Art of Amalgam Placement

Understanding the Art of Amalgam Placement, Carving, Finishing, and Polishing

Your smile is a priceless asset that deserves the utmost care and attention. Over the years, dental technology and techniques have evolved to provide safer and more aesthetically pleasing solutions for restoring damaged teeth.

One such method is amalgam placement, a process that involves mercury filling removal and replacing them with advanced dental materials. In this post, we will delve into the intricate steps of amalgam placement, carving, finishing, and polishing.

Condensing Amalgam

Condensing amalgam is a critical step in the process of placing dental restorations. This procedure involves packing and compressing the amalgam material into the prepared cavity. Let’s explore the step-by-step procedure for condensing amalgam:

Cavity Preparation:

Before condensing the amalgam, the dentist first prepares the cavity by removing any decayed or damaged tooth structure. The tooth is carefully cleaned and shaped to create a suitable space for the restoration. The dentist may use dental instruments, such as drills or lasers, to precisely remove the affected areas.

Isolation and Moisture Control:

To ensure optimal conditions for amalgam placement, isolation and moisture control are crucial. The dentist may place a rubber dam or use cotton rolls and dental suction to keep the treatment area dry and free from saliva. Moisture can interfere with the amalgam’s properties and compromise its effectiveness.

Mixing and Placing Amalgam:

The dentist prepares the amalgam by mixing the powdered alloy with a liquid mercury component. This mixture creates a pliable mass that can be shaped and packed into the cavity. The dentist carefully fills the cavity with the mixed amalgam, using instruments like condensers or amalgam carriers to deliver and pack the material.

Layering and Condensing:

To achieve optimal strength and stability, the amalgam is condensed in layers. The dentist places small increments of amalgam into the cavity and uses hand instruments or mechanical devices to compress and condense each layer. This process removes any air bubbles or voids, ensuring a dense and tightly packed restoration.

Carving and Shaping:

Once the desired amount of amalgam has been condensed into the cavity, the dentist begins carving and shaping the restoration. This step involves removing excess material and sculpting the amalgam to resemble the natural contours of the tooth. Dental instruments like carvers and burnishers are used to refine the shape and achieve a proper occlusion.

Finishing and Polishing:

After carving and shaping, the dentist focuses on the final touches of the amalgam restoration. Finishing strips, disks, and polishing agents are employed to smoothen the surface of the restoration, creating a seamless blend with the surrounding tooth structure. This step improves the restoration’s aesthetics and facilitates proper oral hygiene maintenance.

Occlusal Adjustment:

To ensure that the bite is properly aligned, the dentist performs occlusal adjustments. By checking the patient’s bite and making any necessary modifications, the dentist ensures that the newly placed amalgam restoration functions harmoniously with the opposing teeth.

Oral Hygiene Instructions:

To promote long-term oral health and the longevity of the amalgam restoration, the dentist provides the patient with oral hygiene instructions. These instructions typically include proper brushing and flossing techniques, regular dental check-ups, and recommendations for a balanced diet.

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Carving Amalgam

Carving amalgam is a crucial step in the process of dental restoration. Below are the steps involved in this procedure:

Initial Placement:

Before carving the amalgam, the dentist first places the material into the prepared cavity. The amalgam is condensed and packed into the cavity using instruments such as condensers or amalgam carriers. The dentist ensures that the amalgam is properly packed and condensed to create a solid foundation for the carving process.


Once the amalgam is placed, the dentist evaluates the initial shape and contours of the restoration. This evaluation is done visually and tactually to assess the overall size and shape of the amalgam. The dentist takes note of any areas that require adjustments or refinements during the carving process.

Carving Technique:

Carving amalgam involves the use of specific dental instruments designed for shaping and refining the material. These instruments include amalgam carvers, hollenback carvers, hatchets, and cleoid-discoids. The dentist carefully manipulates these instruments to remove excess amalgam and sculpt the material into the desired shape.

Excess Amalgam Removal London:

The dentist begins by removing any excess amalgam that extends beyond the tooth structure. This excess material is carefully shaved off using carvers or hatchets, following the natural contours of the tooth. The dentist takes care not to remove too much material, maintaining the structural integrity of the restoration.

Sculpting Natural Anatomy:

To create a natural appearance, the dentist sculpts the amalgam to resemble the anatomy and contours of the adjacent teeth. This involves carefully shaping the occlusal surfaces, cusps, grooves, and embrasures to mimic the natural tooth structure. The dentist uses carvers and other shaping instruments to refine the shape and achieve proper occlusion.

Achieving Proper Proximal Contacts:

Proximal contacts refer to the contact points between the restored tooth and adjacent teeth. The dentist ensures that the amalgam restoration has appropriate contact with the neighbouring teeth for proper alignment and function. Using carving instruments, the dentist adjusts and shapes the amalgam to achieve proper proximal contacts.

Finishing and Polishing:

After the desired shape and contours are achieved, the dentist proceeds with finishing and polishing the amalgam restoration. Finishing strips, disks, and polishing agents are used to smooth and refine the surface of the restoration. This step enhances the aesthetics of the restoration and facilitates proper oral hygiene maintenance.

Occlusal Adjustment:

To ensure a harmonious bite, the dentist performs occlusal adjustments. The patient’s bite is checked and any necessary modifications are made to ensure proper alignment and occlusion. This step ensures that the restored tooth functions properly within the overall bite.


Smile Clinic London is your one-stop destination for a wide range of dental services, including dental amalgam removal, smile makeovers, restorative dentistry, and preventive care. Our skilled dental care professionals and state-of-the-art facilities ensure personalized, high-quality treatment. Be sure to connect with us if you are to transform your smile and improve your oral health.