When it comes to getting a filling, one of the biggest concerns for most people is how much does a filling cost? The amount you’ll pay for a filling can vary depending on a number of factors. In this article, we’ll take a look at the different types of fillings, how much they cost both with and without insurance, and additional factors that can affect the cost.
What Is A Filling?
Before we dive into the cost of fillings, let’s first define what a filling is. A dental filling is a restorative material used to repair a cavity or decayed tooth. If left untreated, cavities can lead to more serious dental issues, such as an infection or even the loss of the tooth.
There are several types of fillings available, including amalgam, composite, ceramic, and gold (inlays and onlays). Amalgam fillings are made of a mixture of metals and are known for their durability, while composite fillings are made of a tooth-colored resin and are often preferred for their natural appearance. Ceramic and gold fillings (inlays and onlays) are less common and can take more time, but may be recommended in specific situations.
The process of getting a filling typically involves numbing the area around the affected tooth, removing the decayed portion of the tooth, and filling the space with the chosen restorative material. With proper care, fillings can last for many years and help prevent further damage to the tooth.
Types of Fillings
There are several types of fillings that your dentist may recommend. The most common types of fillings include:
- Composite Fillings
- Silver Amalgam Fillings
- Gold Fillings (inlays and onlays)
- Porcelain Fillings (inlays and onlays)
It is important to note that each type of filling has its own advantages and disadvantages. Composite fillings are tooth-colored and blend in with the natural teeth, but may not be as durable as other types of fillings. Silver amalgam fillings are strong and long-lasting, but may not be as aesthetically pleasing. Gold fillings (inlays and onlays) are also durable and can last for many years, but are more expensive than other types of fillings. Porcelain fillings are highly durable and can be matched to the color of the natural teeth, but are the most expensive option. Your dentist can help you determine which type of filling is best for your individual needs. Now let’s dive into the answer behind “how much does a filling cost?”.
How Much Does A Filling Cost Without Insurance? (Composite)
Composite fillings are made of a tooth-colored resin material that blend in with your natural teeth. Without insurance, the cost of a composite filling can range from $150 to $300 per tooth.
It is important to note that the cost of a composite filling can vary depending on the location and experience of the dentist. In some areas, the cost may be higher due to the cost of living or the demand for dental services. Additionally, the size and location of the cavity can also affect the cost of the filling. Larger cavities may require more material and time to fill, resulting in a higher cost.
While the cost of a composite filling without insurance may seem expensive, it is important to prioritize dental health. Leaving a cavity untreated can lead to more serious dental problems and potentially higher costs in the long run. Many dental offices offer payment plans or financing options to help make the cost of dental procedures more manageable.
How Much Does A Filling Cost With Insurance? (Composite)
If you have dental insurance, the cost of a composite filling may be partially covered. Typically, insurance covers 80% of the cost, leaving you responsible for the remaining 20%. This means you can expect to pay between $30 to $60 per tooth with insurance.
It’s important to note that the cost of a composite filling can vary depending on the location and the dental office you visit. Some dental offices may charge more for the procedure, while others may offer discounts or payment plans. Additionally, if you require multiple fillings, the cost can add up quickly. It’s always a good idea to check with your insurance provider and dental office to get an accurate estimate of the cost before scheduling the procedure.
Cost Of Silver Amalgam Fillings
Silver amalgam fillings are made of a mixture of metals, including silver, copper, and mercury. These fillings are durable and long-lasting, but they do not blend in with your natural teeth. Without insurance, the cost of a silver amalgam filling can range from $75 to $150 per tooth.
It is important to note that the cost of silver amalgam fillings may vary depending on the location and the dental clinic. Some dental clinics may charge more for the procedure due to their reputation or location. Additionally, some insurance plans may cover the cost of silver amalgam fillings partially or in full, which can significantly reduce the out-of-pocket cost for patients.
While silver amalgam fillings have been used for decades and are considered safe by many dental professionals, some patients may prefer alternative options such as tooth-colored composite fillings or ceramic fillings (inlays and onlays). These options may be more expensive than silver amalgam fillings, but they offer a more natural look and may be a better choice for patients who are concerned about the appearance of their teeth. There have also been long term studies done that have shown amalgam restorations can cause cracked teeth due to their expansion and contraction properties with change in temperature.
Cost Of Gold Fillings (inlays and onlays)
Gold fillings, also known as inlays and onlays, are made of a combination of gold and other metals. These fillings are durable and long-lasting, but they can be expensive. Without insurance, the cost of a gold filling can range from $600 to $2,500 per tooth.
It is important to note that the cost of gold fillings can vary depending on the location and experience of the dentist. In some areas, the cost may be higher due to the cost of living and overhead expenses. Additionally, some dentists may charge more for their expertise and experience in placing gold fillings.
While gold fillings may be more expensive than other types of fillings, they are often preferred by patients for their durability and aesthetic appeal. Gold fillings can last for up to 20 years or more, making them a worthwhile investment for those who want a long-lasting solution for their dental needs.
Cost Of Porcelain Fillings (inlays and onlays)
Porcelain fillings, also known as inlays and onlays, are made of a ceramic material that matches the color of your natural teeth. These fillings are durable and long-lasting, but they can be expensive. Without insurance, the cost of a porcelain filling can range from $800 to $3,000 per tooth.
It is important to note that the cost of porcelain fillings may vary depending on the location and experience of the dentist. Some dental insurance plans may cover a portion of the cost, but it is best to check with your provider to determine your coverage. Additionally, some dentists may offer financing options to help make the cost more manageable.
Additional Factors For Filling Cost
While the type of filling you choose is a major factor in the overall cost, there are other factors that can affect the price as well. The location of the cavity, the severity of the decay, and the dentist you choose can all impact the cost of the filling.
Another factor that can affect the cost of a filling is the size of the cavity. Larger cavities require more filling material, which can increase the cost. Additionally, if the cavity is located in a difficult-to-reach area, such as between teeth, it may require more time and effort to fill, which can also impact the cost.
Additional Costs Associated With Fillings
It’s important to remember that getting a filling may not be a one-time expense. Over time, fillings may need to be replaced or repaired. Additionally, if the decay is severe and the tooth requires additional work, such as a root canal, the total cost can increase significantly.
Furthermore, some dental insurance plans may not cover the full cost of fillings, leaving patients with out-of-pocket expenses. It’s important to check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage and potential costs. Additionally, some dentists may offer financing options or payment plans to help make the cost of fillings more manageable.
What To Expect While Getting A Filling
If you have a cavity and need a filling, the process is usually quick and painless. Before the procedure, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. They will then remove the decayed part of the tooth and fill the cavity with the chosen filling material. After the filling is complete, you may experience some sensitivity or discomfort, but this should subside within a few days if the restoration is shallow and not too close to the nerve.
In conclusion, the cost of a filling can vary depending on a number of factors. Understanding the different types of fillings and their associated costs, as well as additional factors and potential future expenses, can help you make an informed decision about your dental care. If you have dental insurance, be sure to check what is covered to help offset some of the cost. Remember to prioritize regular dental check-ups to catch potential cavities early and keep your overall dental costs down in the long run.
It is important to note that getting a filling is not a substitute for proper oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash can help prevent cavities from forming in the first place. Additionally, a healthy diet low in sugary and acidic foods can also help maintain good oral health. Your dentist may also recommend fluoride treatments or dental sealants to further protect your teeth from decay. By taking these preventative measures, you can reduce the likelihood of needing a filling in the future.
All Second Opinion Dentist content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.
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