Cost of Tooth Filling
Dental fillings are a treatment option which focuses on restoring the function and appearance of a tooth which is decayed or damaged. Dentists commonly use dental fillings to treat a cavity. Fillings are typically completed in a single appointment at the office and take about an hour.
Various Types of Fillings
There are currently two materials which are frequently used for tooth fillings:
- Composite: A white or tooth-colored material. Composite resin material is formed from a combination of plastic and glass. In general, it is more natural-looking material.
- Amalgam: This is commonly referred to as silver fillings. Amalgam is a combination of metals which are bound together with elemental mercury. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dental amalgam is classified as a safe and effective material to use for dental restoration.
Steps in a Dental Filling
At the beginning of the appointment, the dentist will numb the area which is being treated using a local anesthetic. Once the area is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decayed matter. The size of the dental filling or the number of teeth which require treatment will vary based on the amount of damage or decay.
Once the tooth is prepared and cleaned, the dentist will fill in the removed portion of the tooth using a composite or amalgam material. The dentist will then shape the material to match the tooth structure and properly align the bite. Depending on the location of the filling, your dentist may ask you to bite down to ensure your teeth fit together and that the bite is comfortable. Your dentist will adjust the shape of the filling as needed.
Pediatric Dental Fillings
Primary or baby teeth, are typically softer and more porous than adult or permanent teeth. This makes the teeth more susceptible to decay and cavities. The procedure for dental fillings and recovery for pediatric patients is quite similar to that of adults. In some cases, Nitrous Oxide may be used to help relax a child during the procedure. In Nitrous Oxide is being used, your child’s dentist will advise that they should not eat for two hours prior to the procedure.
Dental Filling Cost and Insurance Coverage
The cost of dental fillings varies based on a variety of factors, which includes the size of the filling needed and amount of decay. Before the procedure, your dentist will review the treatment plan and can provide you with a cost estimate.
For patients with dental insurance, coverage typically includes preventative care such as regular exams and x-rays. It is critical to stay updated with your insurance coverage.
Dental cavities can sometimes result in pain or sensitivity to hot or cold. However, in other cases, cavities do not result in any pain. It may be possible to see decay on the outside of the tooth. It is also common for dental cavities to only be detected through the use of a dental x-ray and examination.
It is ideal to treat a cavity as soon as possible in order to preserve the natural tooth. Preventative care also aids in dental emergencies which can result in the complete loss of the tooth. When cavities are identified early, your dentist will likely recommend a dental filling to restore the tooth.
More on Dental Fillings : Temporary Tooth Fillings