Question: Will my dental insurance cover the cost of white fillings?

Answer: If you need a filling, your dental insurance should pay you benefits toward the cost of the filling, whether it is white or is an amalgam filling (often called a silver filling). However, don't expect the insurance to "cover" the cost. You're best off thinking of them as a help in paying for your dental work. You need to understand that the dental insurance company is not responsible for looking out for your best interests. They want to provide a very basic level of benefit so that they don't have to charge your employer a lot for your coverage. Otherwise they may lose their contract with your employer.

White fillings generally cost considerably more than amalgam. Not only are the filling materials more expensive, but the technique for placing them is much more demanding, it requires special training, very careful technique, and much more time to place if they're done right. Insurance companies generally try to influence you to choose the least expensive treatment, not the best treatment.

Expect to pay $150 to $500 for a white filling, depending mostly on how large it is. Costs also vary from dentist to dentist. This cost information is based on an actual survey of expert cosmetic dentists from coast to coast in the United States, taken in December 2005.

  • See our page about cosmetic dentistry costs for additional information about the costs of white fillings, including how the cost of this procedure varies according to the number of surfaces covered. Also see our page of questions about white fillings for more information about insurance coverage for the costs of amalgam fillings vs. white. Our white fillings page also has a paragraph about these costs.
  • Question: my dentist wants to put a sealant of composite over my amalgam filling rather than replace it completely. Why?
  • Read about what to expect if you purchase a private dental plan. You can get some discounts on dental care this way, but you need to know what to expect.
  • Click here for referral to an expert cosmetic dentist.

To return to the frequent questions page, click here.

By Dr. David Hall

Written by a cosmetic dentist!

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