A tooth filling and its costs can be very different from one dentist to the next and one region to the next. Tooth filling costs are also determined by the amount of work needed, the type of filling that needs to be used and other factors that dentists use in determining extent of work and amount of work needed.
In essence, a tooth filling is needed when either a cavity or other problem occurs in a tooth. A dentist needs to clean out the tooth of all cavities and bacteria and then fill the hole with some type of substance that will last. This can be gold, silver, amalgams, porcelain or other combinations of materials depending on the location of the tooth and the extent of the damage. Therefore, tooth filling costs can and do vary widely. Sometimes there are X-ray costs on top of the tooth filling costs so that a dentist can better assess a situation before starting work. Dentists always numb the area with an injectable anesthetic before proceeding with any work. Doing dental fillings without anesthetic can be painful and stressful to a patient, prompting them to put off necessary work on their teeth.
Tooth filling costs can rise when newer procedures are used and different composites that are revolutionary are used. Laser treatments can be suggested as well as a composite called a glass ionomer. This is a material made of glass and used when a lot of decay is present.
Any time a tooth filling is needed, the sooner it is done, the better the outcome. Contrary to what most individuals believe, tooth fillings do not last forever, with the average time frame due to wear and tear being a mere five to seven years. There are different stages that present when a tooth filling is needed. Teeth show signs of the need for a filling when they go from pure white, to yellow spots, to brown spots, to possibly jet black. Reaching the jet-black stage can show a serious cavity process and teeth at this point can chip or crack. Sensitivity stages also indicate the need for tooth fillings, with mild sensitivity to certain foods or temperatures, to constant nagging pain which may indicate a tooth abscess. Abscesses under the gum are the most serious and of course drive up the tooth filling cost significantly.
Costs for dental abscesses that are allowed to go on to the stage of pain and swelling, with inflammation present, can cause a great rise in dental costs. The cost however can range from $700.00 to $5000.00 depending on the actual stage of the abscess. Dentists do treat almost all abscesses initially with antibiotics and these act quickly usually within two to three days. However, in the meantime, home remedies such as black tea, hydrogen peroxide, plain whiskey, essential oils and other home remedies can alleviate some of the pain and swelling by absorbing the infection and reducing the inflammation.
To prevent and maintain tooth fillings, and drive down costs per year of repeated tooth fillings, there are several oral hygiene steps that should be performed daily:
- Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day especially at night before sleeping
- Reduce all types of junk foods and sugary drinks
- Use a good mouthwash at least once per day to eliminate any residues
- Check your teeth for any types of discolorations
- Get regular dental cleanings and check-ups at least every six months
- Avoid foods that stick to the teeth
Following a good oral care routine will significantly drive down tooth filling cost overall in the long run. Sometimes though, certain medications, or illnesses can make tooth fillings and the cost of these more prolific some years, and not much can be done about that. Some medications and physical diseases make teeth more brittle, and therefore more prone to caries, or what is known as cavities. Cavities and tooth decay are one of the most common health problems in the entire world, as infections can spread to surrounding glands and organs if left untreated. This can and does sometimes make a simple tooth problem a major medical problem. Many of the most advanced health organizations recognize that early treatment of cavities not only drives down tooth filling cost but can also prevent much more advanced health problems when left untreated.
Advancing age also causes more problems with teeth and can have a significant effect on tooth filling costs as more teeth will need possibly to be filled the older a person becomes. Older individuals simply have had their teeth for a longer period of time, and age wearing is a real issue and can lead to more tooth fillings and other procedures. University studies on aging teeth have been done and this is shown to be true.
Overall, although teeth are considered somewhat low maintenance compared to other body parts, keeping them healthy and clean, will diminish the need for more tooth fillings and the related tooth filling costs over a lifetime.