Dental Amalgam is a commonly used dental filling that has been used for over 150 years. Amalgam has many advantages, such as low cost, strength, durability, and bacteriostatic effects.
Amalgam is used in dentistry for a number of reasons. It is relatively easy to use and manipulate during placement; it remains soft for a short time so it can be packed to fill any irregular volume, and then forms a hard compound.
There are circumstances in which composite (white fillings) serves better than amalgam; when amalgam is not indicated for aesthetic considerations, or when a more conservative preparation would be beneficial, composite is the recommended restorative material.
The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has concluded that both amalgam and composite materials are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration.