How Much Do Cavity Fillings Cost Without Insurance?

Cavities are a common dental problem for children. If your child has a cavity, he or she should see a dentist right away to stop any tooth decay (and prevent more problems).

What stops many people from visiting the dentist is the potential cavity filling cost. Even if you have dental insurance, it may not cover every dental service, such as if the procedure isn’t deemed immediately medically necessary.

If you are worried about the cost of a cavity filling without insurance, Kool Smiles can help you find plans for affordable dental care and save money. We accept most insurance providers, including Medicaid, as well as take patients who don’t have insurance. For a no-cost consultation, call 254-781-0553.

The Cost of Dental Fillings Without Insurance

Dental filling costs without insurance can vary depending on how many fillings your child needs, as well as the type of material used to fill the tooth. To best understand how these costs might vary, you’ll want to schedule a consultation with Kool Smiles, but there’s also a lot you can learn about cavity filling costs without insurance before coming in. According to CostHelper:

  • Metal (silver amalgam) fillings can cost between $50 and $150 for one to two teeth, and between $120 and $300 for more than two teeth.
  • Tooth-colored resin fillings usually cost between $90 and $250 for one to two teeth, and between $150 and $450 for three or more.
  • Porcelain or cast-gold fillings are the most expensive option. They can cost anywhere from $250 to $4,500, depending on the size of the cavity.

What Will Affect the Cavity Filling Cost?

The material used in your tooth filling will mainly affect how much you’ll be paying for your procedure. Here are some other factors that may influence the cost of your cavity filling:

  • How many teeth need fillings—While one cavity is troublesome enough to deal with, you can expect to pay more if multiple fillings are necessary. So, costs will be higher if your child has more cavities.
  • Amount of time required to fill the cavity—Infected teeth or gums will likely need more than one dental visit, which will increase the cost.
  • Which tooth has cavity—If the cavity is located somewhere that is difficult to reach, this will make the filling process more complicated and could result in a higher bill if extra time or equipment is necessary to complete the procedure.
  • How the infected tooth functions—If the cavity affects a tooth that is meant to chew tougher foods, stronger materials may be necessary to give the patient a quality filling, which will typically raise the price.
  • Where you are located—The cost of living is different across varying regions in the U.S., so your specific cavity filling cost, without insurance, will differ depending on where you live. To get a better estimate on the price of a filling within your city and state, call 254-781-0553 to contact a local Kool Smiles office.
  • The dentist—Not all dental offices are the same, and cavity filling rates will vary by dentist and what insurances they accept, as well as the payment options they provide.

What to Consider About Each Filling Material

Silver Fillings

This method of cavity filling has been used for over 150 years, and it can contain a mixture of metals, including:

  • Elemental mercury
  • Silver
  • Tin
  • Copper

Although liquid mercury comprises almost 50% of silver fillings, it is stabilized when combined with these other compounds to form a safe, FDA-approved cavity filling.

Composite Resin Fillings

These cavity fillings are composed of an acrylic resin, a form of plastic, and then combined with powdered glass filler to create a stronger compound. The upside to choosing this filling material is that the color of the resin can be customized, so your cavity filling won’t draw too much attention as it blends in with the surrounding teeth.

Porcelain and Cast-Gold Fillings

Although these types of filling materials can cost up to 10 times more than metal fillings, their durability pays off in the long run. They tend to last up to 15 years or more because they can withstand corrosion, meaning you won’t have to refill your cavities for over a decade.

Why Is It Important to Get Fillings?

When they aren’t treated, cavities can require surgery. Make sure to see a dentist right away if you suspect that your child has a cavity. Read through this graphic to better understand how you and your children get cavities:

What Is the Cavity Filling Process Like?

At Kool Smiles, we aim to make great dental health a comfortable and accessible experience. Part of how we do this includes a standard of transparency for all of our services. We’ll walk you and your child through exactly what you can expect from any treatment — before, during and after. You can expect the filling process to last about an hour, from the time your appointment actually starts to when the dental work is completed.

The first step, as is in the case in most dental treatments, is a basic physical examination and possibly X-rays if necessary. Next, the dentist will numb the area around the cavity spot, including your teeth, gums and the surrounding skin. Finally, they will drill a hole into the cavity and replace it with a filling. Though your mouth may be numb for a few hours afterward, as the anesthetic wears off, the actual process takes just a few minutes.

How to Protect a Cavity Filling

Unfortunately, cavity fillings are not meant to last forever, but there are some steps you can take to lengthen the life of your filling.

If you’ve just received a cavity filling, you may want to refrain from activities, including:

  • Avoid consuming solid foods until 24 hours after the cavity has been filled. This will give the filling time to set completely and protect your tooth.
  • Try not to eat or drink anything until the anesthesia has worn off.
  • When you do decide to eat solid foods, consider your pain tolerance and determine whether or not you need to take any medication before eating to minimize any potential discomfort.
  • Do not eat foods or beverages that are extremely hot or cold.
  • You should also avoid sticky or hard snacks, like gum or popcorn.
  • If you only had one cavity filled on a particular side of your mouth, try chewing on the opposite side for the first few days after getting the filling.
  • If you experience mouth sensitivity around the filling more than 4 weeks after your cavity has been filled, contact your dentist about the issue.

For those that have existing cavity fillings, here are some day-to-day care tips that can extend the life of these dental treatments:

  • Limit the amount of sugary drinks and foods that you eat. These can cause acid to build up on your teeth and breakdown the filling material overtime.
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride to help clean your teeth more efficiently.
  • Mouthwashes that burn your mouth may contain alcohol. These should not be used regularly since they can also deteriorate a cavity filling after long-term use.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after meals, and floss once a day to keep your filling clean of debris.
  • Avoid teeth grinding. A mouth guard may help prevent grinding while sleeping. Another helpful trick is to put your tongue in between your teeth to relax your jaw muscles.

Visiting your dentist regularly will also help maintain the structure of your cavity filling. Your dental provider will be able to spot any issues with your filling and mend the problem before it causes a problem.

No Insurance to Pay for a Cavity Filling? Kool Smiles Can Help!

Are you concerned about how much a dental filling costs? Dental procedures can be expensive, but they don’t have to break the bank or be out of reach. At Kool Smiles, your kids can get the low-cost cavity fillings they need with flexible payment plans to fit your budget. We are a dentist office that offers affordable, quality dental work for children. Our team can work with you to find manageable options to pay for a dental filling.

  • While we accept most forms of insurance, as well as Medicaid and TRICARE, we also offer other payment options for families without insurance.
  • We accept patients who pay with cash or credit card, and even CareCredit—a healthcare credit card that allows you to make easy monthly payments for treatments and procedures.

Bring your child to Kool Smiles today to avoid cavities and fillings! With over 120 locations nationwide, we make it easy to find affordable dental care near you. Give us a call at 254-781-0553 to set up an appointment for your child’s dental needs.

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Sources:

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/childrens-oral-health/index.html

CostHelper: http://health.costhelper.com/cavity-filling.html

DocShop: https://www.docshop.com/education/dental/procedures/fillings/cost

FDA:

https://www.fda.gov/medicaldevices/productsandmedicalprocedures/dentalproducts/dentalamalgam/ucm171094.htm

FDA: https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/DentalProducts/ucm171108.htm

WebMD Dental Health Fillings: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-fillings#2

The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/06/health/rise-in-preschool-cavities-prompts-anesthesia-use.html?_r=1

Quora: https://www.quora.com/How-long-does-it-take-a-dental-filling-to-harden

LiveStrong: https://www.livestrong.com/article/443961-foods-you-cant-eat-after-filling-a-tooth/

Health Line: https://www.healthline.com/health/tooth-sensitivity-after-filling

Oral B: https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/cavities-tooth-decay/benefits-fluoride-toothpaste-mouthwash-water

WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/teeth-grinding-bruxism#1