Dental amalgam is produced by reaction (trituration) of mercury with silver–tin alloy particles. However, clinical use of amalgam is decreasing due to concern over its mercury content as well as environmental issues associated with waste amalgam disposal.
31.1 Dental amalgam alloy
Alloys are supplied as irregular (lathe-cut) particles, spherical/spheroidal particles, or a mixture of both, and they consist of silver and tin with lesser contents of copper and zinc (Table 31.1). Zinc-containing alloys have ≥0.01% zinc content whereas nonzinc alloys have <0.01% zinc.
Alloy type and the alloy-to-mercury ratio affect the properties of the set amalgam. The mix contains insufficient mercury for complete reaction and set amalgam contains 11–13% unreacted Ag3Sn particles.