DN Monitoring Desk
Silver amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper and used for dental applications.
Silver amalgams alloys are also known as dental amalgams and are used for dental fillings. Silver amalgams are popular dental restorative material because of their low cost, strength, durability and ease of application. They are long lasting, have a better performance than other fillings, applicable for broad range of clinical performance and are of better quality. However, its popularity is diminishing today because of concerns of mercury toxicity, allergic potential and inferior aesthetics quality. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended labeling of dental amalgam products, which includes a warning against using the product in patients who have an allergy to mercury. In addition, it has a warning that dental professionals follow a proper protocol while handling dental amalgams and a statement mentioning the risks and benefits of dental amalgam so that patients and dentist can make informed decisions.
The continued use of silver amalgam in dental applications will be a major driving factor for silver amalgam industry. The FDI World Dental Federation has reaffirmed the safety of use of silver amalgams in dentistry and hence it is used by dentists all around the world. Majority of dental restorations depend on silver amalgams and hence it has a significant market. However, development of viable substitutes, growth of dental composites market and lack of awareness could hamper the growth of this market.
The market for silver amalgam is worldwide as it is recommended by FDI World Dental Federation for use in its dental applications. The use of silver amalgams is quite popular in Asia Pacific, especially the emerging markets such as China and India due to its low cost and wide availability. The American Dental Association has also approved the use of silver amalgam for dental restorative procedures and hence it is used by majority of dentists in the U.S. However, the use of silver amalgam is declining in Europe with Sweden, Norway, Germany, Denmark, Austria and Finland reducing the use of silver amalgam for dental applications.