Composite Fillings

One of the most common treatments when visiting the dentist is a composite filling. It's often used to fill a void after removing tooth decay.

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Some dental locations may cover a wider range of treatments options than others. Contact your local dentist for exact treatments options.

Average Price

Pricing depends on the type, location, difficulty, or other factors. For an exact price visit a dental practice.
Country Price
United States $125 - 290
China $30 - 100
Thailand $15 - 50
About Composite Fillings
One of the most common treatments when visiting the dentist is a composite filling. It's often used to fill a void after removing tooth decay.
Additional Costs & Procedures
Additional treatments or procedures may be associated to 'Composite Fillings'. These procedures may be required before, during or after treatment. Additional dental treatments which may be required are listed below.
  • Root Canals - If a cavity is too deep and threatens the root, a root canal may be needed.
  • Dental Crowns - If a cavity compromises too much of the tooths surface, a crown may be needed.
  • To relieve or prevent pain, your dentist may use local, regional or general anesthesia.
  • To prevent or stop infections, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics.
Frequently Asked Questions
Author Experiences
Our authors have taken the opportunity to share their first hand experience in the dental chair with you.
Personal experiences with dental fillings.
Published by: iLL
I am no stranger when it comes to dental fillings. Maybe it's because I drink too much soda, eat too many sweets or perhaps it's just in my DNA. If I was to guess, it's all of the above. I've had maybe 20-35 fillings in my lifetime, maybe more... I don't keep count. So when it comes to dental fillings, I pretty much know what to expect. With that said, let me share some of my experiences in the dental chair with you.
Shallow Cavities
The methods and treatments I've noticed varies from dentist to dentist and country to country. If you are in a more upscale dentist office you will probably get all the bells and whistles even if you don't need it (Especially if you have insurance). For example, some dentists will not give you anesthetic for a shallow cavity. Some may not even take an x-ray if its clearly visible; Instead they will grind away the visible cavity using a drill and then fill it with some composite and your finished. Other dentists may decide to go a different route and opt for panoramic x-rays, 3d scans and even though it's a shallow cavity they may still give you an anesthetic. Now depending on where your being treated, the treatment methods and costs could be significantly different.
Composite Materials
Most of the public doesn't know that there are a wide range of different materials that can be used for composite fillings. The brand 3M provides a variety of composites which from what I'm told could extend the life of the filling and provide a more natural appearance. There are also less popular generic brands which are cheaper. However the average consumer never thinks twice about the material used and assumes a filling is a filling. I myself, always ask the dentist to use 3M branded composite materials.
Find someone you can trust
This is important because what you think might be an easy fix might end up turning into an expensive nightmare. Cavities that threaten the tooths integrity and/or the root/pulp will likely need additional treatments. There are even cases where a dentist may actually recommend unnecessary treatment options to simply earn more money. It's not impossible for a dentist to say you need a crown or root canal simply because it increases the treatment price significantly. This is why you should always research and find a reputable dentist. If you have a bad relationship with your dentist or something doesn't feel right, I would go somewhere else for a second opinion. A good honest relationship with your dentist is probably the most important factor.
Expect the unexpected
You might end up going to the dentist because a tooth is aching and you can feel a cavity with your tongue. In your mind you might assume this is a simple fix. It might be, but it also might not be. A cavity that compromises too much of the tooths surface may need a crown. Also a cavity that is too deep and infects or threatens the tooths root/pulp may actually need a root canal. It's also possible that you may end up needing both, a root canal and a crown which could put a dent in your wallet. It's always best to see a dentist as soon as possible when there is any evidence of tooth problems such as a cavity because this could save you a lot of money and pain.
Failed treatments
It would be nice if we lived in a world where everything went perfectly. Unfortunately some patients might end up going through a nightmare trying to fix a tooth. It happens, it's happened to me on a few occasions. Let me share a story with you that started as needing a simple filling but turned into a nightmare.
A Dental Story

When I flossed between two molars it was painful so I instinctively knew there was a problem. I told the dentist and he said he saw a cavity so he filled it. A week later the problem was not resolved, it was actually a bit worse... It was still painful when I flossed and now when I bite down and put any pressure on the filling. The dentist decided he would redo the cavity again. A week went by, and still the same tooth was painful in the same spot where the cavity was... I decided to get a second opinion from another dentist. The second opinion decided she would redo the previous dentists work, they removed the filling and for the third time, added a new composite filling. A week went by and tooth was still painful! In fact I could no longer eat using this tooth. Any pressure applied where the cavity was, was too painful to bare. Because I liked my second opinion better I decided to use them to complete any further treatments needed. I was told the next step is to get a root canal treatment. This would kill the nerve in the tooth and should resolve the pain. After this we would put a crown on the tooth.

So I proceeded with the root canal which required three treatments. The first two treatments seemed to go well, however the entire tooth ached a lot. Unfortunately my dentist had a trip to the African Safari and couldn't complete the final treatment stage until she returned. She sealed my tooth with medication and left to go photograph wild animals. About a week later the entire tooth was extremely painful, agonizing pain and I told my dentist I cant wait for her to return.. I need a solution. She recommended I go see another dentist to clean out the canal and re-pack the tooth with medication. This did help relieve the pain and when she returned she completed the final third stage of the root canal treatment.

A couple weeks go by and again, the whole tooth was aching.. I was having headaches, and any pressure caused pain. Even if I pushed on the tooth with my finger it was painful. My dentist said she suspects it could be fractured but she doesn't see any evidence indicating theres a fracture. She recommended I see an endodontics specialist who has a microscope and is more equipped to check for fractures. They examined the tooth under a high powered microscope and could find no evidence of fractures or problems. At this point I told them id rather have the tooth pulled out than deal with the pain. However they insisted i shouldn't pull the tooth because there is no evidence the tooth is fractured or needs to be pulled. At this point, the specialist recommended I have a root canal re-treatment done.

The dentist who did the original root canal had suggested I get the re-treatment elsewhere because a new set of eyes might be beneficial. So I did some research and found another specialist who agreed a root canal re-treatment was necessary. This specialist also recommended to do the re-treatment in three phases. After the first treatment the tooth felt significantly better... By the second treatment the tooth literally had no pain! I was very excited that I was finally on the path to success. It's a great feeling after enduring so much time and pain trying to fix a single tooth. Now I just needed to finish the third stage, seal the tooth and toss on a crown. But just when I thought luck was on my side, I was hit with another problem... the Covid-19 virus!

Just like before, I finished two stages of the treatment and then something gets in the way... The whole city went on lock down, the dental office was closed, transportation came to a halt and going outside was deemed very high risk. So now I am forced to isolate and stay at home until further notice. After about two months of isolation suddenly pain starts creeping into my tooth again. Its becoming very painful when I press my finger on it or tap it. I called my dentist and she recommended I go to the pharmacy and buy antibiotics until I can see her again and resume treatment. After over two months of city lock down, I was finally able to setup another appointment with my dentist. Let's just hope I can actually get this tooth resolved once and for all. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if I end up with another delay, problem or issue with this tooth. We will just have to wait and see.

What I learned
When it comes to tooth pain, you can't just throw your hands in the air and give up. The ongoing pain will force you to act so you need to do your best to stay positive. When something starts as a simple cavity and then turns into a massive ordeal you might feel like your luck has run out. You will become frustrated and easily aggravated and you may even distrust dentists. But you must be persistent and understand that teeth can be very complex to treat and unexpected outcomes can arise at any time. It can turn into an expensive, time consuming and a painful ordeal. Working with an experienced dentist you can trust will definitely help you cope with the entire process, even if it becomes a worst case scenario. Preventative maintenance and good hygiene can help prevent you from encountering situations like these. I wish you the best of luck!
This article is written by a dental patient with extensive dental treatment experience. This is for informational and educational purposes only and the publisher does not provide any medical advice.