Cavity: Amalgam or Composite

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from helper555. Show helper555's posts

    Cavity: Amalgam or Composite

    My 6 year old has a cavity.  The dentist office only does composite fillings, which are not covered by insurance.  It will cost ~ $400.  This is on a baby tooth.  

    My thought is that if insurance isn't going to cover the composite filing, should I just find another dentist that will do the amalgam filling, which is covered.  I am sure the dentist makes more money with the composite.

    I was looking for any comments or suggestions.   

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Cavity: Amalgam or Composite

    Whoa, $400?!  I'd get it filled somewhere with the stuff that's covered; I assume it's in the back of the mouth and not really visible under normal conditions, right?
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from helper555. Show helper555's posts

    Re: Cavity: Amalgam or Composite

    That's right, it is a back tooth.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: Cavity: Amalgam or Composite

    Well my son had to get one of those (he is now 9).  We went to another dentist and he now has a silver cap over it instead, it was a better option than a filling as it was very large.  It will come out once his 12 year old molars come in.  It was a little cheaper then the other cavity.  I learned from this process that many dentists/insurance companies don't want a lot of money spent on baby teeth and that they prefer to use the composte/white fillings on children.  
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Cavity: Amalgam or Composite

    I'd go with whatever option is cheapest.  It's not like one is healthier than the other, it's just cosmetic and temporary given it's a baby tooth.  And, it seals the deal to know it's in the back and not visible, anyway.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Cavity: Amalgam or Composite

    FWIW:

    http://dentistry.about.com/od/dentalprocedures/a/fda_fillings.htm

    One may be healthier than the other.  I haven't done extensive research, but I would probably be reluctant to go with the amalgam based on the very small amount of research I've done in the past half hour or so.  Most of the other issues with amalgam (like weakening the tooth itself) that I read about, I wouldn't factor in with baby teeth, but the potential mercury issues would be an issue for me.  It sounds like if your dentist only does composite and the cost is prohibitive, then you're going to be calling around looking for someone else to fill it anyway.  Maybe you'll be able to find someone who can do the composite more cheaply?  Also, I have had a few cavities filled here and there in my back teeth--all composite--and they've never cost that much.  Usually they were more in the $200 - $250 range.

    Another thing I'm thinking, since you didn't specify, is whether this was a pediatric dentist or a regular dentist.  My kids have not been to the dentist yet, so I have no knowledge about this, but I'm wondering if a pediatric dentist might charge less or even have other options.  What about Gentle Dental?  Their intro offer for new patients is really good and I've always had great experiences there (I've been to two different locations over about 10 years).  And a final thought is that if you call around and the prices are all still ridiculous, BU, Harvard, and Tufts all have Dental Schools that offer services for reduced fees.  The procedures are performed by dental students (supervised, of course!), so it may take longer, but the people I've known who have done this have been very happy with the work that was done. 

    Whatever you decide, good luck!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Cavity: Amalgam or Composite

    One more quick thought...I somehow missed that you have insurance.  Have you checked with them about this?  My insurance will pay 80% of an amalgam filling.  When I get a composite filling, they pay 80% of what the amalgam filling would have cost, and then I have to pay the other 20% + the difference.  It seems to me that this is a very common sense approach--they aren't paying any more than they would have, and you're paying much less than the full price of the composite.  Anyway, if you haven't checked already, it might be worth a phone call.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Cavity: Amalgam or Composite

    Call your pedi and see what he/she says re whether one is better than another and whether it makes sense to fill a baby tooth - it may not depending on the size of the tooth or whether it's one closer to the front of the mouth [which fall out sooner] or a molar [which stay in longer and tend to get food stuck in the more]. I'm sure they can recommend a dentist as well.  I have never had a cavity, so I can't tell you if $400 is too high. 
     

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