© IAOMT, September, 2002, by Stephen M. Koral, DMD
The history of amalgam is, of course, familiar. The alchemists of China and Europe were fascinated with mercury, the only metal that is liquid at room temperature, and which would evaporate with mild heat. They knew that liquid mercury could dissolve powders of other metals, such as tin, copper or silver. European methods for using a paste of silver shavings dissolved in mercury as dental restorations were introduced to America by the Crowcour brothers about 1830. Problems with excessive expansion in early amalgam were solved in time by adding the other, now customary metals – tin, zinc, and copper. The formula and technique for using amalgam has remained virtually unchanged for the past one hundred years.
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