Should the amalgam filling be replaced?

Article Author

Author: Šime Lovrić , DMD


Amalgam has been used for more than 150 years to fill lateral teeth. In some countries such as Sweden, Germany, Norway and Denmark it is banned. The amalgam filling consists of about 55% mercury, 44% silver and 1% trace metals such as zinc, copper and tin. Such a filling can be potentially toxic due to mercury, and in addition can cause an allergic reaction due to the copper metal.

Good characteristics are resistance, strength and ease of handling, but it has a number of bad characteristics, so it is no longer used in modern dentistry. A bad feature and certainly the biggest drawback is the aesthetics that does not meet the criteria of modern dentistry. Furthermore, the amalgam filling binds to the tooth only mechanically, and the preparation is much larger, the so-called “box form” in relation to composite fillings. It weakens the tooth in the long run, expands due to time and heat, and has a tendency to run or crack with constant chewing forces.

Over time, amalgam fillings wear out and do not adhere to the tooth, causing plaque to build up and result in caries. The process of caries itself is not felt by the patient, that is, it will be felt only when it gets to the nerve, which otherwise means that regular check-ups and replacement of fillings are mandatory if they are not appropriate.

Amalgam removal is not harmful for your health, and it is replaced only when the edge of the filling does not meet the criteria, in case of caries or for aesthetic reasons.