WHAT IS AN AMALGAM?

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Amalgam

Dental amalgam fillings are sometimes called “silver” fillings. They are the most common type of filling used in Canada today. Because these fillings are silver in colour, they are used to fill back teeth. They are a mix of metals such as mercury, silver, copper and tin.

Advantages

  • These fillings are the least expensive type of filling.
  • They last a long time.
  • They are easy to put in place; because they are a direct filling, one visit to your dentist will do the job, in most cases.

Disadvantages

  • The silver colour may not appeal to people who want a “natural” look.
  • Tiny amounts of mercury are released from the filling when you chew. For most people, this bit of mercury is nothing to worry about. Studies have shown that amalgam fillings do not cause illness. They have been used on people for more than 150 years.
  • Health Canada advises pregnant women in need of a filling to wait until the baby is born before they go ahead with the procedure. Your dentist can suggest other kinds of fillings, if the work is urgent.

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