Blog For Patients

Published - September 18th, 2018

Choosing The Right Material For Your Dental Filling

Okay, you need a filling for your tooth's cavity. It happens to most people throughout their lifetime! Better to take care of it now and avoid the scary tooth extraction cost. It's not as pricey or invasive a procedure as a root canal or tooth extraction. But did you know that the material for the filling can greatly affect the overall cost of the filling? Let's go over the most common filling materials.


Gold is a more expensive filling type, as it's durable and doesn't corrode, allowing gold fillings to last even longer than 10 or 15 years. But keep in mind that gold fillings can cost ten times as much as silver amalgam fillings, and they also typically take more than one office visit to place.

Silver Amalgam

Silver amalgam fillings consist of mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper. Don't worry, the tiny amount of mercury isn't dangerous in your filling, however about 1% of people report an allergic reaction to it after the filling is placed. Otherwise, silver amalgam fillings are as durable as gold but less expensive. Unfortunately, their tendency to expand with temperature changes in the mouth could cause tooth damage later on.

Tooth-Colored Composites

Often composite resin fillings, these tooth-colored options look natural and are gentle on your teeth, but they can be twice as expensive as amalgams, take a long time to apply, and only last around five years. Some people find the expense worth it for the natural look compared to visible gold or silver fillings; 28% of young adults reported to the ADA that the appearance of their teeth undermines their job interviewing ability, for example.


As expensive as gold because of its durability of 15+ years, but unlike gold porcelain blends in with the natural color of tooth and stains less than composite materials.

Other factors can influence the filling materials available to you, such as the location of your cavity in your mouth and the extent of the decay, what your insurance covers, and like each and every price of dental procedures, your dentist's professional opinion, and rates.

For the best local data on tooth extraction costs, dental implant prices, and filling rates, search your area on Dental Genie's unique search platform to make your dental cost wishes come true.

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