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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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Fillings
Amount: $1,479.00
Posted by: Heather M in Manchester, NH.Posted: July 10th, 2018 02:07PM
Number of Cavities: 9
2 boys 7&10
7yr has 7cavities 😳10yr has 2.
7yr 3 stainless steel crown- prim teeth b i & s, $225 each
Composite/resin 2 surface teeth a j t & k, 139.00 each total $1,231.00cash
10 yr old composite/resin one surface teeth 3&14 $124 each total $248.00cash
$1,479.00 cash
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Definitely a rip off
Amount: $1,000.32
Posted by: Not Pleased. in Dillon, MT.Posted: March 12th, 2018 08:03AM
Number of Cavities: 12
Dont ever go to Dillon Dental Clinic, insurance paid a good portion out of them and it still cost me over $1,000. Not super impressed.
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Cavity filling
Amount: $375.00
Posted by: Aunt Luu in Vienna, VA.Posted: December 7th, 2017 07:12PM
Type: sideNumber of Surfaces: 2
Number of Cavities: 1
My old dentist retired and business taken over by new dentists. I recently had a gum line 2-surface filling. I paid $357.00 and I think this is overpriced. I believe this dental office is overpriced on all services. What am I to do? I want to save my teeth; their work appears to be good; and if I find another dentist, he/she might be just as costly, and may not be as good. I know why many people do not have any teeth because they can't afford it. The dentures are too costly. For costly procedures that may come up in the future, it might be worthwhile to get a second opinion from a reputable dentist.
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cap on top of original filling
Amount: $340.00
Posted by: nighthawk in hamilton ont.canada, Other.Posted: September 23rd, 2017 10:09AM
Type: capNumber of Surfaces: one
Number of Cavities: one
no drilling done clean off original filling
new filling ontop
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Ripoff
Amount: $390.00
Posted by: ruema in Hoosick falls, NY.Posted: March 31st, 2017 07:03AM
Type: fillingNumber of Surfaces: 2
Number of Cavities: 2
5 minutes at the most and no Novocaine, that's how simple this was. Not a month before I was told I had a cavity on an upper tooth. Fillings done on bottom tooth. Left the surface rough. When I complained was told "well we were watching those 2 cavities." Baloney.
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Expensive Filling
Amount: $550.00
Posted by: Saravan in Dover, NH.Posted: March 24th, 2016 03:03AM
Type: CompositeNumber of Surfaces:
Number of Cavities: 2
Teeth 19 and 20. Pediatrics dentist. Scheduled to have one done but dentist found another and went ahead without my knowledge. $275 per tooth! Sounds like a ripoff. Might change office.
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Filling
Amount: $196.92
Posted by: Geoff in Cambridge, MA.Posted: February 23rd, 2016 01:02PM
Type: Composite , anterior (D2393)Number of Surfaces: 3
Number of Cavities: 2
two cavities, 3 surfaces each filled with composite. Total cost $650 without insurance ($325 per cavity), $393.84 with insurance ($196.92 each).
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Cleaning and two fillings
Amount: $800.00
Posted by: Noufal in Denver, CO.Posted: January 5th, 2016 08:01AM
Number of Cavities: Two
I paid $800 for a cleaning and 2 fillings. I feel like I was ripped off by comfort dental in cherry creek because they new I had $1000 worth of dental coverage which they happily would have liked to take without giving me any information on cost upfront. Thanks comfort dental I won't be coming back.
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Cavity Fillings
Amount: $116.00
Posted by: BPP in Kansas City, MO.Posted: December 16th, 2015 03:12PM
Type: AmalgamsNumber of Surfaces: 2 on each tooth.
Number of Cavities: 2
I went to the dental college clinic. Very good service. Way cheaper than a private dentist.
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Cost of toothpaste, a toothbrush and floss
Amount: $10.00
Posted by: a user in Chicago, IL.Posted: July 13th, 2015 06:07AM
Number of Cavities: 0
I find value in dental care. I want to be able to eat what I want without pain or sensitivity. I want to smile with clean, white teeth. I want to be able to speak clearly because I have all of my teeth and they're not missing or malaligned. I don't want to have a surgery or take my teeth in and out because I lost them. I value my teeth, so I take care of them myself by brushing and flossing everyday. And on occasion, when the costly dental appointment comes up, I pay it because it gives me a better quality of life.
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Upper central incisor Filling came out while flossing
Amount: $312.00
Posted by: costly? in Rockingham, NC.Posted: July 10th, 2015 05:07AM
Type: compositeNumber of Surfaces: 1
Number of Cavities: 0
checked site.for sensitivity, roughed area, filled, smoothed, checked bite with colored tape, twelve minutes, no X-rays, no Novocain
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price for filling
Amount: $652.00
Posted by: a user in Santa Rosa, CA.Posted: May 22nd, 2015 03:05PM
Type: restorativeNumber of Surfaces: 3
Number of Cavities: 2
wondering if 3 surface fillings are required, no mention of any cavities 6 months prior. How do you go from zero to 3 surface in 6 months?
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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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Expensive
Amount: $143.25
Posted by: Meme27 in August, GA.Posted: March 18th, 2015 10:03AM
Number of Cavities: 1 surface 1 cavity
This was a pediatric dentist I went to for my 6 year old son in Augusta ga. For one surface/the occlusal it was $186.00 before insurance. After it came to $143.00
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Sawgrass Dental Ripoff
Amount: $3,095.00
Posted by: JRH in Sunrise, FL.Posted: February 28th, 2015 05:02AM
Type: compositNumber of Surfaces: 1
Number of Cavities: 7
This dentist totally ripped us off. Charged for adjustments of fillings at $150 each and a $300 final adjustment charge.and $250 per filling. This does not in;ude the cost of xrays, visit, consultation etc. They also never gave us any options or the costs upfront. Just a bill.
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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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Filling
Amount: $651.00
Posted by: [email protected] in Farmington, NM.Posted: December 22nd, 2014 04:12PM
Number of Cavities: Three
I feel I might have saved with another provider. Insurance paid 50%. We waited 2 1/2 hours before my daughter sat in the dental chair. I'm not going to travel two hours here and two hours home again!!!!
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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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cavities
Amount: $100.00
Posted by: KayB in NA, FL.Posted: June 24th, 2014 06:06PM
Type: smallNumber of Surfaces: one
Number of Cavities: 1
I think dentists are ripping people off. I had a small one surface filling, without novicaine, (thats how small it was) and it was 100 dollars. The dentist wan't in the room 3 min. Rip off. Without insurance it would be 190 dollars. Just way too much.
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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: [email protected] 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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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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