Dentist Vinings: How much do dental fillings cost?

Vinings dentist near meThe cost of a filling can vary greatly, depending on who you go to, the type of filling and degree of restoration required.   An amalgam (“silver/mercury filling”) is cheaper than a composite (white/resin filling), but will last significantly longer if you are unconcerned about aesthetics and the back and forth debate over whether or not amalgams may be linked to other health issues.  The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) found there is no danger from an amalgam filling, but some specialists and consumers remain unconvinced by the findings.

One of the ways to find out the actual range of cost is to just call a local dentist from the internet and ask them.  You are going to find some hesitancy to quote over the phone because each person presents a different set of restorative circumstances, but you should be able to get a range of costs or a free consultation.

While costs vary from one area to the next and from one office to the next, the cost of typical amalgam filling ranges from approximately $75 to $175 per filling, whereas a composite resin filling ranges from $125 to $300 for a single surface restoration.  You should expect about 3 to five years (possibly 7 years) of use from the composite and as many as 20 years or longer from an amalgam restoration.  Actually a well-cared-for amalgam filling can last a lifetime, so the expensiveness of the filling really becomes a minor consideration.

Restorative circumstances are going to vary from tooth to tooth and decay may be found in one small spot or throughout a tooth. The restorative fees are based on the number of surfaces needing filling in a single tooth.  A silver amalgam filling on one or two surfaces averages $75 to $175, while for three or more surfaces it could go as high as $120 to $300 or more.  The same type of logic follows with respect to composite restorations.  Since composite resin fillings are more time consuming and require greater skills to completion they are more expensive than amalgam fillings and weigh in on the more expensive side of caries restorations.

Typically dental insurance covers most or all of the costs of a silver amalgam filling, but only 50 to 80 percent of the cost of a composite filling because the higher charge for the tooth-colored material is considered a cosmetic option. One exception is when an old amalgam filling is cracked or broken and is replaced with a composite filling.

We would advise you of the type of filling based on the size of the cavity and the location of the tooth in your mouth.  Amalgams are more likely to be placed in the back of your mouth while composites are more likely to be used on more-visible front teeth. WebMD.com gives an overview of typical filling procedures and Colgate.com lists pros and cons of different types of fillings.

Amalgam Advantages

  • Amalgam fillings are strong and can withstand the forces of chewing.
  • They are relatively inexpensive and last a long time, compared with alternatives.
  • An amalgam filling is completed in one dental visit.

Amalgam Disadvantages

  • Amalgam doesn’t match the color of your teeth.
  • Healthy parts of your tooth often must be removed to make a space large enough to hold an amalgam filling.
  • Amalgam fillings can corrode or tarnish over time, causing discoloration where the filling meets the tooth.
  • A traditional amalgam filling does not bond (stick) to your tooth, so the cavity preparation developed by your dentist requires undercuts or ledges to provide retention of the filling.  We may have to remove additional tooth structure to establish good retention for the filling.
  • Some people may be allergic to mercury or be concerned about its effects, although research shows the amount of mercury exposure from fillings is similar to what people get from other sources in the environment.

Composite Advantages

  • Your fillings will match the color of your teeth and therefore undetectable.
  • A filling should be completed in one dental visit.
  • Composite fillings can bond directly to the tooth, making the tooth stronger than it would be with an amalgam filling.
  • Less drilling is involved than with amalgam fillings because your dentist does not have to shape the space as much to hold the filling securely.  The bonding process holds the composite resin in the tooth.
  • Indirect composite fillings are heat and light cured increasing their strength.
  • Composite resin can be used in combination with other materials, such as glass ionomer, to provide the benefits of both materials.

Composite Disadvantages

  • Although composite resins have become stronger and more resistant to wear, they generally don’t last as long as amalgam fillings under the pressure of chewing.
  • The composite may shrink when placed; this can lead to more cavities in the future in areas where the filling is not making good contact with your tooth.
  • This restoration takes more time and skill to place because they are usually placed in layers. The increased time and labor involved also contribute to the higher cost (compared with amalgam fillings).
  • Indirect fillings and inlays take at least two visits to complete. Your dentist takes impressions at the first visit and places the filling or inlay at the second visit.
  • In large restorations, composites may not last as long as amalgam fillings.

The trick is to find a qualified, well trained dentist, and that requires you to educate yourself about the dentist you choose and a basic knowledge about dentistry.  If we can be of service or answer any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us, we’re just a stone’s throw from Cobb County.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD

Hanna Orland, DMD

Howard Abrahams, DDS

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

404-256-3620

and

3781 Chamblee Dunwoody Drive

Chamblee, GA 30341

770-455-6076

www.rightsmilecenter.com

info@rightsmilecenter.com

Related articles

Dentist Vinings: How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

Vinings implant dentist near meIf you are trying to figure out the ins and outs of  implants verses the older more conventional methods of tooth replacement, the cost of dental implants at first blush may appear higher, and therefore, unaffordable to most people.  But appearances can be deceiving if you examine the beneficial differences and the time involved by your specialist.  While I have written on those issues before, let’s explore other aspects of price and how different dental implants may differ very significantly depending on different factors.

The real concern for the patient is ‘where and how’ to find a low cost quality dental implant, and is most likely the driving adjective ‘low cost’ a result of the perception by the patient that teeth are utilitarian to their daily life.  Quite the contrary, that’s really not the case.  To put the cost into perspective, all the while considering that your teeth aren’t really as appreciated as much as they should be, let’s examine what goes into the cost of a dental implant.

4 Factors that Drive the Cost of Dental Implants:

The Material:
The traditional materials – prices of cobalt-chromium alloy and titanium are not the same.  Implants from cobalt-chromium (CC) alloy rods are cheaper than comparable titanium implants, but when it comes to zirconium dioxide, then cost of a dental implant may appear to be cost prohibitive to the patient.  But, depending on where the implant is being placed, you may end up with a less than satisfactory result with the less expensive CC implant.

The Size:
This case is a significant factor.  The bigger the implant, the more material, the more it costs, but also the more it may do.  Also, special coatings applied to the surface of the implant, contribute to better osseo-integration with the bone, will affect the cost of the dental implant.

The Manufacturer:
Different manufacturers put different prices on similar rods made from the same material. Some manufacturers include some kind of an extra charge in the dental implant’s price for their brand name. This is a lot more esoteric and therefore harder to explain.   It’s like trying to explain the difference between Polo and Hanes T-shirts.

Finally, it may depend on where your dentist gets his implants from.  And this factor may be a function of how motivated your dentist is in providing you with the best implant material for the least amount of cost to you.  Some of that may just end up being economies of scale by your provider.  Does your dental provider have contacts directly with manufactures in China or Israel, where the dental implant cost can be significantly reduced, while the indirect purchase of dental implants from U.S dental suppliers may ratchet up the price?

If the price is too good to be true?

The cost of an dental implant starts from around $1,500 up to $5,000.00 .  Anything less may be an indicator that you’re getting an inferior product or one not designed for a particular location in your mouth.  Short term, the implant device may appear to be fully functional.  But if we look at the cost and the cost of other materials for dental implants compared to their operational life, the difference may be likened to the difference between Toyo’s and Michelin tires.  Here again you may get what you pay for and the initial cost may appear affordable, but in the  long term you are going to get a better result with respect to how it functions and how long it lasts if your provider installs Michelins.

A lot of your choice and cost may depend on the choice of your provider.   It’s not to say the more you spend the better you will be.  Rather, a reputable practitioner, who is truly trained in the placement and restoration (and this may be two providers), may be a significant factor in what you end up with and what it costs.  Trust and reputation are the more difficult factors to define for the patient.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

ZoAnna Bock, MS, DMD

Hanna Orland, DMD

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

404-256-3620

and

3781 Chamblee Dunwoody Road

Chamblee, GA 30341

770-455-6076

www.rightsmilecenter.com

info@rightsmilecenter.com

Thank you for all your referrals.  We truly appreciate them.

Information included is not dental or medical advice.  For your specific information

be sure to consult your dentist.

Related articles

Dentist Vinings: What you probably don’t know about Cosmetic Dentists

It seems to be prevalent in that most dentists these days are calling themselves cosmetic dentists, but there is no cosmetic specialty in dentistry.   And quite frankly, all dentistry is cosmetic.   I don’t know anyone who took the ‘ugly’ teeth class in dental school, because it doesn’t exist.  Regardless, the fact remains that the majority of dentists are general dentists, but call themselves ‘cosmetic dentists’.   They all have undergraduate degrees with either a BA or BS and at least four years of dental school with either a DDS or a DMD as the result.  But not one of them has a ‘cosmetic specialty’ in dentistry.   Those dentists who choose to make the claim do so by virtue of deciding to focus on cosmetics in their general practices.   The American Dental Association (ADA) only has nine recognized post dental degree dental specialties and cosmetic dentistry is not one of them.  These specialties range in one to six years of advance training beyond dental school.  At the end of their post doctorate degree, these dentists receive additional certifications in their respective specialties, thus becoming what should be considered experts within their fields of dentistry.   Some are either board eligible or board certified.  These ADA specialties are:

Dental Public Heath, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology and Surgery, Orthodontics, Endodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, and the least known, Prosthodontics.

Prosthodontics: (crown, bridge, and implants) A Prosthodontist has a dental specialty license pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes. Most dentists are not trained prosthodontic graduates of a dental school – rather they take short continuing education and utilize trial and error experience to be able to understand how size, shape, color and symmetry all work together to create what a prosthodontist is trained in their post graduate work.   On the other hand, the prosthodontist is trained at a university to create the smile that implements the use of veneers, crowns, bridges and the increasingly more common procedure of dental implants to ensure that the right smile is achieved, both functionally and aesthetically beautiful.  If anyone has a specialty in cosmetic dentistry, it would be the prosthodontist.  So when you are seriously looking for a cosmetic dentist, look for a prosthodontist.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328
404-256-3620

info@rightsmilecenter.com

www.rightsmilecenter.com

Thank you for all your referrals.  We truly appreciate them.

Information included is not dental or medical advice.  For your specific information

 be sure to consult your dentist.

Related articles

Dentist Vinings: Why you might be better off seeing a Prosthodontist

(Prosthodontist = ADA accredited cosmetic dentist)

Dentist near meProsthodontic dentists are with the passage of time gaining popular recognition as patients become more familiar with the advances in dentistry and how they can enhance their everyday lives. They are expert dentists with a post graduate ADA recognized degree centered around a complete knowledge of dentistry,  where function and beautification of teeth are combined in the final result.

There are a lot of people in this world who just weren’t born with beautiful smiles or for other circumstances ended up with damaged teeth.  Some inherited stains from medicines their parents took prior to child birth, while others developed discolorations through the years that make their appearance unattractive whenever they open to either to talk or smile. These people can be helped by  dentists who specialize in the cosmetic restorations that provide methods, procedures and plans which ultimately improve their personality as much as it improves their mouth.

The first advantage of a prosthodontist is time related.  As a result of their training and experience with difficult cases modern techniques take much less time in the beautification of the teeth as compared to older ordinary dentistry.  Techniques and procedures as common as in house whitening which takes only couple of hours as opposed to otherwise days of the repeated home bleaching have become fairly common place and routine in the restoration of a smile.

Another major change related to teeth are implants. In the past there had been an extensive time period involved in replacing missing teeth.  Now, while still a complex procedure there are alternatives that with significant preparation allow for teeth to be implanted in a day and utilized by the patient shortly thereafter.

Finally, technology often comes into play with veneers which are made up of a special material and again while technique sensitive are very easy to incorporate into quick and favorable results.  The combination of all of these techniques rest comfortably within the purview of a prosthodontist’s training and expertise.  A comprehensive approach by a prosthodontist is the best way to get your inner confidence boosted and your personality improved.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

ZoAnna Bock, MS, DMD

Hanna Orland, DMD

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Sandy Springs, GA 30328

404-256-3620

and

3781 Chamblee Dunwoody Road

Chamblee, GA 30341

770-455-6076

info@rightsmilecenter.com

www.rightsmilecenter.com

Related articles