Amalgam fillings are a well-established and inexpensive way to repair tooth damage. They offer a highly effective way to restore the structure and functionality of a tooth, particularly the back teeth. This type of filling has been used for over 180 years, so it has been tried and tested on millions of mouths.

What is amalgam?

Dental amalgam is the traditional silver-coloured filling we are all familiar with. Although there is mercury in dental amalgam, once it is combined with the other materials in the amalgam its chemical nature is changed, rendering it harmless.

Research into the safety of dental amalgam has been carried out for over a century and to date, no trustworthy controlled studies have found a connection between amalgam fillings and any medical problem.

Why have amalgam fillings?

  • Extremely hard wearing
  • Quicker to place than composite fillings
  • Less expensive than alternative restorative methods

What’s involved in having a filling?

  • The area to be treated is numbed with a local anaesthetic and the decayed part of the tooth removed with special dental tools.
  • A base or liner may be placed in the tooth to prevent sensitivity following the procedure.
  • The amalgam is mixed and then placed in the tooth. It is tightly compacted to ensure every part of the cavity is filled.
  • The amalgam is then shaped to resemble the tooth and, if necessary, it is smoothed down so it feels comfortable.

Frequently Asked Question

Are amalgam fillings safe?

Yes, amalgam fillings are safe. When used in alloy form with other metals, mercury is safe to use.

Can I have an amalgam filling during pregnancy?

We don’t advise using amalgam during pregnancy or when breastfeeding. Please talk to us about alternative options.

Can I have my amalgam fillings changed to composite?

Yes. If you would prefer more natural looking fillings, we can replace amalgam with white composite. This is much less noticeable in the mouth and still strong and durable.