Getting dental care is a great way to boost your confidence by taking your smile to new heights. However, taking a look at the out-of-pocket costs of dental care can be a hard pill to swallow. While dental insurance can help alleviate some of the pressure, many Americans are without dental coverage, to begin with.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common dental procedures, as well as their average cost, so you can get a better idea of what to expect before your next treatment.
Cavities are one of the most common diseases in the entire country. In fact, among adults 20 and older, about 90% have had at least one cavity. Since they’re so common, it also means that dentists are well-equipped to fix them.
Fillings are the most common way to correct a cavity. If you experience a cavity, a dentist will first drill out the infected part of your tooth. From there, an amalgam filling will fill in the hole where the cavity once was. This should restore the structure and function of your tooth.
Fillings can also correct cracks, chips, and more. The out-of-pocket cost of a filling can range anywhere from $200 to $600. Factors that affect the cost are the extent of damage and the location of the filling in your mouth.
If a cavity becomes so severe that it starts to affect the inner portion of a tooth, known as the pulp, then a root canal might be in order. With a root canal, the inner, infected portion of a tooth is drilled away. Then, a dental filling is used to fill in the hole and restore the look and function of your tooth to make it good as new.
A root canal costs — on average — anywhere between $700 and $1,500. The final number will depend on the part of the country where you need to get this procedure done. It is a fairly complex procedure, which explains the hefty price tag.
Sometimes after a root canal, a dental crown is necessary. Crowns are sort of like tiny hats for your tooth that go over top to prevent damage and infection. This is especially important after a root canal because the inside of the tooth is sensitive and susceptible to damage.
With a dental crown, your tooth is filed down to make room for the crown. The crown is then cemented over top of the tooth to restore the look and function of your original teeth. It’s a common procedure that can help fix severe cases of tooth decay.
Crowns cost anywhere from $1,100 to $1,500, but that’s a loose estimate. This number can range, especially when including the cost of the root canal you might need to get beforehand. This means that a root canal and a crown can reach prices of upwards of $3,000.
If a cavity becomes so severe that the external structure of a tooth cannot be saved, then a tooth extraction will be necessary. An extraction is the process of physically pulling the tooth out of the gum socket.
A simple extraction without insurance is relatively inexpensive: usually anywhere from $75 to $400 per tooth. For wisdom teeth extraction where the teeth are still below the gum line, a surgical extraction can reach upwards of $300 per tooth. That’s over $1,000 for all four wisdom tooth removals.
A surgical tooth extraction requires the oral surgeon to make an incision on the gumline, break the tooth apart, and remove it from the jawbone. This is an important procedure if your wisdom teeth are growing in and impacting the rest of your teeth due to overcrowding.
While the cost of wisdom teeth extraction might seem high, it’s usually a small price to pay to avoid the pain and discomfort that they can cause. So, the investment is usually a good one to make.
If you get a tooth extracted, you might want to replace the tooth with an artificial one so you can chew food more easily and restore your smile. There are a few options to do this, all with varying price tags.
One option is a dental bridge. Bridges fill in a gap by placing crowns on opposing teeth with an artificial tooth in the middle — sort of like a bridge filling in the gap. Dental bridges are long-lasting procedures that effectively replace missing teeth. They can be expensive, costing anywhere from $500 to $2,300, depending on the type.
If you’re looking for something more permanent, then you might want dental implants. Implants are titanium posts that are placed directly into your jawbone. Over time, the bone fuses to the implant in a process called osseointegration, making this a permanent fixture that is even stronger than your natural teeth. An abutment or false tooth is then placed over the post to give it the right look.
Dental implants can be one of the more expensive options for replacing your teeth, averaging about $4,800 for a porcelain crown. However, some options can be even more expensive.
Finally, for something more temporary, dentures are a removable option that replaces full sets of teeth or just a few missing teeth. Dentures adhere to your gums with a glue, but they can be easily removable.
This means they aren’t nearly as strong for chewing as an implant, but they do make your smile look great. They’re also more affordable; dentures cost around $600 to $1,500 for a basic, full-mouth set.
Getting a routine cleaning is one of the most important ways to prevent the need for some of these more expensive procedures. While brushing your teeth at home is important, a routine oral exam with deep cleaning can keep your oral health in top shape — and reduce treatment costs in the future. Preventative care, like checkups and sealants, can make a big difference.
Dentists use a special polishing toothpaste during your visits that clean your teeth (removing tartar and plaque) and buff them up to make them look extra shiny. During this visit, they will also offer to do X-rays and other examinations to ensure you’re not at risk for more complicated oral health issues.
Teeth cleaning costs are generally low when compared to other procedures on the list. On average, a routine exam and cleaning will run you about $75 to $200 out-of-pocket. Of course, when you need to visit your local dental office twice a year, that “low-cost” cost can stack up fast.
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that doesn’t necessarily prevent or treat disease. However, having white teeth can boost your confidence and your self-esteem. You can do teeth whitening from home by getting over-the-counter treatments, but nothing beats professional whitening in a dentist’s office.
In-office bleaching involves the use of special chemicals that coat your teeth. These chemicals negate the color of the stains on your teeth, making your smile look more pristine and perfect. Whitening is a temporary solution, but many people love to get it done.
Insurance coverage doesn’t typically take care of teeth whitening regardless because it is purely cosmetic. So you can expect to pay around $500 to $1,000 for your in-office whitening solutions.
Veneers are another cosmetic treatment that seeks to improve the appearance of your teeth. They are meant to conceal a wide range of aesthetic imperfections, like cracks, discoloration, gaps, and more.
Veneers are coverings that go over the front teeth. They’re made out of high-quality materials that match the color of your natural teeth and restore their appearance.
Typically, porcelain veneers cost anywhere from $950 all the way up to $2,200 depending on the specialist you go to. Since these are cosmetic, most insurance plans usually won’t cover the cost of this dental cost even if you do have coverage.
If you don’t have dental coverage, don’t be stressed about the price tags you see listed next to these treatments. There is an easy way to afford dental care; no insurance companies are required.
Flossy is a pay-as-you-go service where you only pay for the orthodontic or dental services you receive. Our transparent pricing model means that you can see exactly what you owe before you go. With up to 50% off the out-of-pocket costs of every treatment you see on this list, and more, you don’t need to stress about dental care.
Membership is free, and there are no annual premiums or dues, unlike dental or health insurance. So you’re only ever paying for the services that you receive. Plus, you can visit a dentist and get treatment right within our smartphone app, making it easier than ever to book your appointment.
Our dentists are vetted against a set of rigorous criteria, like excellent patient reviews and licensure from accredited dental programs. The cost is low, but the care level is high.
There’s no waiting period to get the care you need, so you can sign up today and see a dentist to get the care you need. Head over to Flossy to get started on the best version of your smile.
Dental care without insurance can be almost impossible to afford. The out-of-pocket costs associated with certain treatments can be super challenging to overcome, leaving many people without the treatments they need.
Common dental treatments and their cost include:
You don’t need to let the cost of care prevent you from getting it. Flossy can save you up to 50% on common dental treatments that you see listed above. No up-front costs, online booking, and no waiting periods make it easier than ever for you to turn that frown into the perfect smile.
Locate a dentist with the Flossy App and find something to smile about.
Wisdom tooth extraction | Mayo Clinic
What Are Dental Veneers? Cost, Procedure & Advantages | Veneers