Search thousands of topics on

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
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+
post E-mail post Post   Comments (61)

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. lists pros and cons[2] of different types of fillings; and 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
  • 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.
post E-mail post Post   Comments (61)
CostHelper News

10 Key Ways to Prepare for Extreme Snow
Forecasters are predicting a true nor'easter will hit the eastern and central states with rain, thunderstorms, ice, snow and high winds over the Thanksgiving weekend. It's crucial to plan ahead, before bad weather hits. || Posted November 26 2013

10 Most Popular Cosmetic Procedures Before the Holidays
With reunions and other get-togethers scheduled during the holiday season, most people want to look their best at this time of year. For some, that means filling in those wrinkles with a bit of botox, or having a nip and tuck down here and there. || Posted November 23 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts

What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

Page 3 of 3   -   << Previous   1   2   3   

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.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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!
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
4 fillings
Amount: $400.00
Posted by: 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?
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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/
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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 :-)
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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!
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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!
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Root canal and three fillings
Amount: $663.00
Posted by: Dasavage602 in Phoenix, AZ.Posted: June 7th, 2012 11:06AM
Type: AmalgamNumber of Surfaces: Don't know
Number of Cavities: 8
Have Aetna ppo went to out of network dentist they did not say anything until after I was done. They just want money. First was X-rays , long session of teeth cleaning , three amalgam fillings, and started root canal. Have two more appointments to attend. had insurance through work for 6 yrs and haven't used it till now. Recommend if u have insurance use it yearly for dental cleaning and check ups to avoid bad tooth decay. Paid $663 out of pocket insurance paid 80% for most of the stuff I needed done.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam

Page 3 of 3   -   << Previous   1   2   3   


Comment On Your Experience With a Cavity Filling
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Type: Number of Surfaces: 
Number of Cavities:   
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.

External Resources:
More Health & Personal Care Topics
Check Out All Costs for Health & Personal Care How Much Does a Flu Shot Cost? How Much Does Teeth Cleaning Cost? How Much Does an Ambulance Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on

Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
24hour locksmith
Paid: 115.00
This is a crooked company.24 hour locksmith in Omaha ne... [more]
Locksmith Cost
A very long driveway! 50 YARDS
Paid: 40.00
Gave a $10 tip, so a total of $50. He ran truck thru driveway and hand shoveled the sidewalks, deck and steps. I tried to get a head start last night -but overnight the drifts grew to 5 and 6 feet or more... [more]
Snow Removal Cost
Paid: 0.00
We purchased a home built in 1992 with a Geo-Thermal. We were so excited, now we are Not impressed. Yes it is quieter, but the savings are not significant. Every year we have an issue and very few companies work on them... [more]
Geothermal Heat Pump Cost
Oil burner prime
Paid: 80.00
This seems like a lot of money to prime an oil burner. A task that takes 5 minutes and a bill for $80... [more]
-Mark Stevens
Furnace Tune-up Cost
Tummy tuck
Paid: 0.00
I'm a 46 yr old beautiful woman I only look about 35 I'm often mistaken for my 25 yr old sons wife however I'm fairly thin and fit but my tummy is large & sagging and gives me a huge complex I've done exercise dieting the rest of me ge... [more]
Tummy Tuck Cost
Paid: 200.00
$200 was the best money ever spend in hiring Albanian court interpreter Mr Oliver Kici to interpret for a deposition my mother had on December of 2014 Having a professional interpreter made a huge difference on the way the deposition was h... [more]
Interpreter Cost