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Cavity Filling Cost: US Statistics

How much does a cavity filling cost? Well, it appears that the cost of a tooth filling may vary depending on your US state. Which state has the most and least expensive dental filling? This is a rough guide put together by our long island city dentists about what you should expect to pay for the procedure based on statistics in the US.


Money


Table of Contents:



What is a dental filling?

A tooth filling is a dental procedure to remove tooth decay and then restore the tooth with a filling material. Traditionally, dentists used silver fillings as the material of choice but recent trends have shifted towards composite fillings. The more recent composites are often called white fillings because they're made out of a composite resin that matches your natural tooth.


Their popularity have grown with the general populace due to their superior aesthetics over the silver fillings. Another reason is the growing adversity towards consuming too much mercury, which the amalgam fillings are made with over 50% of it. These composite fillings are mercury free, which makes them an ideal choice.



Geographic cost differences of cavity fillings

There is a difference in the cost of tooth fillings across the US, which can be mostly attributed to the cost of living in the area. Therefore, if you were to get a dental filling done in one state and then traveled to another state, the price would most likely be different.


Due to the fact that the United States has 50 states, reporting just one "average cost of a tooth filling" would not be representative nor helpful for you to understand how much the procedure would cost.


Therefore, we've grouped multiple states into distinct regions of the US in order to give you a better idea of how much the dental filling be. All of the information here is based off of a 2020 survey of dental fees by the ADA (American Dental Association). They conduct a new survey roughly every 2-3 years in order to bring you the most up to date information. All of the data are voluntarily reported by dental offices across the US.



Cost of dental filling without insurance

The cost of a tooth filling without insurance will depend on the number of surfaces of the filling and the type of material it is. Last but not least, the overall fee would be dependent on the state or region of the US in which you receive the dental procedure.

  • Number of surfaces. Typically the more surfaces the cavity filling occupies, the more it would cost and each tooth has five surfaces.

  • Type of material. The composite fillings will cost more than the amalgams. The material is just more expensive to manufacture.

  • Location. Depending on the cost of living of the state, it would influence the average price.

All of these fees listed below are averages and they are voluntarily submitted for the use of the survey. Its purpose is meant to give you a rough idea of what to expect.


New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode island, Vermont)

Tooth filling cost for composites:

  • 1 surface - $206.28

  • 2 surfaces - $265.74

  • 3 surfaces - $323.49

  • 4+ surfaces - $384.04


Dental filling cost for amalgams:

  • 1 surface - $159.39

  • 2 surfaces - $192.76

  • 3 surfaces - $233.50

  • 4+ surfaces - $275.32


Middle Atlantic (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania)

Tooth filling cost for composites:

  • 1 surface - $183.79

  • 2 surfaces - $228.91

  • 3 surfaces - $286.51

  • 4+ surfaces -$335.84


Dental filling cost for amalgams:

  • 1 surface - $136.34

  • 2 surfaces - $172.19

  • 3 surfaces - $210.67

  • 4+ surfaces - $248.29



East North Central (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin)

Tooth filling cost for composites:

  • 1 surface - $183.84

  • 2 surfaces - $233.26

  • 3 surfaces - $282.34

  • 4+ surfaces - $334.36


Dental filling cost for amalgams:

  • 1 surface - $147.83

  • 2 surfaces - $182.76

  • 3 surfaces - $218.82

  • 4+ surfaces - $257.25



West North Central (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota)

Tooth filling cost for composites:

  • 1 surface - $180.02

  • 2 surfaces - $233.54

  • 3 surfaces - $284.71

  • 4+ surfaces - $336.90


Dental filling cost for amalgams:

  • 1 surface - $144.77

  • 2 surfaces - $184.22

  • 3 surfaces - $220.31

  • 4+ surfaces - $256.62



South Atlantic (Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia)

Tooth filling cost for composites:

  • 1 surface - $200.29

  • 2 surfaces - $252.78

  • 3 surfaces - $305.17

  • 4+ surfaces -$356.58


Dental filling cost for amalgams:

  • 1 surface - $147.36

  • 2 surfaces - $182.47

  • 3 surfaces - $218.50

  • 4+ surfaces - $258.04



East South Central (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee)

Tooth filling cost for composites:

  • 1 surface - $166.95

  • 2 surfaces - $212.30

  • 3 surfaces - $257.27

  • 4+ surfaces - $303.46


Dental filling cost for amalgams:

  • 1 surface - $127.43

  • 2 surfaces - $159.15

  • 3 surfaces - $187.39

  • 4+ surfaces - $227.03



West South Central (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas)

Tooth filling cost for composites:

  • 1 surface - $189.93

  • 2 surfaces - $240.16

  • 3 surfaces - $298.95

  • 4+ surfaces - $342.08


Dental filling cost for amalgams:

  • 1 surface - $145.81

  • 2 surfaces - $184.90

  • 3 surfaces - $224.62

  • 4+ surfaces - $266.15



Mountain (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming)

Tooth filling cost for composites:

  • 1 surface - $180.61

  • 2 surfaces - $231.91

  • 3 surfaces - $279.28

  • 4+ surfaces -$324.31


Dental filling cost for amalgams:

  • 1 surface - $140.53

  • 2 surfaces - $175.29

  • 3 surfaces - $212.04

  • 4+ surfaces - $248.73



Pacific (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington)

Tooth filling cost for composites:

  • 1 surface - $220.42

  • 2 surfaces - $278.53

  • 3 surfaces - $335.43

  • 4+ surfaces - $381.99


Dental filling cost for amalgams:

  • 1 surface - $166.61

  • 2 surfaces - $204.66

  • 3 surfaces - $243.27

  • 4+ surfaces - $285.73



Cost of dental filling with insurance

Most dental insurance will cover a portion of the cavity filling. The most common coverage percentage that we've seen is about 80%, which means that you would be responsible for 20% of the procedure. The portion that you're responsible for is called the copay.


How much your insurance will cover will depend on the plan that you chose. You could buy a plan that covers 100% or you could buy a plan that only covers 50%. Therefore it depends on which plan that you've decided to purchase.


If you are purchasing dental insurance through your employer, it is the HR department that negotiates for the coverage percentages. If you have any questions regarding why they will only certain a certain amount, you will need to speak to your HR.


What is the exact amount that I would have to pay with insurance coverage?

You're typically responsible for a percentage of the total cost of the cavity filling but what the exact amount is would depend on which insurance you have. Different insurance companies have different fee schedules for various states throughout the US.


List of common dental insurance companies:

  • Aetna

  • Ameritas

  • Cigna

  • Guardian

  • United HealthCare

  • MetLife

  • Sunlife

  • Principal

  • Delta dental

  • Lincoln financial

  • UNUM

  • Beam

  • United concordia

  • Blue cross blue shield

  • Humana

That is not a comprehensive list of dental insurance companies because there are a lot more. It is just to give you an idea of how many there are.


Each insurance will have their own separate fee schedule assigned to each state and city so the numbers can range from $0-$500. We do not have the information for each city.


Worse case scenario, you would just be responsible for the total cost without insurance. Hopefully that gives you an idea of what to expect.



Other factors that can affect the cost

Aside from just the cost of what a cavity filling will be, there are a variety of other factors that may contribute to the overall cost of your visit.


Annual deductible

Most dental insurances have an annual deductible that you must pay before they will disburse benefits. The most common deductible is $50 but we've seen as low as $0 and also as high as $200.


What this means is that you must pay the deductible first before your insurance will start to cover the cavity filling.


Exam and x-rays

Your dentist cannot do your tooth filling without doing a dental check up along with some dental x-rays. If they just started drilling into your tooth without any x-rays, they would be drilling blind. The x-rays help them see what their eyes cannot catch. Therefore it is important for you to get a full dental check up first so that you can have an accurate treatment plan.


Sedation or Nitrous oxide

Dental phobia is not uncommon in dentistry. Those who are dental phobic may opt to be sedated or receive laughing gas in order to make the treatment more pleasant. These additional services come at an additional cost so please be sure to factor that in when you're trying to determine the total cost of the visit.


Doing multiple cavity fillings

The total cost of the procedure would depend on how many dental fillings you are doing. The fee that is listed above is per filling so if you get more fillings, the total cost would consequently increase. It is basically an a la carte menu.



Takeaway

Hopefully that gives you a clearer picture of how much it would cost you to receive a dental filling. Once again, the cost depends on where you get the filling done, the size of the filling, and the type of material it will be. Then there are also additional factors that may add to the cost such as the deductible, dental check up, x-rays, sedation, nitrous, and the number of fillings that you are doing.


If you have any questions, feel free to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists in long island city! We can take care of all of the tooth fillings for you!

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