Global Amalgam Market: Introduction
Mercury, when alloyed with a number of metals, forms amalgam. Amalgam is easy to handle and it has good durability and strength. Amalgam is less expensive and it is primarily used for dental fillings. Common constituents of amalgam are mercury, tin, silver, and copper. High-copper amalgam contains 35%–50% of silver, 20%–25% of tin, 15%–22% of copper, and 0.15% of zinc along with mercury. It also contains indium and palladium in small amounts. Silver offers setting expansion, increase in strength, and resistance to corrosion. Tin may cause setting contraction, whereas copper improves strength; minimizes corrosion and tarnish; and reduces creep and marginal leakage. Zinc-containing amalgams have longer shelf life than non-zinc amalgams.
Indium reduces creep and increases strength, whereas palladium decreases corrosion and tarnish. (Tarnish is damage of luster from the metal or amalgam surface due to formation of a surface coating.) The alloy remains unaffected and its mechanical characteristics remain the same. The sulfide layer formed on the surface causes amalgam to tarnish. Surface corrosion may cause discoloration and restoration of amalgam and it may result in pitting. Surface corrosion fills the amalgam interface with corrosion products, thereby reducing micro leakage. Internal corrosion can result in marginal breakdown and fracture. Adoption of amalgam has declined in the recent years, especially due to its mercury content. This may restrain the global amalgam market during the forecast period.
Global Amalgam Market: Segmentation
The global amalgam market can be segmented based on product, application, and region. In terms of product, the amalgam market can be classified into mercury, tin, silver, copper, and other amalgam. The copper amalgam segment is projected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. High-copper dental amalgam possesses properties such as high strength, less corrosion, and low tarnish. It forms less creep and offers minimal sensitivity to handling variables, thereby producing long-term clinical results. As compared to low-copper amalgam, high-copper amalgam restorations face a fewer incidences of marginal failure. Hence, low-copper dental amalgam has almost fully been replaced by high-copper amalgam.
In terms of application, the amalgam market can be classified into dental amalgam, aluminum amalgam, and ammonium amalgam. The dental amalgam segment is projected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. Increased awareness about oral health is likely to drive the dental amalgam market during the forecast period.
Global Amalgam Market: Regional Outlook
In terms of region, the global amalgam market can be segmented into Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is expected to dominate the global healthcare market during the forecast period. Increase in population, especially in India and China, is expected to augment the demand for hospitals and dental clinics in the region. This, in turn, is projected to drive the global market for amalgam during the forecast period. The amalgam market in South Africa is expected to expand at a sluggish pace compared to other countries in during the forecast period. Presence of undeveloped economy and lack of technological advancements are estimated to hamper the amalgam market in the country during the forecast period.
Global Amalgam Market: Key Players
The global amalgam market is consolidated. A few companies operate at the global and regional levels. Major companies operating in the global market are DMP Dental, Patterson Dental, APL Materials, Nanjing Foi-Noe Co. Ltd., AT&M Biomaterials Co. Ltd., BOME, Kerr Corporation, Benco Dental Supply Company, and Henry Schein Inc.