What is the Average Cost of a Filling? 3 Things to Know

An old adage states that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile. It’s true, and we’ve been caring about our smiles since before the dawn of civilization. Archaeologists have found specimens of Neanderthals showing evidence of dental work.

One of the most common types of dental work is filling decayed or damaged teeth. Unfortunately, dental procedures are often expensive, and fillings are no exception.

This raises some important questions. What is the average cost of a filling, and how is the price determined? Read on as we answer those questions and more.

1. Insurance

Do you have dental insurance? Chances are that you do if you’re under 65. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of non-seniors in the US had dental insurance in 2019. Furthermore, this number had climbed to 73.5% by 2022.

Many people get dental insurance through their work, and those policies often extend to their families. However, self-employed people are often responsible for their own insurance.

2. Material

The average cost of a filling is highly variable, which makes it difficult to give an exact number. Part of the reason for this is that fillings can be made from a few different materials.

The most affordable type of filling is silver amalgam. This might sound strange, given the name, but silver amalgams were named for their color. They’re composed of five metals, silver, mercury, zinc, copper, and tin.

Composite fillings are also very common and affordable. The big difference is that composite fillings are designed to mimic a tooth’s natural color.

The last two types of fillings are gold and porcelain inlay fillings. Both of these are more expensive but are necessary in more severe cases of decay.

3. Additional Procedures

Another factor that makes it difficult to determine the cost of fillings is that they often occur in conjunction with other procedures. The average person doesn’t see their dentist often, so problems tend to stack up.

It doesn’t help that repairing a single tooth may take multiple procedures. For instance, if a single tooth is dead and beginning to decay, the patient will likely need a root canal.

Removing the nerve keeps the tooth from hurting, but it doesn’t stop decay. The tooth may need to come out anyway. Even if it doesn’t, dentists still need to fill in the damage from the root canal, which means a filling.

The scenario described above assumes that only one tooth is damaged, which isn’t always the case.

Average Cost of a Filling

The average cost of a filling can vary depending on several different factors. We’ve discussed some of those factors and how they affect cost here, but there’s always more to learn. You can learn more about fillings and other aspects of dentistry by reading our blog.

If you’re looking for a dentist near Redlands, California, we can help. Dr. Pham has been a dentist for more than 15 years and combines informative dentistry and new technology with a minimally invasive approach to keep his patients informed and healthy.

Feel free to schedule an appointment online. We’d be glad to see you.