What are white fillings?
Most men and women get cavities in their teeth at some point, even with good oral hygiene. While traditional fillings are effective treatments for cavities, they often cause the tooth to become discolored because of the dark color of the filling material. If those cavities occur in a visible part of your mouth, you may want a white filling that more closely matches the natural color of the rest of your smile. At Bay City Dental Center, Dr. Matthew Ward has extensive experience placing white fillings and can walk you through the process during a consultation. If you're in Bay City, MI, or the Tri-City area, contact us today to learn more about white fillings and schedule an appointment.
Am I A Candidate For White Fillings?
White fillings, also known as tooth-colored fillings, are an excellent option for men and women who need a cavity filled or already have traditional mercury amalgam fillings. White fillings are strong, are not made with heavy metals, and most importantly, don't change the natural color of the treated tooth. Candidates for white fillings include anyone who needs a new filling or wants to replace old traditional fillings to restore the natural appearance of their teeth.
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What Makes White Fillings Different?
You may have seen traditional amalgam fillings in other dental patients. These dental fillings are gray-colored and are often noticeable when opening your mouth or showing off your smile. White fillings, also known as tooth-colored fillings, match the color of your natural teeth. White fillings are virtually invisible when performed correctly. Even if your fillings are placed in a conspicuous area, most people will never even know you have them.
What materials are used for white fillings?
Not all white fillings are made of the same material. At Bay City Cental Center in Bay City, MI, Dr. Ward offers a wide variety of cutting-edge dental materials. These include:
- COMPOSITE FILLINGS
Composite fillings are also called plastic fillings. This is because they are comprised of a synthetic plastic substance that closely matches your tooth color. These white fillings can be applied in just one simple appointment, which makes them a convenient choice for most dental patients. However, they are not as strong as some of our other options. We may not choose composite fillings for molars or other teeth that are used for chewing.
- PORCELAIN FILLINGS
Porcelain fillings are stronger than most other kinds of fillings. Made from a special formula, porcelain fillings are crafted to look the same as natural enamel and last much longer than conventional fillings. Filling a cavity with porcelain may require more than one trip to the dentist since several layers must be applied to repair the tooth properly. Our team can provide you with information about porcelain fillings during your initial assessment.
How Are White Fillings Placed?
The process of getting a white filling is about the same as getting other kinds of dental fillings. Dr. Ward begins by examining the tooth and ensuring that a white filling is appropriate for your needs. We then clean the area from any decayed material and unwanted bacteria. Our dental staff applies bonding material once this part of the treatment is complete. A temporary filling may be placed if you are getting a porcelain filling placed, or the composite material is placed and shaped.
Dr. Ward may advise you to avoid chewing on the area where the filling was applied for a short period of time. You should also avoid hot food and drinks until the anesthesia wears off. Most patients should be able to eat, drink, brush, and floss with their new white filling with no problems within a matter of hours.
White Fillings FAQ
How long do dental fillings last?
Typically, we expect fillings to last for about 15 years. It's important to keep in mind, however, that this length of time can change from one patient to another, depending on several factors, including the health of their teeth and whether or not they grind or clench their teeth.
How much do tooth fillings cost?
In most cases, white fillings will cost anywhere from $90 – $250 for a single tooth. During your consultation, we'll analyze your teeth and determine if you need fillings, at which point we can offer a more detailed cost estimate.
How long does it take to administer a tooth-colored filling?
The procedure itself usually takes somewhere between 10 minutes and an hour. We generally recommend for patients to plan for it to take the full hour just in case there are any issues.