You searched for: “amalgam
amalgam (s) (noun), amalgams (pl)
1. A combination or blend of diverse things: The speaker confused his audience with his amalgams of unrelated references to issues that needed attention in the local government.
2. Any alloy (or "mixture of metals") of mercury with another metal or other metals: Pure metals are rarely ever used, instead they are deliberately mixed in order to produce hundreds of new substances with desirable qualities that are not available except with amalgams.

The term amalgam has been used for more than 150 years in dental restorations; only gold has been used longer for this purpose.

Are Amalgam Fillings in the Teeth a Danger to One's Health?

It is silver amalgam (mercury plus several metals, mainly silver) and no silver by itself that is used for "silver fillings" in teeth.

The amalgam is soft enough to knead (squeeze or press) into the cavity, while chemical reactions harden it after waiting for a short time.

It is known that a fraction of the mercury in amalgam is absorbed by the body and that people with amalgam restorations in their teeth have higher concentrations of mercury in various tissues (including the blood, urine, kidneys, and brain) than people without amalgam fillings.

It was not until about 1980 that serious consideration was given to the possibility that mercury vapor escaping from amalgam fillings might be affecting health, specifically producing subtle effects on the central nervous system. Such effects have been reported among dentists and other dental personnel, whose exposures are well below industrial levels but above those from fillings alone.

In 1993, the Public Health Service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a report acknowledging that scientific data are insufficient to conclude that amalgam fillings have compromised health. Furthermore, there is no evidence that removal of amalgam fillings has a beneficial effect on one's health; however, there are others who claim that over time, there is serious health damage.

Apparently, further studies will be needed to determine whether the combined exposure to the metals in dental amalgam may lower a person's condition for adverse immunological reactions.

—Compiled from information located in
"About Dental Amalgam Fillings" at
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
A mixture or a blend of an alloy of mercury and another metal.
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This entry is located in the following unit: amalga- (page 1)
Word Entries containing the term: “amalgam
amalgam retort (s) (noun), amalgam retorts (pl)
A vessel where substances are distilled or decomposed by heat: An amalgam retort involves mercury that is distilled off from gold or silver mixtures.
This entry is located in the following units: amalga- (page 1) tors-, tort-, -tort, tortu-, torqu- (page 1)
amalgam treatment (s) (noun), amalgam treatments (pl)
The process of extracting metal from ore using chemicals; such as, mercury: The mine engineers attempted to design an amalgam treatment that would not harm the environment; in other words, developing a metal extraction process that did not rely on toxic substances.
This entry is located in the following unit: amalga- (page 1)
copper amalgam (s) (noun), copper amalgams (pl)
A dental compound consisting of mercury and copper: Unlike a silver and tin alloy, copper amalgam is prepared a moment before use by heating the required quantity over a flame. The alloy then melts and remains plastic for enough time to use, even at room temperature.

Copper amalgam usually stays in place after it has been inserted into the tooth cavity.

This entry is located in the following units: amalga- (page 1) cupr-, cupro-, cupri- (page 1)
dental amalgam (s) (noun), dental amalgams (pl)
A soft mixture of mercury and alloys of silver, tin, and copper that becomes very hard when set and has been used to fill tooth cavities: Now, applications of dental amalgams are being replaced with another plastic-type of filling, or gold, etc.
This entry is located in the following unit: amalga- (page 1)
Word Entries at Get Words: “amalgam
An alloy (mixture) of mercury and at least one other metal, used to fill cavities in teeth.
An alloy of mercury (Hg) and another metal or metals; for example, amalgams containing mercury and silver (Ag) are often used as dental fillings.
This entry is located in the following unit: Metallurgy Topics or Metal Technology + (page 1)
A blend or a combination of different things; a mixture of metals with mercury and other metals. (1)