Whether it’s a small crack in your teeth or a large cavity, the quality of your teeth and oral care determines your overall health and appearance. Regardless of what kind of dental fillings your doctor recommends, having the right insurance (or lacking it) can make a huge difference.
Find out what dental fillings are, how they work, and how much dental filling is with and without insurance.
What is Dental Filling?
A dental filling is a medical procedure where dentists work on restoring, repairing, or replacing parts of your teeth. The term usually implies some hollow spots, cracks, or sockets that need to be filled with the appropriate material.
The most common application of dental filling is when your tooth develops cavities owing to decay. Dentists fill these cavities with artificial fillings that help you regain your ability to chew or smile attractively.
Your dentist may use materials ranging from metals, plastics, ceramics, glass, or a combination of any of these items to create the mass meant for filling.
Why Do You Need Dental Fillings?
You may need dental fillings for a variety of reasons. While some people choose to opt for dental fillings of their own volition, most people rely on the advice of the dentist.
Here are some of the top conditions and reasons why you may require a dental filling.
Cavities remain the most common reason why dentists recommend fillings. Long periods of tooth decay will invariably cause cavities. Other times, your dentist may remove the decaying portions of a tooth that create the cavity.
Either way, a dental filling uses tooth-like materials to fill these cavities so that your teeth can function normally. The filling will also work to prevent further decaying or enlargement of the cavity.
In many cases, adults and children alike may develop cracks or fractures in their teeth. This can result from collisions, accidents, or falls. Regardless of the reason, getting the fracture fixed is a must if you want to ensure the longevity of your teeth.
Small tooth cracks can eventually lead to large-scale damage or loss of tooth function if you don’t undergo the necessary repairing procedures on time. A minor but strategic dental filling can fix your fractured tooth and make it almost as good as new.
Teeth that develop holes or caverns lose their structural strength over time. This means it weakens and loses the ability to chew properly. The right dental filling will provide the missing mass and volume to the affected teeth, allowing them to regain their original integrity.
Botched tooth-filling procedures can, however, create more problems than solutions. So, it’s especially crucial for you to choose the correct procedure with your dentist and cover the costs with a beneficial insurance program.
Fixing Teeth Discoloration
While most people assume that whitening, dental bonding, or veneering remain the best solutions for teeth discoloration, dental fillings can also supplement these efforts.
Applying the correct dental filling can improve the appearance of your teeth and in, extension, your smile. Teeth discoloration is common in people who indulge a lot in consumables like wine, coffee, or other acidic food and beverages.
Tiny holes and crevices can appear naturally in your teeth as you grow older. These minuscule holes can accommodate decay and further deterioration of your teeth. A timely dental filling can fill up these holes and ensure that the decay doesn’t continue.
Cost of Dental Fillings with No Insurance
The American Dental Association (ADA) publishes the costs of dental procedures taken from all over the country. This data reveals that your average dental filling can cost anywhere from $140 to $190 in most cases.
However, these are merely the average dental fee figures. In reality, the simplest of fillings may cost less than $100 in some cases, while premium fillings can charge you thousands of dollars too.
For instance, a simple amalgam filling made from silver may cost you $70-$80 without insurance. On the other hand, a single-cast filling made of gold or porcelain may incur bills of over $4,200 without insurance.
This means that serious dental filling procedures can set you back thousands of dollars if you don’t have the right insurance backing up your finances.
Many insurance platforms like Calidad Insurance offer a whole suite of insurance policies that can cover every part of your life. Alternatively, brokers like Cade Insurance can connect you with the appropriate dental insurance groups if you have trouble finding providers on your own.
Cost of Dental Fillings with Insurance
The cost of dental fillings can decrease drastically if you have the right insurance coverage backing you up. Dental insurance will often come under one of three categories of coverage. These categories are usually considered preventive, basic, and major dental procedures.
While most insurance providers offer 100% coverage for preventive procedures (Eg. annual visits, cleaning, etc.), the coverage for basic procedures (root canals, fillings, etc.) comes down to 80%.
Since dental fillings come under the ‘basic’ procedures category, your insurance will most likely offer 80% coverage of the costs.
So, a composite filling (combination of different materials) that costs $250 may come down to around $50 if your insurance covers 80% of the bill. Meanwhile, a more expensive porcelain filling that costs about $1,000 may cost only $200 if your insurance kicks in.
However, insurance groups may require you to go through a waiting period, minimum deductibles, or other conditions before they finance your procedures. So, ensure you properly familiarize yourself with your insurance provider’s Claims Information before expecting coverage.
Types of Dental Fillings and Costs With and Without Insurance
These are the common dental fillings and what they may cost you with and without dental insurance.
Simple Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam fillings offer more affordable dental fillings solutions, costing you about $250 or less without insurance, depending on the mixture of materials. With insurance, the cost will reduce to less than a hundred dollars.
Composite materials provide better bonding and more strength to your fillings. Understandably, they can cost $300 to $500, depending on the procedure. With an 80% coverage, your $500 procedure can cost as little as $100.
Gold fillings are more premium options in dental filling procedures and cost $1,000 – $1,500 at minimum. An 80% insurance coverage for a gold filling costing $1,200 would come down to about $250.
Porcelain Fillings (or Inlays)
Porcelain fillings can offer both structural strength and a pleasing appearance to your teeth. However, these handy advantages come at a higher cost as they may cost $2,000 or more. With insurance of 70%, a $2,000 porcelain inlay may come down to $400.
Dental fillings are crucial procedures that help you retain your tooth’s strength, function, and appearance. Although they are not complicated procedures, they’re serious enough to warrant proper research, consultation, and the right insurance coverage.