Amalgam at the new millennium

J Am Dent Assoc. 1998 Nov;129(11):1547-56. doi: 10.14219/jada.archive.1998.0101.


Dental amalgam has served as an excellent and versatile restorative material for many years, despite periods of controversy. The authors review its history, summarize the evidence in regard to its performance and offer predictions for the future of this material. For the present, amalgam should remain the material of choice for economical direct restoration of posterior teeth. When esthetic concerns are paramount, tooth-colored materials, placed meticulously, can provide an acceptable alternative.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Dental Amalgam* / adverse effects
  • Dental Amalgam* / chemistry
  • Dental Amalgam* / history
  • Dental Cavity Preparation
  • Dental Materials
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent* / history
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent* / methods
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent* / trends
  • Esthetics, Dental
  • Forecasting
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Dental Materials
  • Dental Amalgam