First things first, what is a tooth filling? Tooth fillings or dental fillings are used to ‘fill’ holes or cavities in the teeth. One of the most common reasons for a filling is tooth decay. Having a filling can stop the decay from spreading further. Prevent the decay from reaching the soft tissue in the middle of the tooth (the pulp chamber), and you may be able to avoid root canal treatment
The cost of a tooth filling in Australia
The cost of tooth filling in Australia can range from $220 for a simple filling to $323 for a more complex filling. The price for a dental filling can also vary depending on where in Australia you live. Other factors that can affect the price you’ll pay include the location of the affected tooth, extent of damage, and the type of filling used. (We’ll talk more about these in a moment.)
Here at Cronulla Beach Dental, where we like to be both honest and transparent about our prices, fillings start at $185.
To help you understand why costs vary so much, let’s explore the main factors that can affect filling price.
Factors that impact the cost of a filling
As we mentioned earlier, the cost of your filling will depend on a few different things. The biggest factor is the type of filling material. Once any decay has been removed from the hole, the tooth is cleaned and dried. Finally, the tooth is filled. Here’s a look at the different materials and the cost.
Amalgam is a mixture of different metals, such as mercury, tin, zinc, and copper. These silver fillings are strong and long-lasting—ideal for the back molars. Amalgam fillings are a cheap option that were commonly used by dentists in the 1990s. Nowadays, they are far less common. In fact, some dentists (us, included) choose not to offer amalgam fillings at all. This is mostly due to the high demand for more cosmetically-pleasing fillings.
Composite fillings at Cronulla Beach Dental start from $185. They are made from acrylic resin and can be matched to the colour of your natural tooth. This makes composite fillings a popular choice. They can be used for filling both the front and back teeth. Plus, because composite resin is bonded to the tooth’s surface, less of your tooth’s natural structure needs to be removed for the filling to be placed.
In terms of durability, composite fillings have improved significantly over the last decade or so. They have a shorter lifespan than traditional amalgam fillings but, with the right care, they can last between five to seven years. The added bonus of composite fillings is that they can be easily repaired, without having to replace the entire filling.
Porcelain is a strong, high-quality material, which makes them more expensive than composite fillings. At Cronulla Beach Dental, the price for porcelain fillings starts from $1,200.
For most people, porcelain fillings are a good investment. Because porcelain is resistant to everyday wear and tear, this type of filling can last beyond 15 years. But, like composite, it can be customised to match the colour of your natural teeth.
Gold is a very strong material, making it a great choice for dental fillings. If you don’t mind the look of gold, that is. Generally, people tend to prefer fillings that match the colour of the surrounding teeth. But, because of the longevity of gold fillings (they can last from 15 to 30 years) they are the most expensive type of filling. In Australia, they cost between $300 to $1000. At Cronulla Beach Dental, the price for gold fillings starts from $1,400.
Tooth location and severity of damage
Before placing the filling, your dentist will assess the extent of the damage to the tooth. If it’s a large tooth with considerable decay, it may need extra work to get rid of the decay and address infection. If the cavity is in a tooth at the back of the mouth, this may also increase the price. Molars are larger and their location can make the fillings more difficult to place. Likewise, a filling that requires three surfaces (tooth walls) to be repaired is more time consuming and is likely to cost more.
Tooth fillings: how to ease the financial burden
At Cronulla Beach Dental, it’s our priority to ensure you feel comfortable at every stage of your dental treatment. We’ll chat about your dental filling options to find you the solution that best suits your needs and your budget. When it comes to the cost—you can choose your way to pay. We offer Afterpay, so you can split your dental costs into four easy, interest-free payments. There’s also Humm, where you can lend up to $30,000 and repay over time with no interest.
Are fillings painful?
Worried that your filling will hurt? Don’t be. We take extra special care to ensure our patients feel at ease and our treatments are pain free. For absolute peace of mind, we can discuss the option of sleep dentistry. Thanks to the wonder of IV sedation, you can drift off to a place of relaxation. Once your treatment is complete, you’ll gently emerge from your calm state.
Does it take long to recover from a filling?
The good news is that there’s relatively little recovery time after a filling. Once the anaesthesia has worn off (may take a couple of hours), you can go about your day as usual.
Any post-treatment soreness or sensitivity is likely to be mild. This can easily be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. Practical tips to help ease swelling and pain include:
- Avoiding hard foods initially
- Chewing and biting carefully, without too much pressure
- Avoiding sticky foods soon after treatment
- Steering clear of hot and cold food and drinks for a day or two