Regular preventive dental care can detect and treat problems when they are small, which can save you money in the long run. CDC recommends that everyone get routine care to help avoid costly procedures later.
Many medical plans include coverage for dental services, but there are some out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copayments. You can also use a health savings account or personal loan to pay for dental procedures.
Preventive care is important to maintain a healthy mouth and to identify potential issues that could lead to greater costs in the future. These procedures include cleanings, x-rays, and fluoride treatments. These services are usually covered by your dental insurance and can be relatively affordable.
However, many Medicare Advantage plans still have cost sharing and annual plan limits on coverage. More than three in four enrollees with access to more extensive dental benefits are subject to coinsurance, which averages 50% across service categories.
When paired with daily oral care, routine cleanings help maintain good oral health and reduce the risk of serious dental issues. However, these procedures are also a significant part of the overall cost of dental care.
Routine cleanings typically cost between $90 and $200 without insurance. If you have gum disease or excessive plaque build-up, your dentist may require additional treatment like debridement or scaling and root planing. These treatments can increase your bill by $50 to $400 or more.
Many dental insurance plans cover 100 percent of these costs, but you might have to pay a deductible or copay. Some insurance companies have a limited provider network, which can make it more difficult to find affordable care. Mira offers an alternative to traditional dental insurance, offering low monthly fees that can save you on routine cleanings and other services.
X-rays are essential for diagnosing problems that are not visible with the naked eye. They are used to check for tooth decay, bone loss, gum disease, abscesses, and other dental issues. Without X-rays, these problems may not be detected, and they can eventually turn into expensive dental treatments such as root canals and crowns.
The cost of X-rays depends on the type and number that you need. Intraoral X-rays are typically the least expensive, but they can still cost $35-$100 per set. Bitewing X-rays are the most commonly taken intraoral X-rays, and they show details of the upper and lower teeth, including their roots.
Extraoral X-rays are typically more expensive, but they show the whole jaw and skull. These X-rays are often needed for dental implants, oral surgeries, and for checking for impacted or abnormal teeth.
Tooth fillings are a common treatment for cavities. However, they can be expensive if you don’t have dental insurance. The good news is that many dental insurance plans cover at least 80% of the cost of a tooth filling, once you meet your annual deductible.
Toot filling costs vary based on the material used and your location. Silver amalgams are the cheapest, while composite resin and porcelain inlays are more expensive.
While it’s important to visit a dentist when you have cavities, you can save money on fillings by practicing preventative care. Brushing and flossing, regular visits to your dentist, and avoiding sugary foods can help avoid cavities that might need fillings or even root canals. These measures can also help detect cavities in their earliest stages, when they’re easiest to treat.
Crowns are used to cover and protect a damaged or discolored tooth when a filling isn’t enough. These caps are fabricated in your dentist’s lab from either porcelain or metal.
Porcelain crowns provide the most natural appearance and are typically reserved for front teeth. However, they can become brittle with repeated biting or break under heavy force. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are stronger but may not match the natural tooth color as well.
Zirconia crowns are a good choice for back teeth and are more durable than porcelain. They also tend to wear less on the teeth surrounding them. Most dental insurance plans cover part of the cost for a crown. You can check with your specific plan for more information.
Root canals are often necessary when a tooth becomes infected or abscessed. Prompt treatment prevents the infection from spreading and relieves pain. It can also prevent more costly dental work such as a tooth extraction and dental implant.
The cost of a root canal depends on the extent of the damage and which tooth needs treatment. Front teeth and bicuspids have fewer roots and are easier to treat, while premolars and molars have more roots that are harder to reach.
If you have dental insurance, your provider may cover the cost of your root canal. You may also be able to use your health savings account or flexible spending account to pay for the procedure. Many dentists offer payment plans to help patients manage their dental cost.
Many dental insurance policies offer orthodontic coverage. However, they usually have a waiting period before the benefits start and only cover a small percentage of the cost.
Dental insurance works similarly to health insurance with a deductible and coinsurance. For example, your plan might pay 80% of basic care costs like fillings and 50% of major services like crowns. You would then need to pay the remaining 20%.
You can cut your dental costs by comparison shopping and choosing a dentist that accepts your insurance. Ask friends, family, and colleagues for the names of dentists they trust and call to ask for prices. Dental schools may also have low-cost options. In addition, some communities have community health centers that provide free or low-cost health care, including dental services.