Of all of the healthcare costs Americans face, the cost of dental work can be the most confusing. According to the latest statistics, a full 23% of Americans have no dental insurance whatsoever. This means that over 70 million people face the full out-of-pocket costs for dental procedures.
Those that do have insurance will have greatly reduced expenses, but will still have to pay something for most procedures. If you’re confused about dental procedure costs, here’s your full guide to how much you can expect to pay.
Dental Procedure Costs: Which Ones Are Free with Insurance?
First of all, those who have dental insurance who are wondering how much does dental work cost have some cause for celebration. In many areas, a routine dental checkup is covered by insurance. This means you won’t pay anything out of pocket.
In addition, teeth whitening procedures are often free with insurance, as long as you only undergo it once or twice a year. Some states and coverage plans still demand payment with insurance. However, this payment is usually small, costing on average between $20-150.
Without insurance, these routine procedures can cost anything between $200-450.
A filling with insurance usually costs around $50, while uninsured patients will pay between $100-300 per filling.
Single Visit Dental Procedure Costs
So-called ‘single visit’ dental procedures include crowns, dentures, and tooth extractions. These procedures tend to have the biggest price differences for insured and uninsured patients.
For example, dental crowns with insurance typically cost a couple of hundred dollars. However, uninsured patients can easily pay in excess of $700 per crown. When it comes to tooth extractions, the differences are even starker.
With insurance, one can expect to pay around $75-150 out-of-pocket per tooth. For those without insurance, the cost rises to anything between $300 to $600 per tooth.
Wisdom teeth are often the cheapest to remove, while complicated surgical extractions often cost a lot more.
A root canal with insurance can see you paying around $300 for a back tooth or $600 for a front tooth. Without insurance, expect to shell out over $1000 for both front and back tooth procedures respectively.
Finally, there are dentures. Since these are classed as ‘restorative’ on the list of dental procedures and prices, insurance companies will cover 50% of the cost. The full price for dentures hovers around $1200-2000 per plate, with insurance covering half of the total cost.
If you are uninsured, you can expect to pay several thousand out of pocket if you have multiple missing teeth.
Cosmetic Dental Procedure Costs
Then there are cosmetic dental procedures. These have vastly different price tags, depending on how they are defined by your insurance provider.
For braces, whitening, and clear-correct treatments such as Invisalign, insurance will usually cover a small portion of the overall cost.
When researching the cost of Invisalign, it is important to remember that different practices charge less than others.
Out of pocket, braces and Invisalign will cost between $3500 to $8000. Insurance will usually cover around 20% of the cost, but every little helps.
When picking the right dental care for you, dental procedure costs are only one of many considerations. Make sure to read our comprehensive healthcare guides for all of the information you’ll ever need.