Over 150 years ago, dental amalgam was first utilized as a filling material. It has at least one additional metal and mercury in it. In comparison to other restorative materials, amalgam has a variety of advantages, including affordability, strength, durability, and bacteriostatic qualities.
Amalgam is utilized in dentistry for a number of reasons. It is very easy to use and work with during installation; before it hardens, it is soft for a brief time, allowing it to be packed into any irregular volume. Amalgam has a longer lifespan than other direct restorative materials like composite. In comparison to resin-based composites, which last about half as long, most amalgam restorations typically last 10 to 12 years. This discrepancy is, however, closing due to recent developments in composite material research and improved understanding of the technique sensitivity of placement.
Composite (white fillings) is the suggested restorative material when amalgam is not advised or when a more cautious preparation is needed. These situations include "enamel sites beyond the height of contour" and small occlusal restorations where amalgam would require the removal of more sound tooth material. The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs views both amalgam and composite materials for tooth restoration as secure and efficient.