Information – Resin Fillings

A filling is made up of a mixture of glass particles and resin which restores tooth aesthetics and strength.

The Procedure

The aesthetic restoration of a lower molar tooth with composite resin.

The filling procedure following diagnosis and acceptance to proceed involves: local anaesthetic numbing, drilling and cleaning, particle abrasion, etching, bonding, placing the resin filling, light curing the filling and finally adjustment of the shape, bite and polishing for smoothness.

Following the procedure, Bite Abnormalities can cause the filling or tooth to break or loosen, necessitating replacement with another filling or with a different dental treatment such as a dental crown. For these reasons and as fillings will not last forever, replacement and additional treatment is at the expense of the patient.

After the procedure, Check-ups are important to ensure the tooth health is monitored and that continued treatment is provided if necessary.

The Cost

We will give you an outline of the estimated cost of your Dental Filling.  At the time of your Filling Appointment we may need to alter the size and extent of the filling, and until such time the estimate of the cost is an estimate only.  Following your filling there may be other relevant costs dependent on the outcome such as future replacement of the filling, and additional cost may include: checkup and review, another filling, a crown, a root canal treatment or extraction of the tooth.

Alternative Treatments

The alternative to a filling is to have an inlay, onlay or crown made outside of the mouth and bonded onto the tooth.  These provide a better aesthetic result with increased strength both for the filling area and the surrounding tooth structure, often outlasting a Resin Filling.

Resin Filling cost $200 to $600.
Porcelain inlay-Onlay cost $900 to $2,000
Porcelain Crown cost $2,000

Sometimes, and only very rarely, dietary and oral hygiene advice may allow for monitoring an area of tooth decay or erosion and delaying the placement of a filling.  This should only be considered with the advice of the Dentist.

Abnormal Outcomes and Risks

As with many dental procedures, having a filling involves risks to the surrounding tissue, to the tooth and to the filling.

  • Surrounding tissue is at risk due to the risk of damage caused by the needle/anaesthetic, the drill and the procedure in general. Two examples would be short-term and long-term numbness or gum damage from the procedure
  • The filling will seal the tooth, but will not protect the remaining tooth from fracture, and the larger the filling, the weaker the filling and the weaker the remaining tooth structure. A Crown maybe required to assist with strength (Crown cost $2,000)
  • Fillings will decay around the edges depending on how strong the tooth is to bond to. A new filling will be required in the future.
  • Preparing and placing a filling can irritate the tooth and cause sensitivity which may last for up to 3 months or may not ever resolve. If it does not resolve a Root Canal Treatment may be required (Root Canal Treatment cost $ 1,000 to $3,000) and a Crown (Crown cost $2,000)
  • Teeth which have fillings may require a root canal treatment immediately after, soon after, or many years after the filling is placed. (Root Canal Treatment cost $ 1,000 to $3,000). A crown is also often required after a Root Canal Treatment (Crown cost $2,000).
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