Three Things That Determine Dental Filling Cost

Posted on: 5 March 2018

If your teeth have been weakened and damaged by disease, your dentist may suggest a dental filling treatment. Here are some of the factors that determine the cost of the treatment:

The Number of Teeth Surfaces

A dental filling is applied to a specific tooth surface, and each tooth has five surfaces. These are the biting/chewing surface, the cheek side surface, the tongue side surface, the side facing the next tooth in the front, and the side facing the next tooth to the rear. The number of surfaces to be treated per tooth, as well as the number of teeth to be treated, all determine the cost of the filling. This is because the more surfaces you need to treat, the more filling material will be used (the filling material is a significant factor in cost determination), as well as the time the dentist requires to complete the treatment.

The Filling Material

Both the amount and type of filling material needed affect the overall cost of the treatment. The amount of filling material needed depends on the number of surfaces to be treated, as discussed above. There are two main types of dental filling materials, each with its own pros and cons.

Dental Amalgam

Dental amalgam is made from the fusion of two metals – mercury and another metal that can be silver, copper, and tin (silver is common). The material is known for its strength, durability, and relative inexpensiveness. It is typically used on the back teeth which need to be strong to handle chewing forces. Unfortunately, some people can't handle dental amalgam because they are sensitive to mercury, and many people also don't rate it highly in terms of aesthetics.

Dental Composite

Also known as dental resin, the material is fashioned from glass and plastic. Dental composite is known for its aesthetics, since it can easily be customized to match the color of existing teeth. Unfortunately, it is the more expensive of the two filling materials (it can even be twice as expensive as dental amalgam), and is not as durable.

The Location of the Teeth

Lastly, the location of the teeth that need bonding also influences the cost of the dental bonding treatment. As a rule, the front teeth (that includes the incisors and the canines) cost less to treat because they are easily accessible. The back teeth, the molars and the premolars, are difficult to treat, which means their treatment also takes a long time compared to the front teeth, which means they will also cost more to treat.