Ask Dr. Stanfield: Is there a price difference between metal fillings and other types of fillings?
We offer both silver (amalgam) fillings and white (composite) fillings at our office. While white tooth fillings are typically about 50% more expensive than silver ones, many patients select them because they are nearly invisible, don’t make teeth look gray, and are less likely to contribute to tooth cracking over time because they don’t expand over time like silver ones do. White fillings cost more because the technique required to place them is more complicated and it takes slightly longer than placing silver fillings.
Some dental insurance companies may cover less of the cost of composite fillings than amalgam ones. This is especially true if the tooth needing to be filled is in the back of your mouth. Before you have a tooth filled, you may want to check with your insurer to see what coverage your policy offers. If you are paying out of pocket, many people advise having silver fillings placed in back teeth, but paying the extra out of pocket cost to have white ones used in more-visible front teeth.
It’s worth noting that if you have a cavity, getting it filled promptly – with whatever material you select or your insurance covers – may save you significant amounts of money in the future. A small cavity may cost $200 or more to fill, but if untreated, it could turn into a several-thousand-dollar root canal procedure.
Whether you choose silver or tooth-colored fillings, we will ensure that your decayed tooth is repaired safely and effectively. Our goal is that you have fillings that last as long as possible, feel comfortable, and—if you choose white fillings—look as natural as your real tooth surfaces.