Getting dental fillings when you need them is the best way to avoid paying large dental costs down the road. A filling involves repairing damage to a tooth that’s cracked, chipped or decayed. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the cost of dental fillings so it helps to know what factors play into the overall cost.
While paying out-of-pocket is definitely, there are ways to spread out the cost to make it more affordable. At West Hollywood Holistic Dentist, we do everything we can to help our patients get the care they need. Here’s what you need to know about dental fillings along with ways you can cover the cost.
Dental Filling Cost Factors
Dental fillings can be performed in many different ways so costs vary widely. The materials used for the filling, the type of procedure used and the extent of tooth damage all play into the total cost. And of course, different dentists charge different rates as well.
In order to determine the extent of the damage, your dentist will take x-rays and also clear away any buildup on the tooth, which may require drilling. A local or general anesthetic will likely be used, too. The type and extent of damage can take any number of forms with the most expensive repairs requiring both filling the tooth and molding exterior surfaces of the tooth. Filler materials also vary in price, some of which include porcelain, gold, composite resins and silver amalgam. All of these factors affect the overall cost.
Types of Procedures
Procedures for dental fillings range from filling the interior of a tooth to making a customized container that fits overtop the entire tooth. The more extensive the procedure the higher the cost of dental fillings. Here are three of the most commonly used procedures:
Inlays and onlays accomplish the same purpose, which is filling cavities. They differ in that inlays only fill the center portion of the tooth while onlays fill the center portion as well as any exterior surface areas needing repair. So if a cavity has spread to the outer portions of the tooth, an onlay procedure will likely be needed. The cost for inlays and onlays ranges from $650 to $1,200 per tooth.
A dental bonding procedure uses a composite resin material that’s bonded to the tooth. The dentist then shapes, polishes and dyes the tooth to give it a natural appearance. Bonding works well for repairing chipped or cracked teeth with costs ranging anywhere from $100 to $400 per tooth.
Veneer procedures are more extensive. Instead of filling or shaping the tooth, a custom-made shell made out of porcelain or resin is fitted overtop of the tooth. Your dentist will have to fill some of the enamel off the tooth before fitting the shell exterior. While costly, veneers last considerably longer than bonding, inlays and onlays so they may actually be the most cost-effective approach in the long run. Costs vary quite a bit and can range anywhere from $500 to $1,3000 per tooth.
Filling Costs with Dental Insurance
Dental insurance coverage provides a nice buffer when you’re facing high dental costs. While out-of-pocket expenses can vary greatly between the different policy types, it’s better to have to pay half of a big bill than the whole amount. Your typical dental plan will include co-payment and monthly or annual premium costs. Coverages vary but the average plan should provide the following benefits:
- 100 percent coverage for annual routine care
- 80 percent coverage for root canals, fillings and basic procedures
- 50 percent coverage for major procedures, such as bridges and crowns
While dental costs can be a real barrier to getting needed dental care, being proactive about your oral health will actually save you money in the long run. Fillings tend to get worse with time, requiring more expensive procedures down the road to correct the problem. At West Hollywood Holistic Dentist, we understand the financial strain that comes with a big, unexpected dental bill. To help our patients get the care they need, we offer a special financing program that allows you to set a payment plan that fits your budget. So don’t put off getting needed treatment care. Call our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dental care professionals.