If you need to have a cavity filled, you can feel confident that most dental fillings are covered under dental insurance.
That being said, it’s not a full 100% coverage; you’ll still have some fees involved that you’ll need to pay out of pocket. Even then, treating tooth decay is something that your dental insurance policy wants you to do (before it gets bigger,) so they tend to pay more on small fillings than they do on other types of larger procedures you see in a family dental office.
In the past, “cosmetic” white fillings tended to be covered at a lower price than metal amalgam fillings. That’s not necessarily the case anymore. In fact, choosing to get a white filling can be better for your smile in more ways than just looking pretty.
For example, white composite fillings bond closely with your tooth’s natural anatomy. This characteristic makes it possible to perform less-invasive treatment to the tooth while maximizing the healthy tooth structure. This means less dental treatment over time, saving you and your insurance company money.
Replacing Metal Fillings
Maybe you need to have old fillings changed out, either because they’re starting to leak or the tooth is hurting. Or, you would prefer to have a white restoration show when you smile, as opposed to one that’s dark and grey.
You will need to check your dental insurance plan to see if there are any restrictions on how often a filling can be replaced. Some plans may not differentiate the frequency of getting dental fillings, while others do. This is up to your individual carrier. Ask your dentist’s insurance coordinator to confirm your benefits with your insurance company for an accurate estimate on the total cost or restrictions involved.
How Long Do Fillings Last?
You want to get the most out of your money on any dental work. The lifespan of the average dental filling is usually around a decade, but it’s not uncommon for some restorations to only last a few years, while other last for 20. There are several considerations to keep in mind, such as:
- The location of the filling: Where a filling is placed can impact things like how much biting pressure it’s exposed to, or how difficult it is to clean; both of which can lead to it wearing out sooner than normal.
- Your oral hygiene habits: It’s vital to keep your filling healthy and clean, just like the rest of your tooth structure. New cavities can form in the edges around the filling if you are not careful.
- Dietary habits: Are you exposing your tooth to a high level of acids, carbohydrates, or sugars? Frequent snacking throughout the day can lead to higher levels of cavity-causing bacteria around your new filling, creating new decay around it.
- Bruxism/Grinding: Do you tend to clench your teeth together when you drive, sleep, or become stressed out? The added pressure to your tooth can cause it to flex, creating microscopic fractures around the filling, resulting in its failure.
How Much Does Insurance Cover On Most Fillings?
Dental fillings are considered a type of “basic” dental procedure. As such, they tend to be covered more, percentage-wise, than other types of more expensive restorations. Depending on the type of insurance coverage you have, it might be around 25-50%, after you’ve paid your deductible or co-pay.
Putting Dental Fillings Off Could Cost You
But not everyone has dental insurance to cover an unexpected filling. At Cigna Dental Plans, we offer alternative savings plans and dental discount programs that can reduce the cost of fillings or other procedures by 15-50%. It’s an affordable option for individuals or families that don’t have coverage through their employer. Call our dental savings experts today to learn how to start saving more on oral health services.