Are your teeth sensitive to hot or cold food and beverages? Chances are, you may need a cavity filled. Most dental insurers will pay most of the bill while you cover the rest with a small co-payment.
If you don’t have a dental plan, you may ask yourself, how much is a tooth filling? Unfortunately, the answer is not easy, and the cost will vary depending on a few factors.
Different Fillings and Their Costs
Different materials are used in dental fillings, and each option differs in price. These materials are:
Silver Amalgam Fillings and Their Cost
One of the most common materials used in tooth fillings is metal, and one of these metals is silver amalgam. If you are on a budget, these would be a good fit for you, even though these fillings contain cheap materials such as silver, tin, and zinc. Amalgam can last up to ten years, sometimes even longer.
These tooth fillings put most people off as they do not blend in with the color of your teeth, thus making them more noticeable. Unfortunately, there have also been certain situations where the metal expands and can cause the tooth to fracture.
You will need to pay will vary due to your location, but typically you will pay $50 – $200 per filling. I find that you tend to pay less in the bigger cities than in rural areas as the dentists in the cities need to have competitive prices.
Composite Fillings and their Cost
The most sought-after material used for fillings is composite resin. This material matches the color of your teeth, making them harder to recognize. They are more costly than amalgam fillings but will not cost as much as gold or porcelain fillings.
Composite resin is usually used on the most visible teeth in the front of the mouth, as they are invisible.
Although this material is more expensive than metal fillings, they do not last as long and need replacing every five years.
However, if you care for them properly, they can last as long as ten years. Generally, composite resin will cost $90 – $250 per filling.
Gold Fillings and Their Cost
Gold fillings are very dated, and it might be hard to find a dentist that still uses them today. In addition, they are one of the most expensive materials to use, but they can last for decades.
It is common to pay between $250 – $4,500 per filling.
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Porcelain Fillings and Their Cost
The porcelain fillings take the longest to apply as they require your dentist to take impressions of your tooth to create an inlay manufactured in a laboratory. However, as these tooth fillings are custom-made, they are the most aesthetically pleasing options.
You will pay for the price of beauty as porcelain fillings generally cost between $300 – $4,500 per procedure. They are also very durable and can last up to 15 years.
Cost of a Dental Filling without Insurance
The cost of a dental filling without insurance can vary depending on a few factors, such as the size, location, and material used. Typically you will pay $200 – $600 per filling. However, it can cost $200 – $4,500 per filling if you choose an expensive material.
Factors that can affect the price of tooth fillings:
- Your location
Prices will differ depending on location.
- The size of the cavity
If the cavity is more significant than expected, it will need more material to fill, and the workload will increase, raising the price.
- The number of teeth that need fillings
The more cavities you need to be filled, the more it will cost.
- Your dentist
Dentists have their set prices.
- Which teeth require fillings
Cavities in the molars are harder to work on, resulting in extra time needed or more materials used, increasing the price.
How to Save Money on Dental Work
Having your teeth taken care of can rack up costs for people who don’t have dental insurance. Using a credit card will only add to your expenses and does not solve anything.
Most people don’t know that discount dental plans can help you save some extra money.
These plans require a yearly membership fee of as little as $99. Once you have paid the fee, you can enjoy discounted dental health care from a specific network of dentists. Discounted procedures include:
- Root canals
- Inlays and Onlays
- Dental crowns
- Dental implants
- tooth Fillings
- Teeth whitening treatments
What Happens if you Don’t get a Filling?
When tooth decay is left to develop in your tooth, it can spread and advance to a more dangerous stage. Then, it will destroy the healthy parts of your tooth and get to a point where a filling will not solve the problem.
If this occurs, you might need to have the following:
- A root canal
Once the decay has penetrated the pulp chamber that contains all the nerves and blood vessels, the bacteria will aggravate and infect the pulp. As a result, it is common for an abscess to form, essentially tissue containing pus that can leak out and cause a bad taste in your mouth.
It will also be painful and will likely need a root canal. Your dentist will remove the infected pulp during the procedure, clean the cavity, and apply a topical antibiotic before the tooth is sealed. Sometimes you might require a crown to add an extra layer of protection and strength.
If left to thrive, decay will eat away at your tooth; your dentist can do nothing to save it. At this stage, the only solution would be extraction. However, you can replace it with an implant or bridge if you require tooth extraction.
The Benefits of Fillings
You cannot expect a cavity to go away independently, but it can be treated with a filling if caught early. A filling can prevent further deterioration of your teeth, and you can avoid having a root canal procedure or tooth extraction.
That will save you time, money, and unnecessary pain, and you get to keep all your teeth. Not only does a filling prevent further deterioration, but it also returns a function to the tooth and eliminates the pain.