What are amalgams?
Amalgam is a combination of metals has been the material most popular and effective filler used in dentistry for the past 150 years. Although sometimes called “silver amalgam” amalgam actually consists of a combination of metals. These include silver, mercury, tin and copper. Small amounts of zinc, indium or palladium can also be used.
WHY I mercury used in amalgam?
The mercury amalgam is used as helps the filler material flexible. When admixed with an alloying powder, a compound that is gentle enough to mix and press the tooth is created. But it also hardens quickly and can withstand the forces of biting and chewing.
Why the concern about mercury in amalgams?
Mercury is a metal found naturally in the environment. Mercury can exist as a liquid, as in many thermometers. When heated, it becomes a gas. It can also be combined with many other materials.
Everyone is exposed to mercury through the air, drinking water, soil and food. Questions have been raised, for example, about the amount of mercury in fish building as a result of pollution. Mercury enters the air from industries that burn mercury-containing fuels. Mercury from all sources can accumulate in body organs.