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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Dentistry & Orthodontics > Cavity Filling

Cavity Filling Cost


How Much Does a Cavity Filling Cost?

 
average costSilver Amalgam: $50-$300+high costComposite Resin: $90-$450+
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Teeth are prone to decay known as cavities. A filling is typically a two-part process (usually done in one office visit) in which the dentist removes the decay then fills the remaining tooth with a protective material. Dentists' fees are based on the type of filling material used and the number of surfaces needing a filling in a single tooth.

Typical costs:

  • A silver amalgam (metal) filling on one or two surfaces can cost $50-$150; three or more surfaces can cost $120-$300 or more. Dental insurance typically covers at least some of the cost for amalgam fillings. For example, CostHelper readers with insurance coverage report out-of-pocket expenses of $34-$183 for amalgam fillings, for an average cost of $89.
  • Tooth-colored composite resin fillings can cost $90-$250 for one or more surfaces, or $150-$450 or more for three or more surfaces. Typically dental insurance covers 50%-80% of the cost of a composite filling because the higher charge for the tooth-colored material is considered a cosmetic option (although insurance might pay the cost a composite filling if it's replacing a cracked or broken amalgam filling). For example, CostHelper readers without dental insurance report paying $90-$350 for a composite filling, at an average cost of $204; CostHelper readers with dental insurance report paying $63-$300 out of pocket for a composite filling, at an average cost of $207.
  • Porcelain or cast-gold fillings (known as inlays or onlays[1] and also called indirect fillings) must be custom-ordered, require two visits and a temporary filling, and can cost up to 10 times the price of composite fillings or $250-$4,500 or more, depending on size, complexity and materials. Dental insurance may cover 50%-80% of the cost of cast-gold fillings, depending on whether the work is classified as a basic or major service, and some plans have a pre-set maximum coverage amount for inlays or onlays.
Related articles: Teeth Cleaning, Fluoride Treatment, Teeth Whitening, Dental Crown, Root Canal, Braces

What should be included:
  • The dentist will choose the type of filling based on the size of the cavity and the location of the tooth. Amalgam or composite resin are the most common materials. Composites are more likely to be used on front teeth. Colgate.com lists pros and cons[2] of different types of fillings; and WebMD.com gives an overview of typical filling procedures[3] plus a before-and-after photo[4] of amalgam fillings replaced by composite resin fillings (slide number 9).
  • On average, amalgam fillings last about 12 years, while composites last five to seven years.
  • There has been some debate[5] about the safety of the mercury that is present in silver amalgam fillings, but the US Food and Drug Administration[6] says there is no danger. A survey by a dental marketing company[7] indicates that about half of the dentists responding no longer install amalgam fillings, primarily because they consider it an outdated material.
Additional costs:
  • Usually an initial exam ($20-$100) and dental X-rays ($10-$250) are required to determine the extent of the decay before a dentist will perform a filling procedure
Discounts:
  • The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has tips for finding low-cost dental care[8] .
  • Dental school clinics[9] offer reduced rates for services by supervised students or faculty.
Shopping for a cavity filling:
  • WedMD lists things to consider when choosing a dentist[10] .
  • If the patient has dental insurance, the insurance company will provide a list of approved dentists. Or get referrals to local dentists from the American Dental Association[11] or the Amcerican Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry[12] .
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

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there is a better way
Amount: $60.00
Posted by: AkronJill in Akron, OH.Posted: April 25th, 2015 01:04AM
Number of Cavities: 2
Check out local colleges in your area.
Full mouth X-rays, fluoride treatment, full cleaning with gum scaling all for $10
I had two tiny cavities and they filled them with the tooth colored fillings for $25 a tooth!
The college was super clean, the students were so sweet and smart, and you were triple checked by a certified dentist.
The minor negative, because you're triple checked expect to be there triple time.
Seriously though, give the dentists in training an opportunity to practice :)
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Treatmeant Plan for a Abscessed Molar
Amount: $917.00
Posted by: Fran Mosqueira in MILTON, FL.Posted: April 12th, 2015 11:04PM
Type: Resin Composite 1,2,&3 ExtractNumber of Surfaces: 1
Number of Cavities: 1
April 2015 My 9 year old developed an abscess on his baby molar, which after dentist inspected said it needed to be fixed right away to prevent damage to permanent molar. I am handed a Treatment plan with codes D2392, D2392, D7140, D2393 estimated dentist time will be one hour. I am at a lose as to why dentists charge extremely high... it is so sad and depressing.. A whole month of earnings the dentist gets in one hour... Ridiculous!
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Cavity Fillings
Amount: $237.60
Posted by: Tia in Hudson Valley, NY.Posted: January 15th, 2015 08:01PM
Type: Composite ResinNumber of Surfaces: 9
Number of Cavities: 9
I paid $26.40 per tooth. Thankfully, I have dental insurance that has 80% coverage, otherwise I would have had to pay $1,188 out of pocket.
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Child 2 surface Cavity Fill
Amount: $170.00
Posted by: a user in Galena, IL.Posted: September 25th, 2014 12:09PM
Type: Number of Surfaces: 2
Number of Cavities: 9
My dentist charges $170 for a 2-surface filling on an elementary aged child. Total bill for 9 cavities and 6 sealants is $1900. I should have asked for a price quote up front, but the teeth needed to be fixed so it probably would not have mattered. It is no wonder people don't take their kids for proper dental care.
No insurance because most policies cover so little.
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Filling
Amount: $75.00
Posted by: Morgan Davies in Houston, TX.Posted: September 19th, 2014 06:09AM
Type: CompositeNumber of Surfaces: 3
Number of Cavities: 3
Had to have 3 pin hole cavities filled. Two on top and one on the bottom.
Total cost was $325, but after paying my deductible of $75, my dental insurance (BCBS of Texas Blue Care Dental) took care of the remaining balance of $250.
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1 crown + 3 cavities
Amount: $860.00
Posted by: Alex2014 in Miami beach, FL.Posted: September 2nd, 2014 06:09PM
Number of Cavities: 4
Cost without insurance: $3200
Cost after insurance paid their part: $860
Soooo expensive even with insurance it's so sad!
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Dentists Cost Too Much
Amount: $510.00
Posted by: Brad D in Virginia Beach, VA.Posted: July 17th, 2014 03:07PM
Type: Composite AnteriorNumber of Surfaces: 3
Number of Cavities: 2
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Molar Filling + Pulp Cap
Amount: $205.00
Posted by: Beth in Reno in Reno, NV.Posted: June 18th, 2014 11:06AM
Type: Composite whiteNumber of Surfaces: 1
Number of Cavities: 1
Cavity was almost to the root and would have required a root canal if I waited any longer. Paid $205 to a discount dentist (I qualified for 40% off since I am an adult on Medicaid). The tooth filled was 3rd molar from the back on the upper-right side
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3 fillings
Amount: $648.00
Posted by: oldtimer3992 in Columbus, OH.Posted: April 17th, 2014 03:04PM
Type: teethNumber of Surfaces: 3
Number of Cavities: 3
I was quoted $1049 for three fillings and insurance Aetnafeds will pay 40%. I think I'm going to check out another dentist for a second opinion.
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4 fillings
Amount: $400.00
Posted by: Jenboc@me.com in Saint augustine, FL.Posted: April 3rd, 2014 03:04PM
Number of Cavities: 4
I had four fillings. One was a front tooth.I was told by my dentist he was in network for Aetna. After visit and billing Aetna tells me he is out of network so my insurance maxed out at $1000 instead if $1500. Altogether I had one crown and four fillings. Bill came to $1960. $700 out of pocket. When I checked my claim with Aetna it reflected that they were billed $2678 not the $1960 my bill reflected.when I called the office to inquire as to why they billed my insurance so high they stated that it was standard procedure.Is it?
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3 fillings
Amount: $91.00
Posted by: John--smiths in Mcallen, TX.Posted: January 6th, 2014 01:01PM
Type: Resin compositeNumber of Surfaces: 2
Number of Cavities: 3
Humana group insurance total bill for 3 two surface fillings was 426.00 my out of pocket was 91.00
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One Bridge one tooth false and two crowns= 7 cavities
Amount: $6,000.00
Posted by: curi in kearny, NJ.Posted: November 1st, 2013 06:11PM
Number of Cavities: 7
My Insurance covers 1,000 per year. I will do the process tne end of this year and next year to have the other 1000. So I will be paying 4000.I think is too expensive should I cancel it/
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Cavity Filling
Amount: $180.00
Posted by: andrewps21 in Hpokins, MN.Posted: September 26th, 2013 06:09AM
Type: ResinNumber of Surfaces: 1
Number of Cavities: 1
D2391 resin 1 surface post permanent Tth 19 Surf: O
Cost 180 per filling
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Absolutely Ridiculous
Amount: $2,250.00
Posted by: mak in Newton, MA.Posted: September 18th, 2013 11:09AM
Type: Root Canal w/ Post & CrownNumber of Surfaces:
Cost $250 out of pocket after what insurance covered for root canal...then $2000 for 1 post/crown. Ridiculous
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cheap and good
Amount: $1,000.00
Posted by: fredd in chula vista, CA.Posted: September 7th, 2013 07:09AM
Type: crowns fillingNumber of Surfaces:
Number of Cavities: 7
Visit smile San Diego in Chula vista. I was supposed to have a 5000 dollars worth of dental work, I only paid 1000;in addition to my insurance who paid 1000. More than 6 crowns ;and 7 filling. They are r group so too many patients
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Cavity Fillings
Amount: $352.00
Posted by: a user in Spring Branch, TX.Posted: March 27th, 2013 05:03PM
Type: CompositeNumber of Surfaces: 1 on each tooth
Number of Cavities: 2
I have been avoiding the Dentist for a really long time but after much thought, I decided I need to save my teeth! Luckily I had only two small cavities on two left molars. Each filling cost $176 for a total of $352 without insurance. Fortunately this included the numbing medication too! Dentist are so expensive! Supposedly I got a lower rate since they are new in my area. Hope this helps :-)
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filling
Amount: $1,053.00
Posted by: jjj in north atlanta, GA.Posted: March 26th, 2013 05:03PM
Type: backNumber of Surfaces: 4/3/2
Number of Cavities: 3
293 to fill 4 surface cavity, got infected, dentist made notes all over file about how it might get infected and root canal needed, crown. etc. had it pulled instead for another 210. switched dentists spent another 550 on two more cavities. now one of them is not feeling so good. it was a two surface. need to go back for full exrays to find out how many more cavities I actually have. no insurance. This is unreal expensive.
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Cost of crowns and fillings
Amount: $3,200.00
Posted by: confused on cost in St.Petersburg, FL.Posted: February 8th, 2013 09:02PM
Type: PorcelainNumber of Surfaces: 4
Number of Cavities: 7
So far, I have had 4 crowns and about 7 cavities filled. I only have a "discount" type plan through work, not an "insurance" plan. I always feel like I am getting ripped off...but seem to think now after reading around, I am right in the middle of equal to everyone else. Dam these people really overcharge for our health!
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Cost of fillngs and composite repair of 3 front teeth
Amount: $3,328.00
Posted by: MotheroftheBride in North San Diego County, CA.Posted: January 19th, 2013 09:01AM
Type: CompositeNumber of Surfaces: 2 on 8 teeth; 3 for repair
Number of Cavities: 8
Charge for each cavity is 299.00, insurance allows 81.00, but will only pay 64.80. We're responsible for 234.00 for each tooth. Daughter has 2 peg teeth (congenital) and a chipped front tooth that need to be wrapped with composite. Charge for each tooth is 312.00, insurance pays 118.00. We have Blue Shield of California.
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Am I Being Overcharged?
Amount: $332.00
Posted by: Victim/or patient in Scotch Plains, NJ.Posted: September 11th, 2012 12:09PM
Type: AmalgamNumber of Surfaces: two
Number of Cavities: one in one tooth
(Cost does not include xray) One shot of
novocaine.(Self-pay- no insurance).Haven't needed
filling in years,so is this dentist's rates high?If they are, I'll find another dentist!At least w/other repairs, you can get estimates first.not the case w/this dentist.
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Cost of fillings
Amount: $239.00
Posted by: rjg in Anchorage, AK.Posted: August 22nd, 2012 06:08AM
Type: resin compositeNumber of Surfaces: 2 on 4 teeth, 3 on one
Number of Cavities: 5
Total bill was $1600, $250-350/fillingrnInsurance paid all but $239 (80 of which was for sedation)So I'm thankful I have dental insurance, but this seems very expensive for 2 hours of work.$800/hour? Are dental materials really that costly? I'll remember to floss daily now!
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External Resources:
  1.  www.docshop.com/education/dental/general-dentistry/inlays-onlays
  2.  www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Chec...
  3.  www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-fillings
  4.  www.webmd.com/oral-health/ss/slideshow-cosmetic-dentistry
  5.  www.holisticmed.com/dental/amalgam/
  6.  www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/DentalProducts/DentalAmalgam/uc...
  7.  thewealthydentist.com/surveyresults/117-amalgam-fillings.htm
  8.  www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/popularpublications/findinglowcostdentalcare/
  9.  www.ada.org/267.aspx
  10.  www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/finding-dentist
  11.  www.mouthhealthy.org/en/find-a-dentist.aspx
  12.  www.aacd.com/index.php?module=aacd.websiteforms&cmd=memberreferral
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