If you have ever suffered from any form of tooth decay in London, you will know that the only way of getting around it is to have a filling. Now, there is a trend to opt for the fashionable white filling, as opposed to having the old grey amalgam ones. But although white resin based ones look natural, as they mirror the colour of your teeth, they haven’t quite reached their potential when it comes to reliability; they tend to shrink over time and hence, fall out. Amalgam, although not anywhere near as pretty, is very strong and generally, once it is in your mouth, chances are it will be in there for life- just ask your parents and grandparents. They are incredibly strong, they can take anything that you throw at them and offer a damaged tooth excellent support; they are also cheap in comparison to resin based fillings. However, all is not well in the world of amalgam and there is a lot of fuss being kicked up about the level of mercury that is used in it, in some countries it is being banned. Though mercury is toxic, it is very rare that anyone suffers from mercury poisoning from amalgam fillings, or at least there isn’t a huge case of it. Again, it’s one of those grey areas in dentistry where the jury is still out. Yet until we start living way over a hundred years, then it just means that you should learn all you can and weigh up the facts yourself before writing off a reliable treatment that has been incredible for over a hundred years.