Dental fillings are the most common restorative dental treatment. Even people who take great care of their teeth get cavities on occasion, and it’s rare to find anyone who hasn’t suffered tooth decay at some point in their lives! If you need a dental filling, you may be wondering how much you can expect to pay, what type of filling is best, or even whether you really need a filling at all. Below, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about dental fillings.
What does a dental filling cost?
The cost of a single composite dental filling ranges from $135 to $405 at our office, depending on which tooth needs the filling and the size of the cavity. Also known as white fillings or resin fillings, composite fillings are a safe, mercury-free option that blends in with the rest of your tooth for a seamless appearance.
How long do dental fillings last?
The average lifespan of a composite filling is 7 years, but many patients have them for over a decade or more without needing replacement. If you have amalgam, or silver, fillings, they generally last around 15 years, although these days, many patients are opting to have their silver fillings replaced with more aesthetic composite fillings.
Which dental filling is best?
These days, composite fillings are typically considered the best option for dental fillings. Today’s composite fillings are more durable than they were in the past, in addition to being more aesthetic and free of mercury.
Can you fix a cavity without a filling?
Search the internet and you’ll find all kinds of information about healing cavities at home, or even filling them yourself! Needless to say, we don’t recommend it. An untreated cavity will continue to grow and spread, compromising your oral health. While weak spots in your enamel can be remineralized, once you have a cavity, it should be treated.
Can I wait a month to fill a cavity?
Unless your cavity is deep, large, or painful, there’s generally no harm in waiting a month to have it filled.
Why do I keep getting cavities even though I brush and floss?
We understand that it can be frustrating to feel that you’re doing everything right and still getting cavities! Make sure you are brushing for a full two minutes twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and visiting our office every six months for dental cleanings. If you’re already doing this, you may simply have more pits and fissures in your teeth than most people. These can be filled in with dental sealants.
Do fillings weaken teeth?
No, dental fillings do the opposite: they strengthen your teeth! Cavities create weak spots in your teeth, so by removing them and filling them in with composite material, your teeth will be stronger than they were before your fillings.