General Description – Brief statement of the composition and behavior of the dental material.

Principle Uses – The types of dental restorations that are made from this material.

Resistance to further decay – The general ability of the material to prevent decay around it.

Longevity/Durability – The probable average length of time before the material will have to be replaced. (This will depend upon many factors unrelated to the material such as biting habits of the patient, their diet, the strength of their bite, oral hygiene, etc.)

Conservation of Tooth Structure – A general measure of how much tooth needs to be removed in order to place and retain the material.

Surface Wear/Fracture Resistance – A general measure of how well the material holds up over time under the forces of biting, grinding, clenching, etc.

Marginal Integrity (Leakage) – An indication of the ability of the material to seal the interface between the restoration and the tooth, thereby helping to prevent sensitivity and now decay.

Resistance to Occlusal Stress – The ability of the material to survive heavy biting forces over time.

Biocompatibility – the effect, if any, of the material on the general overall health of the patient.

Allergic or Adverse Reactions – Possible systemic or localized reactions of the skin, gums and other tissues to the material.

Toxicity – An indication of the ability of the material to interfere with normal physiologic processes beyond the mouth.

Susceptibility to Sensitivity – An indication of the probability that the restored teeth may be sensitive of stimuli (heat, cold, sweet, pressure) after the material is placed in them.

Esthetics – An indication of the degree to which the material resembles natural teeth.

Frequency of Repair or Replacement – An indication of the expected longevity of the restoration made from this material.

Relative Cost – A qualitative indication of what one would pay for a restoration made from this material compared to all the rest.

Number of Visits Required – How many times a patient would usually have to go to the dentist’s office in order to get a restoration made from this material.

Dental Amalgam – Filling material composed mainly of mercury (43-54%) and varying percentages of silver, tin, and copper (46-57%)