Although white fillings may not last as long as the traditional silver amalgam fillings, some patients still opt for the white fillings for visible teeth. The fillings come in a variety of shades to match the tooth.
The average life span of a white filling is five to 10 years. This may vary over time, though, as materials continue to improve.
Some patients believe white fillings are healthier than the alternative. Silver fillings contain mercury, and some patients fear the filling will be toxic to their body. No proof exists that silver fillings are harmful. Many patients prefer white fillings for aesthetic purposes.
The average life of a silver filling is five to seven years, although some can last 15 years. The filling is also an excellent filler material because it provides anti-bacterial properties.
A white filling is more expensive to place, and the policy of many insurance companies is to cover the cost of the least expensive treatment, making silver fillings the option for many patients.