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How much is a filling? Let’s look at the cost of tooth fillings in Australia

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Dr Teresa Li
April 23, 2024

So, you need to get a tooth filling.

The good news is that dental fillings are extremely common and the procedure is relatively quick and painless.

In fact, people are usually more nervous about the cost of fillings than the procedure itself. But look at it this way: getting a tooth filling is a small price to pay now to avoid much more complicated and costly problems down the line.

How much is a filling, you ask?

Well, it depends! There are a few key factors that can impact the cost of fillings in Australia — and we’ll look at them in detail in this blog.

What is a filling?

Before we dive into the price of fillings, let’s take a quick look at what dental fillings are and why they are needed. Tooth fillings are used to fill cavities in the hard outer surface of the tooth and protect the tooth from further damage.

If you have a cavity, it’s *extremely* important that you get it filled ASAP. Without a filling, the decay can spread further into the tooth and reach the tooth root. If this happens, your tooth root will become damaged or even ‘die’ and you may need root canal treatment to restore it.

The moral of the story is: don’t ignore dental cavities! Without proper treatment, small cavities can turn into big problems that require more complex and expensive treatment than a humble filling.

A dentist discusses tooth fillings for baby teeth
Did you know dental fillings are also important for cavities in baby teeth? If a child's cavity is not treated with a filling, the decay can progress rapidly and lead to infection, bite issues and difficulty eating - it can even increase the adult tooth's susceptibility to decay in future

The average price of fillings in Australia can range up to $275 for a simple dental filling and up to $475 for a complex dental filling, according to the Australian Dental Association (ADA).

As we mentioned above, there are a few factors that will influence how much a filling costs. These factors include:

  • The extent of the damage and the size of the filling required
  • The location of the affected tooth
  • The type of material used for the filling
  • Whether additional treatments or restorations are required

A patient asks how much is a filling at TL Dental
During your consultation, we'll explain all of the costs involved so you'll know exactly how nuch you can expect to pay

At our Port Macquarie dental practice, the cost of a filling starts from $240. However, the total cost of your tooth filling treatment may vary, depending on each of the factors above.

Want to learn more about our treatment fees? You can find them all clearly listed on our website — or you can download our New Patient Guide below for our full price list.

Remember, the best way to find out *exactly* how much a filling costs is to book an appointment with us. We can assess your unique case and develop a personalised treatment plan with all the costs clearly outlined.

How does the type of material affect the cost of a filling?

Fillings can be made from a few different types of materials and the material used will impact the overall price of your treatment. Why? Because some fillings require more premium and durable materials and are, therefore, more expensive.

Your dentist will be able to determine which type of filling is best for you, depending on the size of the cavity, the location of the tooth and the level of durability required.

The cost of different types of fillings

Composite fillings

Composite fillings are made from a durable acrylic resin that is designed to match the natural colour of your teeth. This type of filling is typically used for small to medium-sized fillings where the teeth must withstand moderate pressure. With the right care and regular dental check-ups, your composite fillings could last for around five to seven years.

Composite fillings are the least costly option for tooth fillings because the material is less expensive than porcelain or ceramic.

Porcelain or ceramic fillings

Tooth-coloured fillings made from porcelain or ceramic are a lot more durable than composite fillings. They can withstand higher amounts of pressure and are generally a longer-lasting solution. As such, porcelain or ceramic fillings are usually reserved for larger fillings or for cases where part of the tooth has broken off. 

Porcelain and ceramic are more premium materials, so these types of fillings are more expensive than composite fillings.

At TL Dental, we use CEREC technology to craft your porcelain fillings on site. And in most cases, we can have them ready for you on the same day. However, if you require a ceramic filling for a larger area, you may need to return for a second appointment to have your filling fitted.

Dr Teresa Li uses CEREC technology to create a porcelain filling at TL Dental
Thanks to CEREC technology, we can create your tooth-coloured porcelain filling right here in our Port Macquarie dental surgery

Amalgam fillings

These classic metal fillings may be strong and cheap, but they’re in the process of being phased out by most dental clinics in Australia. TL Dental does not offer amalgam fillings.

Gold fillings

While gold fillings were all the rage in your grandparents’ era, they’re fairly uncommon now. Sure, gold is an ideal material for fillings thanks to its durability — but it’s also *very* expensive. Plus, most people want their fillings to match the natural colour of their teeth.

What is the cost of dental fillings vs. dental crowns?

Fillings are generally used to treat minor tooth decay or damages. So, in cases where a patient has a severely damaged tooth from decay or a chipped or broken tooth, a dental crown may be needed.

A dental crown is used to cap or replace the damaged portion of a tooth. Crowns are usually made from porcelain or other highly durable materials. They are designed to look and function just like natural teeth.

Since dental crowns are a more complex dental restoration than fillings, they are a lot more costly. At TL Dental, our dental crowns start from $1,700.

A dentist at TL Dental examines their patient to determine which type of tooth filling is required
When deciding which type of tooth filling is right for you, your dentist will look at the size, location and damage of the tooth

Do fillings hurt?

No. Generally speaking, fillings don’t hurt. In fact, they actually save you from a world of hurt later if your cavity is left untreated! Trust us, the pain of an infected or damaged tooth due to an untreated dental cavity is *far* worse than the mild discomfort of getting a filling.

Plus, your dentist will give you a local anaesthetic to numb the affected area before starting your dental filling procedure. This means you won’t feel any pain during treatment, just a little bit of pressure.

How long does it take to recover after a filling?

No time at all! You can happily go on with your day as normal after getting a filling. We only advise that you avoid eating for 30 minutes afterwards to allow your filling to set and any numbness from the anaesthetic to wear off.

After getting a tooth filling, you may experience some mild sensitivity in your teeth. But any discomfort you feel can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. If you’re unsure, your dentist can advise which OTC medication is suitable for you.

If you experience persistent pain or a toothache for more than 24 to 48 hours after getting your dental filling, please contact us immediately so we can arrange a check-up.

A patient after getting dental fillings at TL Dental
Fillings are a quick and painless solution for treating cavities, meaning you can get your teeth fixed and get on with your day!

Take the financial stress out of fillings

We know you might be feeling a little anxious about how much fillings cost. But at TL Dental, you can rest assured that you’ll always know all of the fees involved in your treatment upfront — no surprises here! Plus, with our easy and affordable dental payment plans, you can get the care you need now with less of a blow to your bank account.

A patient discusses dental payment plans for tooth fillings at TL Dental.
Worried about whether you can afford the cost of fillings? Don't be! With our flexible and affordable payment plans, you can get your teeth fixed now and pay in comfortable instalments

Have a question about the cost of tooth fillings at TL Dental?

We’re here to help! Just get in touch at dentists port macquarie and our friendly team will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the cost of fillings and what’s involved in this treatment.

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