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The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research provides limited free or low-cost dental treatment to the participants of clinical trials.

Cavities are also known as dental caries, which is actually a bacterial disease that damages the hard structure of the tooth. The tissues of teeth gradually start to break down and cause dental cavities, i.e., holes in the teeth. There is a simple solution to solve this problem, and that is 'cavity filling'. In this procedure, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill the hole on the tooth with a 'filling material'. The cost of this filling material is the main factor that decides the overall cost of the procedure. Also, the earlier you find and treat a cavity, the lesser will be the cavity filling cost.

Cavity Filling Material

Cavity filling is actually a complex procedure, and its effectiveness depends on the skill of the dentist. It is a two-step process that is done in one single visit to the dentist. The dental fillings are performed by using mixtures that are either made of metal or other such solid substances. There are different types of filling materials that affect the cost of filling. They include:

Dental amalgams (made from silver-tin-copper alloy powder and liquid mercury)
Composite resin (powdered glass and plastic resin)
Resin ionomer cement (glass and resin polymer and organic acid that hardens with the exposure of a blue light)
Glass ionomer cement (glass and inorganic acid)
Porcelain, which is also called ceramic filling (glass-like material formed into fillings)
Porcelain fused to metal (glass-like material that is enameled on the top of metal shells)
Nickel or cobalt-chrome alloys (mixtures of nickel and chromium), and
Gold alloy (gold-colored mixture of gold, copper, and other metals)

How Much is the Cavity Filling Cost?

The typical dental filling cost largely depends upon several basic things, and the most important is the area and location of the cavity. If a small part of the tooth is to be filled, then the cost will definitely be lesser than filling an entire tooth and several more. Hence, the dentist will calculate the overall cost by counting the number of teeth surfaces to be filled.

With the help of some surveys, here is a data compilation of the cost, which will give you an idea.

Silver amalgam can cost you an average of USD 50 to USD 150 for one or two teeth. The average cost for three and more teeth with silver amalgam can reach up to USD 120 to USD 300 or more.
The composite filling, that is actually the tooth-colored filling used to fill the dental cavity, can cost up to USD 90 to USD 250, and its average cost for three and more teeth can reach up to USD 150 to USD 300 or more. Interestingly, the cost of gold filling is ten times higher than silver amalgam. It can cost you around USD 250 to USD 4,500 or more.
An insurance policy having a dental coverage may only cover a part of the cost of amalgam fillings. Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of the composite fillings up to the price of the silver amalgams, after which the patient must pay the difference. It must be remembered that only 50% to 80% of the cost is covered by regular medical insurance for cosmetic fillings and cavity fillings that are costly due to their appearance. If your dental policy does not cover cosmetic dentistry, then it may not cover composite fillings. In some cases, the patient will be required to pay for the dental procedure and then submit a form for reimbursement from insurance. It is important to know what your policy will cover before you go to the dentist for a filling.

Things to Consider

The type of filling material will be decided by the dentist after he examines the size of the dental cavity and the location of the tooth. The initial tooth examination and X-rays can cost up to USD 20 to USD 250 (depending on the dentist's regular fee structure).
The amalgam filling can last for approximately 12 years, while composite filling can last for about 5 to 7 years.

The cost can be reduced if there are any special offers at your nearest dental clinic. So, keeping an eye on such special offers can really be helpful for those who are worried about the cost of dental filling.