Do you have cavities? Are you wondering about the types of dental fillings available to you?
Cavities are caused by a number of oral health issues. You may, for example, eat a lot of sugary foods and not be cleaning your teeth well enough. Cavities are permanently damaged areas that eventually become tiny openings or holes in your teeth.
Fillings are artificial substances that fill in the gaps of decayed, broken, or damaged teeth.
What do you need to know about dental filling types?
Let’s take a look.
Benefits of Dental Fillings
If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, the thought of getting a filling may seem overwhelming initially.
But it’s important to get a dental filling when your dentist recommends one. It enhances support and uniformity throughout your mouth.
Fillings can also prevent infection and further damage to your teeth by food particles and bacteria. This includes more tooth decay and gum disease.
Fillings will serve to improve tooth function, as you will now be able to chew without pain. It will also help you to restore the structure of your smile.
Yet not all fillings are the same. You’ll need to talk to your dentist about your options before you get started.
Resins are tooth-colored. They provide strong durability and resistance to pressure from chewing. Resins can be used on either your back or front teeth.
Tooth-colored fillings are quick and the procedure is virtually painless. They will blend in with your surrounding tooth structure, so folks won’t notice your filling when you’re laughing or yawning.
Resin-colored fillings can last you for ten years or more. They can also help you to maintain more of your natural tooth structure. Unlike some other tooth filling types, resin fillings are mercury-free.
The average composite filling costs around $207. The actual cost to you will depend upon a number of factors, including your dental insurance.
Amalgam fillings get made up of a mixture of metals, including liquid mercury and silver. With insurance, you can expect to pay around $110 to $200.
Amalgam fillings are quite durable and can withstand lots of wear and tear. Generally, you can chew and eat as much as you want without breaking the filling. Amalgam fillings are also long-lasting, enduring ten to twelve years before they need to get replaced.
Fillings in baby teeth are often made from amalgam. They can help prevent any further damage to teeth or gums.
Gold fillings are known for being quite long-lasting. In fact, they may last anywhere from ten to fifteen years.
Gold fillings are also quite strong and can withstand a lot of force with chewing. They can, however, cost anywhere from $250 to over $4,500. Your insurance may be able to help you keep the cost down.
The porcelain used in porcelain fillings is compact and durable. It can also get tinted to match the natural shade of your teeth.
Porcelain won’t expand or contract under pressure the way a metal filling would. They maintain their shape, and size, as well as the integrity of your original tooth.
Porcelain fillings are quite durable and stable, lasting up to thirty years or more. They are also wear-resistant.
Porcelain fillings, however, cost anywhere from $250 to $4,500, depending upon a number of factors, just as gold fillings do.
The cost of dental fillings is impacted largely by the material you choose. Factors such as the placement of the filling, the tooth’s function, and your dentist’s experience will also play a role. You can also expect to pay more for fillings in more urban locations.
Your dental insurance should cover a basic filling. However, your deductible and level of coverage will impact this.
Before you agree to get a filling, you’ll also want to find out whether or not a particular filling material is covered. You can find this out from your HR representative or insurance company customer service department.
If you don’t have insurance, find out from your dentist if they can provide a payment plan. This will allow you to pay the filling off a little each month so that it fits nicely into your budget. You may also be able to get a discount for paying for the entire treatment upfront.
Some dental offices also offer discounts for firefighters, police officers, or veterans. Ask the staff at your dental office what is available.
If you don’t have insurance, it’s worth it to find out if your employer has a Health Savings Account (HSA) available as part of your benefits package. These allow you to put aside a certain amount of tax-sheltered money each month that will get used for healthcare expenses. These can include dental procedures, vision products, and prescriptions.
If you don’t have an HSA available, you can ask about a Flexible Spending Account (FSA.) These are similar in that you can put aside money each month that won’t get taxed in order to save for dental expenses.
Unlike an FSA, an HSA is owned by you rather than your employer. This means you can rollover any unused funds to the next year.
If you’ve got cavities, there are a number of types of fillings available to you. With a little research, you can find the right option. Your oral health and smile will be thanking you for years to come!