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Dental Fillings Abroad

Affordable Dental Fillings Abroad

Louis De Grandis

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A filling is a common way to fill the cavities in your teeth. It is the material your dentist uses to fill a cavity after removing tooth decay.

What to Expect During a Filling?

  • At the beginning of your procedure, you may be given local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth.
  • Then the dentist will use a drill to cut through the enamel and remove any decay.
  • After this, the dentist will shape the space to ready it for the filling.
  • For a bonded filling, your dentist will etch the tooth with an acid gel before placing the filling.
  • For certain types of fillings, the dentist will layer on the resin and harden it using a bright light.
  • After the filling has been placed, the dentist will polish the tooth.

Low Cost Dental Fillings Abroad - Types

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The actual process takes just a few minutes, although your mouth may be numb for a few hours afterward, as the anesthetic wears off.

Types of Dental Fillings


The easiest material for a dentist to use. It is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin or other metals.

  • Pro: It is the fastest and least expensive option.
  • Pro: These offer great strength and durability. Silver fillings last at least 10 to 15 years
  • Con: More prone to expanding and contracting on the tooth, which makes them more likely to cause a crack on the tooth.
  • Con: These fillings can create a grayish hue to the surrounding tooth structure.
  • Con: Healthy parts of the tooth often need to be removed to make a space large enough to hold the amalgam filling.

Concerns have been raised over the use of mercury in amalgam.

In its studies, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found no reason to limit the use of amalgam.

The FDA concluded that amalgam fillings are safe for adults and children ages 6 and above.


Some patients find gold more pleasing to the eye than silver amalgam fillings.

  • Pro: These can last up to 15 years and are non-corrosive.
  • Pro: These can withstand chewing forces.
  • Con: Gold is costly and is harder for your dentist to work with.
  • Con: These require more than one visit to the dentist to fit them properly.


Types of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Composite Resins

  • Pro: Can be matched closest to your tooth color.
  • Con: Not as durable as other types of fillings and need to be replaced every few years.
  • Con: Can take up to 20 minutes longer than amalgam fillings to place.
  • Con: Can cost up to twice the cost of amalgam fillings.
  • Feature: Particularly well suited for use in front teeth or visible parts of teeth.
  • Feature: Can also be used to repair chipped, broken, or worn teeth.


  • Pro: Often made of porcelain, these fillings are durable and pleasing to the eye.
  • Con: These fillings do wear down on the opposing teeth because of their rough material.
  • Con: As expensive as gold fillings.
  • Con: They require special equipment and may require dental lab support.
  • Con: You may need several dental appointments.

Glass Ionomers

  • Pro: These release fluoride, which can help protect the tooth from further decay.
  • Con: Generally lasts five years or less with costs comparable to composite resin.
  • Con: Traditional glass ionomer does not match your tooth color as precisely as composite resin.
  • Feature: Often used for small cavities or cavities between teeth.
  • Feature: Best option for children since their teeth are still changing.

What to Expect After a Filling?

Once the numbness from the anesthesia wears off, you may notice the following sensations in your mouth:

  • Sensitivity in your teeth, especially when breathing in cold air, drinking hot or cold foods or liquids.
  • Tenderness in your gums.
  • Pain in the teeth surrounding the filling.
  • Pain in the affected tooth when eating, brushing, or flossing.

After-Care Instructions for Fillings

If you’ve just received a cavity filling, you may want to refrain from activities, including:

  • Try not to eat or drink anything until the anesthesia has worn off.
  • Avoid consuming solid foods until 24 hours after the cavity has been filled. This will give it time to set completely and protect your tooth.
  • Do not consume foods or beverages that are extremely hot or cold.
  • Temporarily avoid acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits and wine.
  • You should also avoid sticky or hard snacks, like candy, gum or popcorn.
  • If you have cavities filled on one side of your mouth, try chewing from the opposite side for the first few days.
  • Use a desensitizing toothpaste.
  • If you experience mouth sensitivity for more than 4 weeks, contact your dentist.

Maintenance Tips for Dental Fillings

Here are some day-to-day care tips that can extend the life of your fillings:

  • Restrict your consumption of sugary drinks and foods. These can cause acid to build up on your teeth and breakdown the filling over time.
  • Use a toothpaste with fluoride.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after meals. Floss once a day to keep your filling clean of debris.

Tooth Decay Prevention

  • Avoid teeth grinding. A mouth guard may help prevent you from grinding your teeth while sleeping.
  • Visit your dentist regularly. A visit every 6 months is recommended.

Dental Fillings Cost Abroad

Dental filling costs without insurance vary depending on how many fillings your need as well as the type of material used to fill the tooth.

Dental Fillings Prices
CountryCost in USD
New Zealand$110-185
Costa Rica$85

The average cost for a filling in the U.S. is around $200-450. Here, a composite filling on 1 tooth would cost you $159 and $253 if you get it done on three teeth.

In Mexico, the same composite filling would cost you $80 for one surface and $120 for three teeth.

If you opt for any of the popular dental tourism destinations like Mexico, Costa Rica or Thailand, you can end up saving half of what you would have spent in the U.S., Australia or New Zealand.

Dental Fillings FAQs

1. How do I know if I need a filling?

Only your dentist can detect whether you have a cavity that needs a filling.

During your checkup, the dentist will use a small mirror to examine each tooth.


2. How do I know if I need a root canal or a filling?

Dental fillings are used for smaller cavities whereas root canal therapy may be needed if the teeth has more extensive damage.

Signs and symptoms of needing a root canal treatment include:

  • Constant, throbbing pain
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot/cold foods or liquids
  • Swelling of the gums around the tooth
  • Tooth discoloration


3. Can dental fillings fall out?

Fillings can sometimes loosen and fall out. Don’t panic in such situations. Contact your dentist immediately.

Not seeking immediate care could result in pain, discomfort and sometimes, even loss of the tooth.


 4. How long do dental fillings last?

  • Gold fillings are the most long lasting. These can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years.
  • Silver amalgam fillings can last from 10 to 15 years.
  • Composite resin fillings need to replaced every 5 to 7 years.


5. When to replace a cavity filling?

Tooth fillings usually last for many years but can wear out over years of chewing.

If you clench or grind your teeth, you may need to have replace fillings sooner.

If you notice cracks or worn areas, see your dentist to have the filling replaced as soon as possible.

Continuing to chew with a damaged filling can cause the tooth to crack.

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