Cavity Filling Cost

Cavity Filling Cost

How much does a cavity filling cost?

Most people will have to get fillings at some point in their lives. Sometimes they will have one for a cavity, others can be used to repair worn down teeth. While receiving a filling is not always pleasant or cheap, it is important to know how much your filling will cost and what options you have.

Why Fillings?

When you have a cavity, the dentist will remove the decayed part of your tooth and fill it, thereby stopping the spread of the decay as well as patching a whole in your tooth. The filling provides strength and support to a now weakened tooth structure. Fillings can also be used to repair worn down teeth, cracked or broken teeth. When your tooth is beyond the capacity of a filling you will receive a crown. All these fillings will help protect the strength of your teeth.

General Procedure

The dentist will numb the area around the tooth and then drill or laser the decayed area out from the tooth. He will then probe to make sure he has removed all of it. After that, your dentist will properly clean the area making sure that an infection or bacteria do not enter the tooth and then he will begin filling the tooth. Each filling procedure is different depending on the material needed. Sometimes a filling can be done in one session while sitting on a chair, other filling types you may have to come back several times for. With some fillings you have to put in a filling layer by layer and wait for it to dry. This all helps determine the cost.

Types of Fillings

There are many different types of fillings. While they all fill the same purpose, some may suit you better than others. When choosing a filling, take into consideration how much you are willing to spend, how often you can afford to have it replaced, if you want it to blend in with your teeth or not, and how much daily pressure do you put on your teeth. These will all be important in determining what kind of filling you should get and consequently, the cost. Silver fillings, also known as amalgam fillings, and composite or white fillings are the most popular. Gold fillings are still popular in some areas. The following are the most popular and widely offered filling material. Your dentist may offer other choices as well as different prices. The prices listed are only averages.

Silver or Amalgam Fillings

These fillings are the least expensive out of the three most popular options. They last 10-15 years and will not corrode. They can generally stand up to the force of chewing. There are many aesthetic disadvantages to silver fillings. They tend to turn the surrounding area of the tooth grey and can cause many cracks and fissures in the tooth. However, being the least expensive option, they are also the most widely chosen. Silver fillings usually start at around $80 without insurance and will go up from there.

Gold Fillings

Gold fillings are the most expensive type of fillings. They can cost up to ten times what a silver filling will cost. Many gold fillings start at around $350 without insurance and go up in cost based on the size of the filling. However, gold fillings do last 10-15 years without corrosion and can stand up to the pressure and strength of chewing. With that being said, gold fillings are becoming less popular (because the price of gold keeps rising) and many dentists are not being trained to do gold fillings anymore.

White or Composite Fillings

Although fairly expensive, the white fillings are the most popular of all the fillings. They match your teeth the best and therefore don’t leave an aesthetic problem. The composite filling actually bonds to your tooth providing a little extra support. However, with the good comes the bad. A composite filling is only guaranteed to last at least five years. This means it may last five years and six months or it may last fifteen. Also depending on where your cavity is located the composite material may chip away over time. The cost of white fillings is $170-$300 without insurance.

Other types of Fillings

Your dentist may suggest other types of fillings based on the size and location of your cavity, what materials he is comfortable working with, and your budget. Glass ionomer is made of acrylic and glass. These fillings release fluoride and prevent further tooth decay. However, this is a fairly weak filling and usually only lasts five years. Ceramic is another option for fillings. Ceramic fillings are very resilient, lasting around 15 years but can be abrasive and cost as much as gold fillings.

Cost of Fillings

So how much does a filling cost? Simply put, it depends. If you are lucky enough to have dental insurance, you may be covered completely or have partial coverage. If not, it depends of the type of filling you choose to get. A filling can cost anywhere from $80 on up without insurance. And since that price is per filling and you can have several fillings in each your teeth, the cost adds up quickly. When your teeth have become so decayed that fillings won’t help, you will receive a crown which can get incredibly expensive without the help of insurance. On top of that, fillings are not permanent solutions. They need to be replaced on a fairly regular basis, although that also depends on what type of filling you have. Because of this, you may add replacement fillings into the total cost of a dental filling.

Almost everyone will have to have a filling at some point in their lives. However, it is important to go into the dentist knowing how much you are willing to spend and how much a filling will approximately cost. Each dentist, depending on skill, experience, location and other factors will charge differently for each filling but this should give you an idea of what a dental filling costs.