DentalSave Knowledge Center


Dental Filling

What is a dental crown?

To treat a cavity, your dentist removes the decayed portion of your tooth and fills the area where the decay has been removed. Your dentist will take a few things into account before recommending what’s best for you. They are:

  • Your oral health history
  • The location and size of the cavity
  • How long the filling will last
  • Cosmetic considerations
  • Your insurance coverage and out-of-pocket cost

What Type of Dental Filling Will I Need?

Not all fillings are suitable for different sizes of cavities. The most common dental filling options include:

Composite Resin Dental Fillings

Not all fillings are suitable for different sizes of cavities. The most common dental filling options include:

Tooth-colored composite resin dental fillings are durable and resistant to fracturing when used for small to medium-sized cavities. They can withstand moderate pressure from chewing, and may be used on either front or back teeth. They are also very effective when repairing chipped, broken, or worn teeth

The shade and color of composite dental fillings are closely matched to the color of existing teeth. The composite material chemically bonds to your teeth, and compared to amalgam fillings, typically requires less removal of tooth structure Composite dental fillings are not recommended for very large cavities and commonly last about five years compared to 10 to 15 years for amalgam.

Many dental insurance plans only cover the cost of composite dental fillings on anterior teeth. If you want white fillings on posterior teeth you may have to pay your dentist’s full fee or the cost difference between composite and amalgam.

Amalgam Dental Fillings

Amalgam dental fillings, which are commonly known as silver fillings, have been used for more than 100 years. They are durable and can withstand chewing forces very well. Amalgam fillings are made from a combination of metals, including mercury, silver, tin and copper.

While amalgam dental fillings are more affordable than composite fillings, they are not as aesthetically pleasing, and may create a grayish hue to the surrounding area of your tooth. They may also expand and contract more often which can lead to a higher occurrence of cracks and fractures.

Amalgam fillings do contain mercury, but the American Dental Association considers amalgam fillings safe and an excellent option for filling teeth.

Gold Dental Fillings

Gold dental fillings, are composed of an alloy of gold, copper and other metals. While gold is durable and has been used in dentistry for more than 1,000 years, it’s much more costly than other materials.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold or composite resin. To make these types of restorations, your dentist will take impressions and send your inlay or onlay to be fabricated in a lab. When completed, inlays and onlays are then cemented or bonded to the tooth. They are more durable than other types of dental fillings and may last up to 30 years.

How Much Will My Dental Filling Cost?

You may brush and floss every day, but tooth decay can happen to anyone. So what are your options when it comes to dental fillings? With many advances in modern dentistry, there are more choices than ever. The average cost of a three-surface anterior composite dental filling is $255, and most insurance companies do not cover the total cost of these types of dental fillings. With your Dentalsave membership, you pay $140.50, giving you a savings of $114.50.

Discounts on dental fillings and other related procedures are included in all DentalSave memberships.

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