Dental Amalgam is a commonly used dental filling that has been used for over 150 years. It is a mixture of mercury with at least one other metal. Amalgam has many advantages over other restorative material, such as low cost, strength, durability, and bacteriostatic effects.
Dr. Schumer does not place very many amalgam restorations any more mainly because of the unattractive result. The amalgam fillings are black and the newer composite fillings are tooth colored. However, there are instances when the amalgam filling is still the material of choice, such as when the area to be restored is a little below the gum-line and in an area that is not visible to the patient or others. The composite restorations do not work well in areas that can not be isolated well and kept dry during placement. Amalgam can give many years of service in these situations.
The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has concluded that both amalgam and composite materials are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration.