How Much Is a Composite Filling at a Private Dentist?

Possibly the most common procedure that patients might need is a dental filling. Whether due to decay, cavities, or wear and tear, the necessity

Possibly the most common procedure that patients might need is a dental filling.

Whether due to decay, cavities, or wear and tear, the necessity for a filling can catch many by surprise.

But how much does a dental filling cost when going private in the UK? This question is more pertinent than ever, as more people consider private dental care for its perceived benefits in speed and quality of service.

The Cost of Private Dental Fillings

The cost of a dental filling in the private sector can vary widely across the UK. Several factors influence this cost, including the type of filling material used, the complexity of the procedure (or the size of the filling/the amount of surfaces).   And even the clinical experience of the Dentist.

Understanding these variables can help patients make informed decisions about their dental care.

Types of Filling Materials

One of the primary factors affecting the cost of a dental filling is the material used.

 Amalgam, made from a mixture of metals, is the cheapest option and is the one covered by the NHS.  Many Private Dentists do not provide Amalgam fillings at all.

Composite fillings, which can closely match the natural colour of teeth, typically range from £150 to £300 per tooth. 

Porcelain fillings, also known as “Onlays” or “Inlays”, are well regarded for their durability and colour match, can cost significantly more, sometimes up to £700 per tooth.

Complexity and Location

The complexity of the procedure also plays a crucial role in determining the cost. A filling for a large cavity or one that requires more intricate work due to its location will cost more because additional clinical time is booked out.  

In London, for example, the cost for a composite filling can exceed the national average, reaching upwards of £250 per tooth. This variation highlights the importance of location in the overall cost of dental fillings in the private sector.

Here in Chelmsford, the typical price for a small single surface Composite Filling is £180-£220.

Comparing NHS and Private Dental Filling Costs

It’s worth noting the difference in cost between NHS and private dental services. The NHS offers dental treatments at fixed prices, categorised into bands. A dental filling under the NHS falls into Band 2, costing £65.20. This price is significantly lower than most private options, but the materials used, particularly for fillings, may not include tooth-coloured options.

Why Choose Private?

Despite the higher costs, many opt for private dental care for reasons including shorter waiting times and a wider choice of filling materials. The personal touch and detailed attention provided in private practices are also significant factors for many patients.

Choosing between NHS and private dental care depends on individual priorities. For those prioritising cost, the NHS offers a viable and more affordable option. 

However, for those who value aesthetic results and shorter waiting times, private care, despite its higher cost, might be the preferable route.

Additional Costs to Consider

When considering the cost of a dental filling, it’s also important to factor in any additional treatments that may be necessary. For instance, if a tooth requires a root canal treatment before filling, this will significantly increase the overall cost.

Insurance and Payment Plans

Many private dental practices offer payment plans or accept dental insurance, which can help manage the cost of treatments like fillings. It’s always advisable to discuss these options with your dental practice before commencing treatment.

Dental insurance, in particular, can be a wise investment for those who prefer private care, covering a portion of the costs associated with dental treatments, including fillings.

Exploring Alternative Filling Materials

While composite and porcelain fillings are popular choices for their aesthetic appeal and durability, there are other alternative filling materials worth considering. Glass ionomer fillings, for example, release fluoride, offering additional protection against decay. These fillings are often used for children or in areas of low bite pressure.

Another option is gold fillings, which are highly durable and can last for decades. Although more expensive than other materials, gold fillings are known for their longevity and biocompatibility.  

They are particularly suitable for large fillings in the back teeth, where the bite is stronger.

Discussing Options with Your Dentist

When deciding on the type of filling material for your dental restoration, it’s essential to have a thorough discussion with your dentist. They can provide insights into the pros and cons of each material based on your specific dental needs and budget.

Your dentist may also consider factors such as the location of the filling, your oral hygiene habits, and any potential allergies you may have to certain materials. By working together with your dentist, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your oral health goals.

Long-Term Benefits of Quality Fillings

Investing in high-quality fillings can have long-term benefits for your oral health. Properly placed and well-maintained fillings can help prevent further decay and damage to your teeth. By choosing durable materials and ensuring a precise fit, you can enjoy a restored smile and improved chewing function.

Regular dental check-ups are essential to monitor the condition of your fillings and address any issues promptly. Your dentist can detect early signs of wear or damage to fillings, allowing for timely repairs or replacements to maintain the integrity of your teeth.

Preventive Measures for Dental Health

While fillings are necessary for treating cavities and restoring damaged teeth, preventive measures are key to maintaining optimal dental health. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing regularly, and limiting sugary foods can help prevent the need for fillings in the first place.

Additionally, scheduling routine dental cleanings and exams can aid in early detection of dental issues, allowing for timely intervention and treatment. By adopting a proactive approach to oral hygiene, you can reduce the risk of developing cavities and other dental problems that may require fillings.


The cost of a dental filling in the private sector in the UK can vary widely, influenced by factors such as the material used, the complexity of the procedure, and the practice’s location. While private care is generally more expensive than NHS services, many opt for it for the benefits it offers in terms of material options, service quality, and convenience.

Ultimately, the decision between NHS and private dental care should be based on individual needs, priorities, and financial circumstances. By understanding the factors that affect the cost of private dental fillings, patients can make informed decisions about their dental health.

Have you ever considered the benefits of private dental care for a filling? The choice can significantly impact not only your dental health but your overall well-being and confidence.

Don’t wait until tooth decay leads to discomfort or more serious issues. Take the first step towards a healthier smile with Danbury Dental Care. Book an appointment now for an initial consultation where our expert team will conduct X-rays, develop a personalized treatment plan, and help you prioritize the dental care you need. Book An Appointment today and ensure your dental health is in the best hands.

Begin your dental journey.  Contact us and one of our team will help to book your appointment.