You are likely aware of the term dental filling and know a little bit about it. A dental filling is used to repair damage to your teeth, such as decay, fractures, or chips. It’s an excellent way to repair your tooth so you can keep your natural teeth, feel better, and remove any decay. Although you know what it is now, the real question that’s likely top-of-mind for you is how much does a dental filling cost? You may think twice before getting cheap dental fillings if you know the average cost of filling and have dental insurance that will cover some or most of the cost.
There are times you may need to cover the cost and other times you may have access to dental insurance that will cover the cost. It all depends on your situation, your teeth, and what access you have to insurance if any. There are several factors to take into consideration when trying to determine how much a dental filling will cost and how much you’ll need to save up for the procedure. Learn what you need to know so you can plan and budget your money accordingly.
Insurance & the Cost of Your Filling
If you have dental insurance then ask your dentist to connect with your insurance company and report back to you how much will be covered. There may be limits with the insurance you have as to how many fillings are covered per year. The cost to fill cavity will vary by insurance carriers and depending on your specific plan. If you recently purchased a plan then you should also figure out if you have a waiting period before they’ll cover the teeth filling cost. Plan for the cavity filling cost by checking in with your insurance before you get the work done. Health insurance plans can be different for different people.
You should have a good idea of the breakdown of the cost before you commit to the procedure. You may choose a different dentist or time of year to do the filling depending on what information you uncover about the total cost. For example, it may be that your insurance will pay 80 percent of the cost of the procedure, and you’ll owe the difference of 20 percent. If your dental plan pays only half, then your cost will be higher. It’s also wise to take the time to check if you have a deductible to pay when researching the cost of filling a cavity.
Additional Costs to Factor in
An X-ray helps a dentist determine the extent of the damage before performing a filling, so you should account for this additional cost. There are different costs associated with different types of X-rays even, such as a panoramic X-ray versus a bitewing X-ray and periapical X-ray. The dentist will also need to prepare the tooth before they can proceed with the filling procedure. Part of the tooth preparation process may include an anesthetic, then drilling to remove the decay from the tooth before the repair and filling can be completed. It’ll depend on how your dentist operates and what you choose to or need to have done as part of the procedure. The cost to fill cavities depends on these factors as well as the type of filling you choose.
Choosing the Type of Filling
The next step in the process of a dental filling is to choose the type of filling you want. You may change your mind based on aesthetics and cost, so know your choices. There are several popular options to select from, including:
- Composite resin or white fillings, which will match the natural color of your tooth
- Porcelain, inlay and onlay fillings and cast-gold fillings, which are the most expensive fillings
- Metal fillings or amalgam fillings are a mix of metals, including silver, tin, mercury, copper, and zinc
You always have the option for cheap dental fillings. The American Dental Association (ADA), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA) have come out with research showing that mercury in fillings isn’t harmful to children and adults ages six and above. You should choose a filling type based on what you want it to look like and factor in the cavity filling price. The cost to get cavity filled will be better determined once you choose the type of filling you want.
Factors Determining Teeth Filling Cost
The tooth filling cost or dental filling cost will vary depending on your situation and amount of damage to your tooth. There is not one blanket answer or response to the question about fillings cost. Be sure and ask about the total cost of your visit, and not just the cost of the filling itself. You can get a better idea of teeth filling cost when you consider the following list of factors and variables:
- The price of the dentist doing the procedure and location, which may vary from other dentists and areas
- The procedures that are done before the filling. A good example of something that will cost money before getting your filling is the X-ray. Your dentist may also want to do a cleaning or removal of buildup on the teeth
- Size of the cavity
- The material of the filling
- The teeth affected by the filling; for example, some teeth will be more expensive to fill than others. If several surfaces on the tooth need to be filled, then the cost will go up. For example, if only the top of the tooth needs to be filled, then it is going to be much cheaper than if the sides also have to be filled.
The average cost of dental filling will fluctuate, depending on all of these elements.
You may also be wondering about teeth gap fillers. In bonding procedures, a dentist applies tooth-colored resin to both teeth, filling in the gap. It can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000 per tooth, depending on the complexity, and usually requires a minimum of two teeth.
Filling A Cavity Without Insurance
You may also be wondering about filling prices and fillings cost when you don’t have or aren’t using insurance. When not using dental insurance, the average cost of tooth filling is $200 to $600. However, the cost can range from $100 to $4,000 depending on the size and location of your cavity, as well as the type of filling material.
- Silver amalgam, also known as metal fillings, are the cheapest type of filling. These types of fillings cost $50 to $200 if one or two surfaces need to be filled or $150 to $400 for three or more tooth fillings.
- Composite, or composite resin fillings, usually cost between $150 to $300 for one or two surfaces or $200 to $550 for three or more surfaces.
- Cast gold, gold foil, and gold inlays can cost between $300 and $1,000 for one or two surfaces and $450 to $1,800 for three or more fillings.
- Porcelain fillings, also known as inlays, will cost you anywhere from $300 to $4,500 per procedure. According to the ADA, inlays are not technically “fillings,” though they can serve the same purpose.
As a reminder, also consider the extra and additional costs when you require a filling and don’t have insurance, such as the dental exam, X-ray, laughing gas, or anesthesia. These costs can range from $50 to $800.
Not having insurance to cover your dental costs and cavity filling cost can be stressful and frustrating. The cost of check-ups, fillings, and other routine dental procedures can quickly add up without a dental insurance plan. You may acquire a lot of credit card debt if you’re always putting the tooth filling cost on your card. Consider joining a discount dental plan to save money on procedures such as cavity fillings.
Money-Saving Tips for Cost to Get Cavity Filled
You can make a better decision about the type of cavity you want and where you’ll do the procedure when you find out the teeth filling cost before you get the work done. The last situation you want is to proceed with the treatment and end up with a large bill in the mail that you soon have to pay off. If you have insurance, then ask for or go online and find a list of approved dentists that are in your network. If you don’t have dental insurance, you can also search for a dentist through the American Dental Association or look for local dentistry schools that may be able to offer you services at a discount. The best step you can take is to educate and inform yourself on the cost of a dental filling and then figure out how much it will likely be based on the factors above and if you have dental insurance. Plan ahead and start saving your money now so you’re prepared to cover the tooth filling cost if it’s a procedure you need in the future.