silver Colored Fillings For Dental Restoration 

April 30, 2024

Amalgam fillings are also known as silver or metal fillings because they are made from a combination of materials like silver, copper, tin, mercury, etc. These silver amalgam tooth fillings are durable and strong, lasting for decades with proper care and treatment. But you should be aware that these are visible fillings because of the nature of the materials they are made of. They have their pros and cons which you must consider when getting silver amalgam fillings. 

What is an amalgam filling?

Amalgam fillings are another way by which silver amalgam dental fillings are referred to. This is a type of direct dental restoration which is used to repair teeth which have been damaged by decay or trauma. It gets its name from the nature of the material used for forming the filling which is composed of a mixture of metals, primarily silver, mercury, tin, and copper. 

This is a type of direct restoration because the process takes place within the mouth rather than fabricating the main restoration outside the mouth. The decayed portion of the tooth is removed to create a clean area where a filling composed of liquid mercury with powdered metals is placed. This restores the normal shape and function of the tooth when an experienced dentist is in charge of the silver amalgam filling procedure. 

These types of fillings have been used in dentistry for over a century because of advantages like strength, stability, and durability. These are especially amazing for restoring molars and premolars because these areas are subjected to heavy chewing forces and amalgam fillings can take this load. 

It is important to note that regulatory bodies such as the American Dental Association consider this treatment a safe option to restore damaged teeth. Many researches and clinical experiences have shown that silver amalgam fillings are a long-term safe and effective solution for most patients. 

Who is a Good Candidate for Silver Amalgam Tooth Fillings?

  • Patients who have large cavities or tooth decay, especially in areas of heavy wear and tear like molars and premolars.
  • People who want a durable and cost-effective long-term filing option to restore damaged teeth.
  • Patients who have sufficient healthy tooth structure which can support the placement of silver mercury amalgam fillings.
  • People who are not allergic to any material or metals used in amalgam fillings.
  • People who are seeking a fast and effective straightforward dental restoration solution.

Who Needs Silver Amalgam Tooth Restoration?

  • Patients with moderate to severe cavities or tooth decay who want to restore teeth rather than look for replacement options.
  • Individuals who prioritize durability and longevity rather than aesthetics when looking for dental restorations.
  • People who want affordable treatment to restore teeth which are damaged.
  • People who still prefer traditional and time-tested amalgam fillings rather than newer alternatives like ceramic or composite fillings.
  • People who have risk factors of getting new cavities or more decay in teeth due to a health problem, genetics, poor oral hygiene, etc. 

Benefits of Silver Amalgam Tooth Fillings

  • Durability: One of the biggest advantages of this type of filling is durability. This type of filling can withstand the repeated forces of chewing and grinding in the mouth. This is why it is one of the best options to restore teeth in areas that withstand repeated wear and tear.
  • Cost-effectiveness: When we compare amalgam fillings to other filling options like ceramic or composite fillings, these are more practical because this is a much more affordable option along with being a more durable option.
  • Strength and stability: These fillings are known to prevent further damage because they provide strong support to the tooth structure. The restored tooth is stabilized and reinforced which prevents fractures and prolongs the lifespan of the treated tooth.
  • Quick restoration: The entire process of restoring a tooth by placing amalgam tooth filling is straightforward and quick. It is quite an effective solution as well.
  • Versatile solution: This type of filling can be used to fill cavities in different locations of the mouth which includes molars and premolars. A wide range of dental needs in both adults and children can be met using this type of tooth restoration.
  • Resistance to wear and tear: These dental fillings are highly resistant to corrosion and wear. They last for a long time and require the least maintenance. You can depend on these for an effective dental solution which restores tooth function.
  • Proven results: Silver amalgam fillings have been used for more than a century which is why we know that these give a successful outcome. There is a proven track record where countless patients have benefitted from this option.
  • Minimal sensitivity: Other filling materials can cause a fair bit of post-procedure sensitivity whereas these fillings cause the least discomfort. Some people may not experience any discomfort.

As explained earlier, there has been a lot of focus and research on these types of fillings and most studies have found this to be a safe and viable option for most people.

Disadvantages and Side Effects of Silver Amalgam Fillings 

Every dental procedure will have some advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of a certain procedure may be more for some people. You should always discuss with your dentist which procedure is best for your particular needs and health status. It is worth noting that silver amalgam tooth fillings have several benefits while being affordable and durable.

Certain disadvantages which you should know are:

  • Aesthetic concerns: This is the most noticeable disadvantage of this procedure because as the name suggests these fillings have a noticeable silver color. People who are looking for more aesthetic results with natural-looking restoration may not like the end results. They may consider other options, especially for prominent areas of the mouth. 
  • Risk of fracture- Unlike some other treatments, silver amalgam fillings do not bond directly with the tooth structure. There is more of a mechanical retention of this filling. In case of larger fillings, this may weaken the tooth structure with an increased risk of cracks and fractures. To avoid it, this treatment may be combined with a crown or other option.
  • Risk of tooth discolouration: There is a slight chance that the amalgam fillings may discolor the surrounding teeth. The surrounding tooth may develop a greyish hue or may darken. This can usually be corrected with teeth whitening procedures or the filling may have to be replaced with another type of filling.
  • Temperature sensitivity: As the filling has metals in it, some people may experience increased sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures. But this is fine as it resolves in a few days in most of the cases.
  • Risk of allergic reactions: This is quite rare but some people may be allergic to components of silver amalgam dental fillings like mercury or copper. Allergic reactions may include oral discomfort, swelling around the treated area, itching, etc. Please let your dentist know if you have any such issues. 
  • Concerns about mercury: Patients often wonder if silver amalgam fillings are safe. It is important for you to know that mercury in these fillings is bonded with other materials and has been found to be safe for most people. But if you have such concerns, discuss different options with your dentist. Specialists at Kirkland Premier Dentistry can provide you with the latest dental restoration solutions. 
  • Challenges with removal: These fillings have a strong adhesion and can be a little more difficult to remove than other types of fillings. It requires expertise as precautions have to be taken to minimize the mercury vapors and to prevent any damage to the tooth.

It is important to weigh the pros and cons of different types of dental fillings and choose the option which suits you best after consultation with your dentist.


We have addressed all the queries surrounding silver amalgam tooth fillings in this blog. Getting a dental restoration which meets your requirements and provides the best results should not be a stressful experience. Our experts at Kirkland Premier Dentistry can help you find the most suitable and safe dental restoration solutions. Our customized and empathetic approach combined with expertise and experience can give you the results which you need. Reach out to us for all types of dental solutions.


1. What are Silver mercury amalgam fillings?

These are also called silver fillings and are made by mixing liquid mercury with powdered metals such as copper, tin, and silver. These combine to form a long-lasting material for restoring damaged teeth.

2. What are the components of dental amalgam?

Dental amalgam filling material consists of silver, mercury, tin, and copper. These are mixed together and they make a strong and pliable filling material which can withstand the forces of grinding and chewing in the mouth.

3. Is dental amalgam safe?

This is the most frequent question in the mind of anyone who is planning or has been advised to get a dental filling. The safety of dental amalgam tooth filling has been extensively studied. It has been found to be safe for most patients. People do worry about the mercury content but then it is combined with other materials which results in the formation of a safe and stable material.

Many organizations and associations including the American Dental Association agree that dental amalgam is a safe and effective solution for filling cavities. But with any dental treatment and materials used, individual factors too play a role which is why it is so important to discuss it with your dentist.

4. What is a dental liquid metal filling for cavities?

Dental liquid metal fillings are another name for silver amalgam fillings. Liquid mercury is mixed with powdered metals like silver, copper, and tin which results in the formation of a stable, safe, durable, and pliable material for filling.

5. Are silver amalgam fillings safe?

Yes, these are safe because the liquid mercury is used with other metals and it forms a stable material. Levels of mercury released from these fillings are very well below the threshold of harm for most people. You may not be an ideal candidate for these types of fillings if you are allergic to any component in amalgam fillings. 

6. Do silver amalgam fillings have any side effects?

While these amalgam fillings are generally safe for most people, some people may experience side effects like allergic reactions, discoloration of the surrounding teeth, sensitivity to metals, etc. Additionally, some people who want the dental restorations to be cosmetically more appealing may have concerns as this is not a natural-looking solution. These fillings are noticeable, especially in certain areas of the mouth.

7. Are silver amalgam fillings dangerous?

When these fillings are placed by a qualified dentist, they are not dangerous at all. If you are concerned about mercury exposure, reach out to our experts to discuss concerns and potential solutions.

8. How long do silver amalgam fillings last?

These fillings are known to last for a long time with minimal maintenance. With proper care, these can last for a decade or two. Size of the filling, location of the filling, oral health habits, and other factors do play a role in determining how long the fillings will last.

9. What is the cost of silver amalgam filling?

The cost of amalgam fillings will vary depending on variables like the size of the filling, location of the filling, your location, additional procedures, etc. It is generally more affordable than composite or ceramic fillings which are tooth coloured

10. What are the toxicity symptoms of silver amalgam fillings?

These are generally safe fillings and will not do any harm. Some people can still experience certain symptoms related to metal toxicity after getting these fillings. These symptoms can include headache, fatigue, allergic reactions, etc. It is important that your dentist knows your medical history, and allergic reactions in the past, and you need to discuss your concerns or symptoms with the dentist. If you notice any symptoms, you must reach out to a healthcare provider. 

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