Although no one has yet proved that the mercury in amalgam fillings is dangerously toxic to the human body, more and more dentists are offering an alternative to amalgam. Before the 19th century, if teeth were filled rather than simply extracted, the resultant hole was usually plugged with either molten gold or silver. The heat killed the nerve of the tooth, and thus the tooth died. However, in the 1820s, Auguste Taveau, of Paris, added mercury to silver-tin from Frenchcoins and thus amalgam, which is soft and malleable at room temperature, was perfected. Amalgam has many great qualities as a tooth filling material. It is tolerant of saliva...
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