Cost of Tooth Fillings

Dental fillings are placed in order to restore a tooth to a healthy state. If you have a decay in a tooth, your dentist may advise that you have a filling placed in the affected area if it is small and does not require an onlay or crown. Dental fillings are made from a tooth colored composite material and can be completed in one visit to your dental office, usually within 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the extent of the decay.

There are a few different types of materials available for dental fillings including composite material and metals. Composite material is tooth colored and is very natural-looking, virtually undetectable. Metal fillings are usually silver and color unless they are made of gold and even though they are not tooth colored, they are much more durable and are appropriate for posterior teeth.

How do I know if I need a filling?

You may not have any symptoms if you have a cavity but they can be identified with oral examinations and dental x-rays during your routine professional cleanings. If your dentist diagnoses a cavity and advises you to have a filling, it is important to go ahead with treatment before the decay grows and spreads. An untreated cavity can lead to a need for an onlay or crown or even a root canal, all of which are considerably more costly and invasive than a simple filling.

How are dental fillings placed?

Your dentist will give you a shot of local anesthetic to numb the tooth being treated. They will then use tools to drill the decay out of the affected tooth. Once all of the decay is removed and the tooth is cleaned, your dentist will place the filling and use an ultraviolet light to cure the composite material. They will then have you bite down on articulating paper which will make marks on the tooth anywhere it needs to be refined.

How do I care for a dental filling?

Recovery time for a feeling is usually a day or two but sensitivity and soreness can last up to two weeks. If it lasts longer, you may need to revisit your dentist for an occlusal adjustment. Until sensitivity and the soreness subsides, it can be beneficial to use oral care products containing fluoride. Make sure to continue visiting your dentist at least twice a year for regular cleanings so that they can evaluate the restoration and make sure everything is healthy and intact.

How much does a dental filling cost?

Do you cost of treatment will depend on the extent of the decay and the size of the filling required to restore the tooth. Your dentist will provide you with a treatment plan that will detail the estimated cost of treatment but keep in mind that it is an estimate and may cost more once your dentist gets into the tooth and begins removing the decay. You can expect the cost of a filling to begin at $150.

If you have dental insurance, most plans will cover some of the cost of a filling. Your dental office may also offer in-house financing that you can take it vantage of if your treatment is going to be too much out-of-pocket cost for you.

More on Dental Fillings : Temporary Tooth Fillings