Dealing with amalgam stains – John Rafelt 3M oral Care

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  Posted by: The Probe      12th January 2020

Amalgam remains one of the most widely used dental materials in the UK. It is estimated that at least 80% of the population have at least one dental filling, and as amalgam is the cheapest and most reliable material used for this treatment, it follows that a huge proportion of fillings will be amalgam.[i]

But with the shifting perceptions of patient satisfaction in regards to aesthetics, people may want to change their amalgam fillings for more natural-looking options. This means that professionals need to be prepared.

The shifting tides

People are seeking more natural-looking dental treatment. This could be due to a number of reasons. One reason could be that people are becoming more aware of the aesthetic alternatives available. With advertising now a much bigger part of a dental practice’s identity, it makes sense that people are discovering the latest products and solutions.

Another reason may be the growing pressure to look good in our society. With social media exploding into prominence and becoming an essential part of most people’s everyday life, there is a need to always meet certain standards in terms of appearance.

There’s also an environmental reason behind people not wanting amalgam fillings any longer. The core drive behind amalgam being phased out as per the conditions set out at the Minamata Convention is that excess of the material can enter the waterways. Once in marine or aquatic environments, mercury can convert to methylmercury, and this accumulates in the sediment at the bottom of the sea and the bodies of marine animals.[ii]

These environmental concerns are prompting people to opt for alternative treatments when a filling is needed, while inspiring people to want to change their existing amalgam fillings as well.

Making the switch

In light of all this, it’s easy to see why certain people may be looking to replace their existing amalgam fillings with a more aesthetic substitute. This is usually a straightforward procedure, but in some cases amalgam fillings can stain teeth, and this is harder to correct.

One excellent option is to use the new Pink Opaquer shade of Filtek Universal restorative from 3M Oral Care. Ideal for masking stains caused by metals, Filtek Universal Pink Opaquer can be used in conjunction with other 3M products such as Filtek One Bulk Fill restorative to provide a functional, strong and aesthetic replacement for amalgam.

By choosing these composites as a suitable alternative to amalgam and that mask staining, you can help patients achieve all their aesthetic desires.


For more information, call 0800 626 578 or visit




[i] Dentistry. Amalgam Fillings Don’t Need to be Replaced, DDU Warns. Link: [Last accessed October 19].

[ii] UK Marine Conservation Society. Mercury. Link: [Last accessed October 19].

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