Dental amalgam is the most widely used filling material. It has been around for many years and still continues to be used as it has many advantages. We still see patients who have had amalgam fillings placed 30 years or more and they are still going strong. Despite the scares around amalgam, dentists still advocate this filling material widely as some of these fears are totally unfounded and are not based on any scientific foundation principles at all.
Dental amalgam is an alloy of mercury with metals which are silver, zinc, tin and copper. The reaction of mercury with the metal alloy results in amalgam. Different phases are apparent within the set material and these are labelled as gamma, gamma 1 and gamma two phases.