The cost of a typical filling when you don’t have dental insurance varies depending on the experience of the dentist and the type of filling you choose. According to Dr. Nourishad, an experienced dentist in Reseda, The average cost for one amalgam (silver) filling runs between $75 and $150 whereas the average cost for a composite/Ionomer (white) filling runs between $150 and $250. Here are some of the various filling materials that a patient can choose from and some of the pros and cons in using each material.
AMALGAM: This is the easiest material for a dentist to use and the most common. It is the fastest and least costly choice. Amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin or other metals. This kind of filling typically lasts up to 15 years or more. The continued debate on having this material in your body for that long is the danger of the presence of mercury causing other long term side effects. Dentists argue on both sides of this issue and many claim that side effects have not been substantiated.
COMPOSITE RESINS: These are tooth colored fillings mostly used on your front teeth to fill cavities and serve the patient aesthetically. It is easier for the dentist to work with over gold and is generally less expensive. Many people choose this option since it is transparent, making it look like part of the real tooth. Most dentists say these will not last nearly as long as amalgam fillings but are still suitable material.
IONOMERS: These are tooth colored materials often used to fill small cavities or those between teeth. Some Ionomers release small amounts of fluoride that may be helpful in the event a patient is prone to cavities. A similar option to composite resins.
GOLD: This is the most costly of the filling material choices and is the hardest for a dentist to work with which makes the procedure longer. Metals such as Gold and Silver do however have a reputation of being the most durable of filling materials.
CERAMICS: These are tooth colored fillings that are more costly than Amalgam or Composite Resins. Though they have a reputation of lasting longer as well, they require special equipment and may require dental lab support. Multiple appointments may also be necessary to complete a procedure.
The best approach is to shop around for a good dentist who offers the best service who offers the most value. Referrals from friends and family are a great place to start. The most important point to remember is that you have regular checkups and GET any fillings taken of to avoid other complications later. Small cavities can quickly grow into larger ones and cause other disease if not taken care of properly. Visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings twice per year will help you detect a filling before it becomes a larger problem.