Almost every adult will get a cavity at some point. According to the National Institute of Health 92% of adults have had at least one cavity.¹
Cavities are the result of dental caries, or tooth decay. When people don’t brush their teeth bacteria in your mouth attack their teeth. Eventually that bacteria will likely eat its way through the top layer on the tooth, the enamel, and continue eating all the way down to the pulp of the tooth. To stop the destruction of the tooth dentists will typically dig down into the tooth, clean out the bacteria and debris, and fill the hole caused by the bacteria to help preserve the tooth.
When cavities go untreated, they can typically result in damage of the tooth. Teeth that have been damaged by a cavity may need to be extracted and in some cases an implant may be put in so that the person can eat and drink normally. Getting cavities filled isn’t a lot of fun, but it’s much better than losing a tooth and needing an implant.
The cost of filling a front tooth cavity
If there’s a cavity in your front tooth it should be filled as quickly as possible. Front tooth cavity fillings will help protect your tooth so that there’s no danger of losing your front tooth. The cost of getting a front tooth cavity filled depends on several different factors like the location of the cavity and how deep the cavity goes, including where you live among others.
The type of filling that you choose will also impact the cost of the filling. When getting a filling for a back tooth or a tooth that isn’t easily visible most people will typically chose an inexpensive filling like silver amalgam but for a front cavity filling it might be necessary to use tooth colored plastic, composite resin, or porcelain to preserve the look of the tooth.
The cost of the filling is typically only part of the cost that you will need to pay. Before the dentist does the filling, they will likely need to do X-rays to get a better idea of what your dental situation is. They may also want you to have a full professional teeth cleaning before doing the filling.
If you’re having a filling done using silver amalgam, typically the least expensive filling material, you can expect the filling to cost up to $200. Prices for a front tooth filling with composite resin or tooth colored plastic can cost up to $325². Fillings made from porcelain or gold are the most expensive and can cost thousands of dollars depending on the quality of the material and the location and size of the cavity.³
Types of fillings
There are several common choices of filling material that you may be able to pick from when you’re getting a cavity filled, but you should always check to make sure that your dental insurance will cover the material that you want. In some cases, you may have to pay the difference in cost from the material that you want and the material the insurance company will pay for. You should also take into account the durability of each type of material before you choose. Silver amalgam fillings may be cheaper now, but in the long run they may not last as long as a porcelain filling and may need to be replaced.⁴
Silver amalgam fillings
Silver amalgam is a mixture of silver, mercury, tin, zinc, and copper. All of these metals are melted together to create a tough but malleable material with a silver metallic look.
Composite resin fillings
Composite resin is a tooth colored blend of polymers and resin that is less noticeable than a silver amalgam filling. But because this type of filling isn’t specifically made to look like the rest of your teeth it may be evident that it’s a filling if someone is looking at your teeth.
A relatively new type of filling material, glass isomer is a blend of polymers and glass that gives teeth a natural sheen but is also very durable.
Using gold as a filling for a cavity typically makes a statement. But gold may be a good choice for fillings because it’s typically soft and malleable but also strong and durable. Gold fillings are expensive, but they can last for up to 15 years⁵.
Porcelain is the most expensive and high-end material for fillings it’s resistant to staining⁶.
Does it hurt to get a front tooth cavity filled?
Wondering how to fill a front tooth cavity or whether it hurts to get a front tooth cavity filled? Many people are afraid to get a filling because they are scared that it will hurt. But getting a filling may not hurt at all. The dentist will often give you a local anesthetic or numbing substance or your gums before starting the work, so you won’t feel almost anything while the work is being done.
Your jaw might be a little sore the next day if you have multiple cavities filled at once but there shouldn’t be any pain during the procedure. The sound of the drill is often scary to people, but the actual procedure is typically painless. And once the tooth is restored and can be used for biting and chewing safely the discomfort and pain of a cavity may be gone. So, if you’ve been searching for a DIY fill front tooth cavity method so that you can avoid getting a filling you can stop searching. Go to the dentist for a professional filling.
Baby & toddler front tooth cavity and fillings
Parents might be surprised to find out that sometimes children might need fillings even though they don’t have their permanent adult teeth yet. Baby teeth will eventually fall out, but dentists may recommend fillings for children who have cavities or significant tooth decay in their baby teeth because they will have those teeth for several years. If baby teeth fall out from damage or decay it could impact the development of the child’s jaw and natural bite. It also could have a negative impact on how the permanent teeth come in⁷.
Children usually receive silver amalgam or composite resin fillings. Insurance companies and parents are reluctant to pay a lot of money for expensive fillings made from gold or porcelain for teeth that are going to fall out anyway.
Before & after a cavity with a front tooth filling
Even if the cavity on your front tooth isn’t visible you likely need to get it filled as soon as possible. Before getting the cavity filled you may have sensitivity in that tooth, and you may change your bite to favor that tooth. As the bacteria typically eats through the enamel of your tooth you may also see discoloration on the tooth which can be embarrassing. After the tooth is filled you will likely regain confidence in your smile again. You will likely be able to bite and chew properly and you won’t have to hide your smile or worry about breaking or cracking a front tooth.
After getting a filling on your front tooth you will need to make sure that you clean your front teeth well to prevent more decay or another cavity forming around the edge of your front tooth.
Tips about front tooth cavity & insights
Get more answers to your supplemental dental insurance questions, as well as useful insurance information, tips, and resources.
How to buy dental insurance: the first 4 questions to ask
Links to external sites are provided for your convenience in locating related information and services. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents and employees expressly disclaim any responsibility for and do not maintain, control, recommend, or endorse third-party sites, organizations, products, or services and make no representation as to the completeness, suitability, or quality thereof.
Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice. This is not dental care advice and should not be substituted for regular consultation with your dentist. If you have any concerns about your dental health, please contact your dentist's office.
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/fillings/fillings-for-teeth-what-are-your-options, accessed December 2020
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/kids-oral-care/fillings-in-baby-teeth-are-they-really-necessary, accessed December 2020