What to Expect to Pay at the Dentist.

Taking care of your teeth by going to the dentist on a regular basis is something you may neglect to do. Let’s face it, most people don’t relish the idea of going to the dentist, and some people are downright terrified of it. Spending hours sitting in a chair with your mouth open while a hygienist or dentist pokes around isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. Another factor that adds to the anxiety of a dentist visit is worrying about the cost. While it won’t make your visit entirely stress free, knowing ahead of time how much some routine dental procedures cost can help make your visit a bit less scary.

When figuring out how much the average trip to the dentist will cost, you need to take several factors into account. Whether or not you have dental insurance, what types of procedures you need and where you live all influence how much you should expect to pay. If you have dental insurance, you may only have a small out-of-pocket cost for everything from cleanings to root canals, but what if you don’t have dental insurance? Going to the dentist without insurance can be expensive, so having an idea of what some routine dental procedures cost will make budgeting for your next appointment easier.

Let’s start with the basics, a routine dental check-up that includes x-rays and cleaning. While the price of a check-up will vary from dentist to dentist, the average cost should be between $250-$350. If you decide to add in a fluoride treatment with your cleaning add another $20-$50 to the price of your visit. So, for a routine office visit that includes an exam, cleaning, x-rays and a fluoride treatment you should expect to pay around $400 on the high end of the price scale. If your dentist discovers any cavities that need filling you can expect to pay an additional $50-$250 for each filling.

What if during your visit your dentist discovers that you need a more complicated procedure such as a tooth extraction? A simple extraction where the tooth has fully erupted from your gums should cost between $75-$450, but if the removal is more complex because your tooth is broken or beneath the gums, you can expect to pay up to $650. Again, the total cost will depend upon how much work is involved in removing the diseased tooth.

If you hear the words root canal, you will be looking at a cost of $120-$185 to remove a single exposed or residual root. Also, don’t forget to ask if you will need a crown and budget for one. Crowns are often placed after a root canal to protect your tooth. They typically cost between $300-$700 depending on the material that is used to make the crown. Porcelain and metal crowns will generally be more expensive than resin crowns, and your dentist will help you choose what’s best for your teeth and pocketbook.

As you can see a trip to the dentist can be expensive, especially if you don’t have dental insurance. While a basic check-up and cleaning will be affordable for most people, more complex dental work can be pricey. Because of this, many people put off preventative dental care until tooth discomfort makes a trip to the dentist unavoidable. Doing this can, in the long run, make a visit to the dentist even more painful, for your wallet and your mouth. However, knowing how much you can expect to pay for dental work can help ease some of the stress of going to the dentist and help you budget for your oral health. Because a happy, healthy mouth is an investment in your total health.