Do you need a dental filling? Are you concerned about how much it costs to get a dental filling? Harmony Dental Group provides each of our La Jolla, CA dental patients with a detailed treatment estimate before scheduling their next procedure. With that being said, it’s impossible to quote a price for a dental filling without evaluating the tooth. There are several important reasons why.
Here are just some of the various factors that play a role in determining the cost of a dental filling in La Jolla:
How Much Fillings Cost Without Dental Insurance
If you need a dental filling and don’t have dental insurance, the fee for the restoration can vary by hundreds to thousands of dollars. While prices can be as low as $50 to over $1,200. The average price of a dental filling will generally fall between $200 and $600 without dental insurance.
Types of Fillings vs. Filling Costs
The type of materials, size, of the filling, and even which tooth is being treated will impact the cost of your filling. Depending on the circumstances and who you ask, you could pay as little as $50 to as much as $1,200 for certain types of dental “fillings.” And that’s not including the adjunctive procedures like your exam, which involve a separate charge.
As you start to plan for the cost of a La Jolla dental filling, here are just some of the important pieces of information to remember:
Traditional Silver (Amalgam) Fillings
Amalgam or “silver” fillings are typically the most affordable type of dental filling that you can get. While silver fillings aren’t as common as they once were, they’re still used today.
The average cost of a silver filling without dental insurance: Between $50 and $300.
White Composite Dental Fillings
Today’s white fillings cost about the same—if not just a little more than—silver fillings. Depending on your insurance policy, the coverage may pay for white fillings at the rate of a silver filling, which has the potential to impact your out-of-pocket costs. Most white fillings are around the same price range as traditional restorations, making it worthwhile to “upgrade” to this more aesthetic restoration. As an added benefit, white fillings are less invasive to teeth, allowing our La Jolla dentist to preserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible.
The average cost of a white filling without dental insurance: Between $90 and $450.
Indirect (Lab Made) Porcelain Fillings
Inlays and onlays are frequently referred to as “lab-made fillings,” “indirect fillings,” and “three-quarter crowns.” They are larger than a traditional filling but are more conservative than placing a full crown over the tooth. Because inlays and onlays are made by a lab or in-house milling machine, the cost of the procedure is more than the average price of a filling in La Jolla. They’re often made out of ceramic, zirconia, or gold.
The average cost of an inlay or onlay without dental insurance: Between $300 and $1,200.
Size of the Dental Filling
The fee for a dental filling is affected by the size of the filling being placed. For example, some people receive “one surface fillings,” such as those that are just on the chewing surface of a tooth. Others are “two surface” or “three surface,” extending over the sides of a tooth or between teeth. The larger the filling is, the more it will cost.
Where You Live
The cost of living expenses will impact the total amount you pay for a filling. Depending on costs such as rent, taxes, and salaries, dental fillings are more expensive in some parts of the country than others.
Keep in mind that other fees can impact the total cost of your dental filling appointment. Such as paying for an exam, X-ray(s), and if you’re requesting nitrous oxide “laughing gas” sedation during your appointment. Each of these separate services is charged at an additional rate, so they will adjust your total out-of-pocket expenditures.
If You Have Dental Insurance
Most dental insurance plans include coverage for fillings. However, there are still annual limits and maximums that affect your total benefits package. On average, most insurance policies will cover about 80% of the cost of the filling. This can vary depending on the type of filling you’re getting, if the dentist is in network, and even if you’ve paid your deductible for the year. At Harmony Dental Group, we can run a treatment plan against your benefits package to provide an estimate of what your policy covers.
Treat the Cavity Earlier to Save Money
Cavities are bacterial infections that spread over time. Left untreated, the decay can work its way deeper into the tooth or “jump” to neighboring teeth. The earlier you have the decay removed and the tooth treated, the more money you’ll save on restorative care.
Are There Alternatives?
Treat the cavity with silver diamine fluoride.
Silver diamine fluoride is an extremely strong anti-cavity treatment that stops the spread of cavities. It’s frequently used on young children when there are hard-to-access tooth surfaces, or they’re unable to sit through a normal visit. Unfortunately, silver diamine fluoride causes extensive staining, so it’s only used on a case-by-case basis.
Ask for a second opinion from another dentist.
Some dentists may prefer a “watch and wait” approach. Others may say you need a larger restoration than a filling, such as a crown or an inlay. If you have hesitations about your dentist’s recommendations, consider bringing your treatment plan to our dentist in La Jolla to get a second opinion.
Why Do I Need Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are used to fill in and restore parts of a tooth that are damaged by active tooth decay (cavities.) Left untreated, cavities continue to expand. By removing the bacterial infection and filling that space with durable material, we can stop the cavity from becoming any larger. Without a dental filling, decayed teeth are likely to evolve into situations requiring dental crowns or even root canal therapy, both of which add to your dental expenditures. You can save money by treating the tooth earlier rather than later.
If you have a tooth that’s bothering you, it’s best to have our La Jolla dentist check it as early as possible. Early intervention can reduce the total cost of dental care. Contact Harmony Dental Group today to request an appointment.