How Much Does a Dental Filling Cost [2024]

Harmful oral bacteria can not only put a hole in your teeth, but also in your wallet. Poor oral hygiene is one of the most common reasons for the development of tooth decay/dental cavities and bacterial dental plaque accumulation. These oral issues are also promoted by the consumption of sugary foods and drinks. If cavities are not treated, bacteria can spread to other parts of the body and lead to infection, oral pain, tooth loss, and many other health issues. Your dentist may recommend a dental filling to treat a minor cavity. In this article we will discuss dental filling types and the average tooth filling cost.

Types of Dental Fillings and Cost

Type of FillingDescriptionAverage Cost (USD) Without Insurance
Amalgam (Silver) FillingsAmalgam is well-known as a silver filling. It is made from a combination of metals including mercury, silver, tin, and copper. The American Dental Association (ADA) declares the safety of mercury-based amalgam noting no risk to health.$150-$300 per single surface
Composite (Tooth-Colored) FillingsComposite fillings are tooth-colored fillings that match your natural teeth. They are often made of a mixture of glass or quartz filler.$200-$400 per single surface
Gold FillingsGold fillings are one of the most durable types of fillings. They are made of a combination of gold alloy, copper and other metals.$400-$650 per single surface
Ceramic FillingsCeramic fillings are custom made to match the natural color of your teeth. They are often made from porcelain.$500-$2,800 per single surface
Additional Payment for Complex CasesComplex cases involving severe tooth decay or damage may require additional dental procedures. This can include nitrous oxide, pulp cap treatment, root canal, dental crown, and dental extraction.
  • Nitrous Oxide: $40-$150
  • Pulp cap: $200-$300
  • Root canal: $800-$1,500
  • Crown: $500-$3,000
  • Extraction: $180-$550
What You Can Eat With Braces

Top 5 Factors Influencing the Cost of a Dental Filling

So, how much does a filling cost? Tooth cavity filling price can vary based on numerous potential factors, including:

  • Type of filling material used: On average, silver amalgam fillings tend to be the cheapest type of filling material followed by composite, gold, and ceramic fillings often being the most expensive filling material.
  • The number of teeth being filled. The more teeth that require cavity fillings, the higher your overall cost will be.
  • The type of tooth affected. Teeth in the back of the mouth, such as molars, tend to be more costly than cavity filling in the front teeth.
  • Size of the cavity. The cost of dental fillings is influenced by the number of surfaces that need to be filled. Larger tooth damage is more costly.
  • Underlying dental infections. The condition of your oral health can influence costs, as you may require additional procedures prior to the dental cavity filling.
  • Location of your dentist. Your geographical location and the cost of living where your dental services are performed can influence cost of treatment.
  • Dentist’s expertise. The expertise and training of the dentist who will perform the cavity filling can influence the cost.

Insurance and Dental Filling Costs

A cavity filling cost can be reduced with the help of dental insurance. Most dental insurance providers offer partial or full coverage for dental fillings, as they are typically considered a medical necessity. On average, insurances cover up to 80% of the cost of fillings after an annual deductible is reached. Great Lakes Family Dental Group offers affordable payment options and accepts a vast amount of dental insurances. Contact us today to discuss your coverage and all you need to know about cavity filling services.

Tips for Managing Costs Without Insurance

Whether you have or don’t have dental insurance, you are most likely wondering how much does a filling cost when you are told that you need one. The average tooth filling cost without insurance ranges between $150 to $2,800 depending on the variety of factors mentioned. Fortunately, the cavity filling cost even without dental insurance can be affordable with other payment options. Ask your dentist about potential dental savings plans, discounts, and payment plans to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs for dental fillings. You can also use resources through the American Dental Association (ADA) to find affordable dental services near you.

Pros and Cons of Dental Fillings

There are many pros and cons to consider when deciding which type of dental filling is best for you. Your dentist will provide you with valuable information and help you make the optimal choice. Continue reading to explore the pros and cons of amalgam, composite, gold, and ceramic fillings.

Amalgam (Silver) Fillings


  • Very durable.
  • Last on average up to 10-15 years.
  • Ideal for filling fairly large cavities.
  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Quick treatment procedure completed in one office visit.
  • Safety and efficacy of mercury-based amalgam supported by the ADA.


  • Requires extensive tooth structure removable before placing.
  • Not ideal for individuals with mercury allergies (rare).
  • Noticeable silver color.
  • May be subject to fracture.
  • Not offered by all dentists.

Composite (Tooth-Colored) Fillings


  • Color-matched to your natural teeth.
  • Ideal for filling small to moderate cavities.
  • Can be used to hide stains or fix small gaps and misshaped teeth.
  • Not prone to temperature fracture.
  • Quick treatment procedure completed in one office visit.


  • Not as durable as amalgam.
  • Lasts on average between 5-7 years before needing to be replaced.
  • Often more expensive than amalgam fillings.

Gold Fillings


  • Very durable.
  • Can last over 20 years.
  • Corrosion-resistant.


  • Not ideal for individuals with metal allergies.
  • Some may consider the appearance to be unesthetic.
  • Can be expensive.
  • Typically requires more than one office visit.

Ceramic Fillings


  • Natural tooth-colored appearance.
  • Durable.
  • Can last over 10 years.
  • Good resistance to stains.


  • Can cause wear on opposing natural teeth.
  • Can be expensive.
  • Typically requires more than one office visit.

Preventing Cavities to Save on Fillings

Preventing cavities can save your teeth from harm and save you money in the long run. If you develop tooth decay and fail to have treatment performed such as a tooth filling in a timely manner, you may require additional dental procedures and fees such as rotten tooth extraction cost. One of the main ways to prevent cavities include practicing good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, using a fluoride-containing toothpaste and antibacterial mouthwash, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups at least twice a year. You should cut back on sugary and acidic foods and beverages, which can promote tooth decay. Also avoid chewing hard items like ice or hard candies, and harmful oral habits like smoking.

The Role of Diet in Preventing Dental Cavities

Want to lower tooth filling cost? The best way to do so is to prevent having to have a cavity filling by practicing good oral hygiene. Keeping a healthy smile can even depend on what you eat. Aim for implementing a balanced diet full of nutritious foods daily to reduce your risk of oral disease like tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth-friendly foods are commonly high in minerals like calcium and phosphorus, including dairy, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid excessive intake of sugars by staying away from carbonated beverages, desserts, and junk foods. The carbohydrates that we eat and drink are used by oral bacteria to produce acids that destroy tooth enamel.

Affordable Dental Filling Solutions at Great Lakes

Dental filling cost is typically a major topic of discussion when you are given a treatment plan by your dentist. If you are looking for affordable dental filling options, Great Lakes Family Dental Group should be your first choice. The team of dental experts at Great Lakes Family Dental Group will help you choose the best type of dental filling for your unique smile, while also considering finances. Schedule an appointment with us today!