The old fashioned way to fill back teeth is to use a silver amalgam filling. What you may not realize is that a silver filling is 50 percent mercury! Yes that’s right a full half of your silver filling is mercury. That is not a good thing.
The newer tooth shaded filling materials are so much better for your teeth. They mechanically bond to the dentin and enamel to strengthen the tooth. The tight seal of this type of restoration helps to prevent new decay from starting at junction of the filling and the tooth.
There are many disadvantages of a silver filling. The esthetics is not good: especially in someone who likes to smile. They do not add strength to the tooth. Basically they just sit there. To get the filling to stay in the tooth more healthy tooth structure must be removed during preparation. Undercuts and dove tails must be cut in healthy enamel to retain the filling further weakening the tooth.
The best adage is eighty years ago the most modern automobile was the Model T. It was the first mass production car and was produced by Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company. When this vehicle was manufactured they were putting silver amalgam fillings in teeth. Fast forward to today. Look at the amazing array of vehicles available. The automobile has advanced greatly. We have standard internal combustion, some hybrids or all electric and a majority with the most sophisticated electronics on the planet. Dentistry has also advanced offering posterior teeth restorations that are strong and esthetic and bond to the teeth. Why would you want an old fashioned filling?
I am so committed to this type of restoration that I stopped doing amalgam restorations fifteen years ago. There is no mercury in my office.