The Ultimate Guide to Fillings

Last fact-checked: 14 March 2020

Looking for savings on routine dental fillings? Why not get them done on holiday as part of our maintenance regime. It’s not as crazy as it sounds–you’ll save a lot of money, plus you’ll be taking care of your teeth, which will benefit both your health and your bank balance in the long-term.

It’s a fact that you are less likely to suffer from major dental health issues (which are expensive to correct) if you keep up with a regular maintenance regime, which includes checkups every six to twelve months.

What Are Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings are used to restore the anatomy of a tooth damaged by dental decay or trauma. Fillings may be either direct or indirect.

1: Amalgam (silver fillings)

2: Composite resin (tooth-colored fillings)

3: Resin Ionomer

4: Glass Ionomer

  • Indirect fillings are usually made in a dental laboratory and cemented onto the tooth. These can be made from

1: Ceramic (porcelain)

2:  Gold Alloy

3:   Base metal Alloy

What Are the Benefits of Dental Fillings?

If your tooth has been damaged through decay or fracture then bacteria are able to access the inside of the tooth. Tooth-unfriendly sugars, bacteria and starches erode the tooth structure and cause infections, which may require root canal work to fix - a more expensive and time-consuming procedure than a filling. Dental fillings help to restore a damaged tooth and

  • Prevent or limit further damage to the tooth structure
  • Help to prevent nerve damage
  • Help to prevent tooth loss 

Are Dental Filling Treatments Suitable for Dental Tourists?

Contrary to popular belief, dental tourists need not necessarily book a trip only for an expensive ‘big ticket’ procedure. In fact, many travelers decide to get dental care while they are away because they’ve seen how inexpensive it is, or because they require emergency dental care while on the road.

Dental fillings are an inexpensive option–costing a fraction of the prices at home–and the downtime from your holiday is often only a few hours.

Regarding amalgam fillings, there is some controversy about the mercury content this material contains. If you are concerned about the risks and seriously considering having yours replaced, then you will save substantially by traveling to a dental tourism location.

What Is the Procedure for a Dental Filling?

A dental filling procedure is straightforward and takes around 15 minutes to complete.

1: Your dentist will examine the tooth to assess the extent of the damage

2: A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area around the tooth

3: Your dentist will begin to remove the damaged parts of the tooth once the numbing has taken effect (usually after five minutes, or so) and your tooth will be prepared for the filling

4: The filling is placed inside the tooth and will be shaped, smoothed and polished

5: The dentist will ask you to bite, adjusting the filling until it feels comfortable

What Are the Costs of Dental Fillings for Dental Tourists?

Prices vary depending on what material is used, how large the filling and where you travel for your treatment. Average prices for a white, composite filling in representative destinations:

  • In the United States, dental fillings cost, on average, $155
  • At a Mexico dentist, they cost $51
  • In the United Kingdom, dental fillings cost £117
  • At a Turkey dentist, they cost £40
  • In Australia, dental fillings cost AUD $202
  • At a Bali dentist, they cost AUD $73

What about the Quality of Dental Care? Is It Reliable?

As dental tourism is now so commonplace, it’s easy to make the assumption that you need not conduct any rudimentary checks to assess whether the clinic and/or dentist you are considering is reliable.

Dentists training throughout the world is very similar. Globalization and cross-border training ensure that similar standards are adhered to in many countries–from applying recognized techniques, using renowned materials and following established health and safety protocols.

However, it is always wise to do some background research to ensure any dentist you visit has the right credentials for the procedure you require. We know it’s a daunting task, which is why we have already done the hard work. Our checks are thorough: we conduct onsite visits, verify dentist qualifications and professional memberships, as well as collecting real patient reviews which we publish on our website. Alongside prices, maps and other information we offer our patients a free resource packed full of information to help you come to an informed decision about choosing a dentist abroad. You can take a look at our top-rated clinics below:

 We also offer additional services and a "one-stop-shop" for your dental trip–so you can speak with us about hotels and nearby accommodation, insurance and even financial products that can help you make the trip for your dental care.

Getting Started

At Dental Departures, we’ve partnered with more than 5,000 dentists in 35 countries–offering you a comprehensive selection that provides you plenty of options near and far.

For further information, don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable Customer Care Team who will be happy to answer any questions you have about fillings or any other procedure. If you’re ready to book you can schedule your appointment online or contact us via phone, email or chat.


About Dental Amalgam Fillings. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 5 December 2017.

Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. Types of Fillings. Colgate Oral Care Center. Website accessed 2 May 2019. health/procedures/fillings/types-of-fillings

Why Are Dental Fillings So Important? Dear Doctor. 9 November 2012.

Bazilchuk, Nancy. Are Mercury Dental Fillings Really That Dangerous? Science Nordic. 22 February 2018.

Smith, Yolanda. Dental Filling Procedure. News Medical. 23 August 2018.