Articles and Research

How Much Does a Dental Filling Cost?

The cost of dental fillings can vary dramatically based on a number of factors. There are two main types of dental fillings based on the material they are made from; amalgam fillings and composite resin fillings. Below we’ll take a look at some of the details of each type and compare them to one another.

The Cost Of Dental Amalgam Fillings
Dental amalgam fillings are commonly known to patients as silver fillings. These types of fillings consist of mercury, copper, tin and, of course, silver. Some may also contain a mixture of other kinds of metals. Dental amalgam fillings are a popular choice because their metal content make them sturdy and durable. This is why they are often used for fillings in the back of the mouth. It is also preferred by dentists because the materials are convenient to work with. The other great feature is the cost. Dental amalgam fillings tend to be very cheap - a fact that is preferred by patients. However, some patients are allergic to the materials in the fillings. The typical cost of amalgam dental fillings ranges from $65 on the low end to $150 on the high end.

The Cost Of Composite Resin Fillings
Dental composite fillings are fillings that are the color of teeth. They are available in many shades in order to match your existing tooth color. Composite resin fillings are made of glass particles, acrylic, plastic and ceramic compounds. One of the pluses of these types of fillings is that they are free of mercury, a material that can be harmful. Dentists and patients prefer these for use in the front of the mouth because they so closely resemble natural teeth. They are also great for restoring the strength of original teeth because they are directly bonded to the tooth. Composite resin fillings are more expensive than dental amalgam fillings.The dental filling cost as well as the time it takes to complete the procedure is greater for composite resin fillings. The cost may vary depending on the location of where the procedure is completed. The typical cost of a composite resin filling can range from $125 on the low end to $250 on the high end.

Insurance Costs Of Dental Fillings
Many dental insurance plans cover the cost of composite resin fillings, even If they are replacing metal fillings. This may be considered a cosmetic dental procedure because it enhances a person's smile. However, some insurance plans may require the submission of a form justifying the dental procedure, especially in the case of broken or cracked fillings. Often, a patient will have to pay for the procedure upfront and then wait for the insurance company to reimburse the cost. Most dental insurance companies, however, will not cover 100 percent of the cost of a procedure. It is more common that they cover 50 to 80 percent of the cost.

Composite Filling Advantages
Patients with damaged or cracked teeth benefit greatly from composite fillings as they are bonded to the tooth structure. Plus, they look like the color of your tooth, blending in perfectly. These types of fillings improve the look of misshapen, cracked or discolored teeth.

Composite resin fillings can last anywhere from 6 to 12 years. For some patients they last even longer. Usually the procedure can be completed during one appointment at the dental office. After the procedure, patients may be sensitive to hot and cold substances. However, with amalgam fillings, the sensitivity would be greater.

The Cons Of Composite Fillings
One of the main disadvantages of composite resin fillings is the length of time it takes to complete. This is why these dental fillings are more expensive than amalgam fillings. The procedure requires the correct isolation during the bonding process. This is especially true during etching because of the possibility of saliva contamination. If this occurs, the process has to be repeated. A composite filling can be discolored due to tea, coffee or tobacco stains. Bleaching your teeth will not fix it.