We Fill You in on Dental Filling Costs
There's nothing more disappointing than biting into your favorite food, only to experience sharp tooth pain. If you regularly experience toothache or sensitivity, you may find yourself cringing at the prospect of shelling out for dental fillings.
Understanding the costs involved can help you avoid nasty surprises at the dentist's office, and it's often worth buying dental insurance to soften the blow.
How much a dental filling costs depends on multiple factors, including the type of filling and whether you have dental insurance. Generally, insurance covers around 80% of the cost of having a filling after you meet your yearly deductible.
According to Humana, dentists usually charge between $200 and $600 (CAD 272 and CAD 816) per filling, and your out-of-pocket costs depend on your policy. You can get a clearer idea of your expenses by speaking to your dentist or insurance provider.
Bear in mind that you may require additional dental work during your appointment. Forbes says dental work costs vary significantly by treatment type. You should expect to pay around $58 (CAD 79) for a dental checkup with your regular dentist and roughly $99 (CAD 135) for professional cleaning. Factor in an additional $146 (CAD 199) if you need dental X-rays.
The type of filling you have can significantly impact your care bill. Metal fillings are generally the cheapest option, costing $50 to $200 (CAD 68 to CAD 272) per tooth before insurance deductions. However, they're usually more visible than other dental fillings because they don't match the color of your teeth.
Composite fillings are a midrange option that matches your tooth color, although these fillings don't tend to last as long as metal ones. Expect to pay between $150 and $300 (CAD 204 and CAD 408) per tooth for composite fillings.
Porcelain fillings are significantly more expensive, but they're also highly durable and stainproof. The cost of porcelain fillings varies widely, with most people spending $300 to $4,500 (CAD 408 to CAD 6,123) per treatment.
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Dental fillings are much costlier if you don't have insurance because you'll pay all your costs out of pocket. How much it costs depends on the filling type and the severity of tooth decay, but you should expect to spend at least $100 (CAD 136) per tooth. Costs can reach $4,000 (CAD 5,443) or more for premium filling materials.
Your dentist may offer a discounted rate per filling if you require treatment for multiple teeth. You'll usually get the steepest discount per tooth if you have three or more teeth treated during the same appointment. For example, composite fillings usually cost between $200 and $550 (CAD 272 and CAD 748) for three teeth, which is cheaper per tooth than having them filled in separate appointments.
Dental care is expensive, so it's understandable to wonder whether dental fillings are really necessary. Dental insurance companies generally cover fillings because they count them as essential treatments, indicating they're usually worthwhile. While minor cavities occasionally improve with fluoride treatment, your dentist is the best person to advise you on whether you need a filling.
When you develop a tooth cavity, food and bacteria can enter the hole in your enamel and cause it to decay further. You're more likely to experience pain and discomfort as the cavity grows. Allowing a cavity to worsen can also increase the risk of a dental infection, potentially leading to more expensive treatment. Therefore, it's almost always worth investing in dental fillings when recommended by your dentist.
Dental fillings have to be durable to allow you to eat normally. However, they usually need replacing at some point, and how long they last depends on the material. As a rule of thumb, most dental fillings last for 10 to 15 years.
All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.
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