Oral & Vision Health Blog

Dental Fillings: What are they and what will it cost me?

You’re at the dentist having your routine cleaning and after checking your X-rays; your dentist says you’ll need a filling on one of your teeth. Most likely, you’ve developed a cavity, but there are other reasons you may be in need of this procedure.

So, what exactly is a filling?

A dental filling is a type of restorative dentistry treatment. It is used primarily to remove deterioration or decay of the teeth on a small scale. This decay can create tooth fractures and can be a result of various factors, such as chewing on hard foods/candies, poor oral hygiene habits, unexpected dental accidents, etc. For the most part, they appear in the form of a cavity and are usually found on the teeth toward the back of the mouth.

Dentists can apply dental fillings with different materials, some of which include porcelain, composite and silver amalgam. Porcelain tends to be the most common type of dental filling, due to the fact that it is virtually invisible and blends with the enamel of the tooth. Remember: fillings are used for minor tooth decay situations so depending on the severity of the tooth deterioration, your dentist may recommend additional procedures such as dental crowns, dental implants, bridges or a root canal. 

What can I expect when I get my filling?

Your dentist will have to numb your mouth before performing this procedure. Don’t be alarmed though – it’s not intended to be painful during or after the filling is completed. After cleaning the infected area/tooth, the decay is removed with a drill which also eliminates any bacteria that may be accumulated around the tooth. Once this is complete, the bondage material is placed on the tooth to fill in the decayed areas of the tooth. After it dries, the material crystallizes, becoming part of the tooth and blending into it, making the filling look natural, or not apparent.

How much will it cost me?

As with most dental procedures, the cost of fillings varies across the board. Typically, a filling can range anywhere from $135 to $240. There are ways however to reduce these costs. The most effective way to save money on your dental fillings is through purchasing dental insurance. With dental insurance, you may still have a co-pay, but it will be significantly less money coming out of your pocket than if paying for the procedure in full. It’s important to keep in mind that many times, patients need more than one filling at a time, as well as fillings wear down and can fall off over time and may need to be replaced. Having a dental plan will alleviate many of these high costs. The type of filling used might impact the cost so be sure to check with your dental insurance plan and your dentist about the costs of each.


If you’ve never had a filling before, don’t be worried! Fillings are one of the most common procedures conducted in the dental office. Make sure to do your research on your dentist before your procedure and determine whether they accept your form of insurance if you already have a plan. If you don’t have a dental insurance plan but are considering purchasing one, take a look at some of the great plans we have available for you!


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