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Fillings & Sealants

Should a cavity form, there are different types of fillings available. Fillings help restore affected teeth to their original shape and look. The dental filling process eliminates the bacteria, and replaces it with a strong material which will help prevent further destruction of the tooth. Once placed, a filling can keep bacteria from getting near the nerve of the tooth and causing pain. Teeth can be filled with gold, a metal amalgam, or tooth colored resin.Dental sealants are used to prevent natural teeth from decaying and to protect them from getting cavities. They are acrylic-like substances which create a barrier against the bacteria which are always in the mouth and always depositing acid excretions on the teeth and gums.  Sealants are a very effective prevention technique, especially when used in tandem with regular brushing, flossing, and other good oral health practices like regular check-ups.

Differences Between Dental Fillings And Dental Sealants 

Dental fillings and dental sealants vary in how long they can last for the average person. If proper oral hygiene is practiced, fillings can last for several years or decades, depending on the overall health of the tooth. However, sealants are less permanent and are considered temporary measures. Since sealants are only painted onto the molar, they can easily come off if the individual chews gum or eats sticky foods. The sealant attaches itself to the gum or food and falls off the tooth. If the individual grinds their teeth, it is also possible to wear the sealant down, breaking its contact with the tooth. Dental fillings and dental sealants are fabricated from different materials. Dental sealants are made of plastic, whereas fillings are made from either a composite or amalgam material.

Typical Costs For Fillings 

  • A silver metal filling on one or two surfaces can cost $50-$150; three or more surfaces can cost $120-$300 or more. Dental insurance typically covers at least some of the cost for amalgam fillings.
  • Tooth-colored composite resin fillings can cost $90-$250 for one or more surfaces, or $150-$450 or more for three or more surfaces. Typically dental insurance covers 50%-80% of the cost.
  • Porcelain or cast-gold fillings known as inlays or onlays and also called indirect fillings must be custom-ordered, require two visits and a temporary filling, and can cost up to 10 times the price of composite fillings or $250-$4,500 or more, depending on size, complexity and materials. Dental insurance may cover 50%-80% of the cost.

The Cost of Dental Sealants

The cost of dental sealants is approximately $25-$45 per tooth. Of course, this may be a small price to pay compared to the discomfort and cost associated with dental procedures that may become necessary if your teeth remain unprotected. Dental insurance will often cover the cost of dental sealants, but depends on the level of insurance you have and there might be out-of-pocket costs associated as well.

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