What is Amalgam?

In dentistry, amalgam is an alloy of mercury with various metals used for dental fillings. It commonly consists of mercury (50%), silver (~22-32% ), tin (~14%), copper (~8%), and other trace metals.[1][2] Dental amalgams were first documented in a Tang Dynasty medical text written by Su Kung in 659, and appeared in Germany in 1528.[3][4] In the 1800s, amalgam became the dental restorative material of choice due to its low cost, ease of application, strength, and durability.[citation needed]

Recently however, its popularity has diminished somewhat.[citation needed] Concern for aesthetics, environmental pollution, health, and the availability of improved, reliable, composite materials have all contributed. In particular, concerns about the toxicity of mercury have made its use increasingly controversial.