By Dr. Kopel
Silver mercury fillings also known as dental amalgams have been in use since the 19th century. They are composed of a mixture of silver, tin, copper and mercury. They are quickly becoming obsolete and not usually recommended to restore cavities any more. Instead, composite fillings are now used.
Composite fillings, first introduced in the 1960's have undergone many generational improvements and are now both strong and cosmetic alternatives to silver mercury fillings.
They have the advantages of not containing mercury, are cosmetic and require less tooth reduction when removing cavities.