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Used by dentists for more than a century, Dental Amalgam is the most thoroughly researched and tested restorative material among all those in use. It is durable, easy to use, highly resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive in comparison to other materials. For those reasons, it remains a valued treatment option for dentists and their patients. As Amalgam fillings can withstand very high chewing loads, they are particularly useful for restoring molars in the back of the mouth where the chewing load is the greatest. They are also useful in areas where a cavity preparation is difficult to keep dry during the filling replacement, such as in deep fillings below the gum line. Amalgam fillings, like other filling materials, are considered biocompatible. They are also well tolerated by patients with only rare occurrences of allergic responses.
Disadvantages of Amalgam include, possible short-term sensitivity to hot or cold food after the filling is placed. The silver-coloured filling is not as natural looking like one that is tooth-coloured, especially when the restoration is near the front of the mouth, and can be seen when the patient laughs or speaks. To prepare the tooth, the dentist may need to remove more tooth structure to accommodate an Amalgam filling than for other types of fillings.
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