Budgeting for dental care is a challenge for many people. Even if you have dental insurance there are deductibles, copayments, exclusions to treatment, maximums, etc. The costs of dental procedures can vary greatly and are dependent on many factors. This fact may be especially true for those seeking dental care with dental insurance instead of paying out of pocket. This article has information for considerations when choosing a dental insurance plan and what you can do if you don’t have dental insurance.
Why Are Dental Procedures So Expensive?
While many are looking for affordable dental care, they may be shocked to find that dental care costs more than they would have anticipated. Below we explain why there may be discrepancies in the costs of dental procedures for patients.
Dentistry is a high specialty service. Dentists are trained professionals who go through college and dental school before undergoing further specialized training. Further, their specialty requires expensive, specialized equipment, medication, and surgical tools that are costly to purchase and maintain.
Cost of Some Popular Dental Procedures
Below, we discuss some of the most popular dental health procedures and a rough approximation of the costs they incur. Obviously, this can vary greatly according to geography, and individual cases.
Professional teeth whitening is considered a cosmetic procedure and is usually not covered by dental insurances. The cost is normally between $350 to $600. Whitening is a good option for those whose teeth are stained or yellow, and the prices depend on the type of whitening you would like and would get you the best results. For instance, a take-home kit from the dentist with prescription strength whitening gel may cost less than in office whitening.
A root canal can help treat issues such as tooth decay that has reached the tooth’s pulp and usually alleviates tooth pain. The prices for root canals can vary depending on how complex the procedure is for a particular patient and the type of tooth in question. Also, cost will vary based on whether the procedure is being performed by a general dentist or endodontist (root canal specialist). Certain circumstances that make the procedure more complicated will most likely be referred to the specialist. The average cost of a root canal will vary between $900 and $1500. Some insurances and plans will cover a portion of the root canal procedure.
However, they may require you see a provider in-network. At North Point Dental Associates we will pre-verify your insurance information before your visit to get you the most accurate estimate of your patient portion as well as submit dental insurance claims on your behalf. Some offices do this as a courtesy and some leave it up to the patient.
A dental crown may be recommended for a broken tooth, for cosmetics, a compromised tooth due to decay, over an implant or after root canal therapy. Using advanced technology we are able to complete a permanent crown in a single visit. This saves the patient from having to be in a temporary or needing to come back for a second visit. Again, most insurance plans will cover anywhere between 20% to 80% of this procedure’s cost.
The average cost for a single posterior crown is between $1,100 to $1,400.
The Truth about Dental Insurance and How it Affects the Cost of Dentistry
Dental insurance, whether through your employer or through private means can be overwhelming and difficult to comprehend. Many plans have fine print limiting treatment or exclusions that limit procedures, some have long waiting periods, not allowing any treatment to be done for 6 months to a year. Most plans allow for preventive treatment such as cleanings and exams, however there may be a deductible you have to pay. Our office participates with most major dental insurances, meaning we accept a lower fee from the insurance company in order to help our patients utilize their dental benefits. If you do not have dental insurance, we are able to pass along more savings to you directly. Please come in and talk to our treatment coordinator for more information.
Other options besides Dental Insurance (Dental Membership Plans)
Whether you choose a dental plan through an employer or one of the many independent plan options out there, it can be overwhelming at times trying to understand dental insurance coverages and breakdowns. Everyone has different dental care needs, it’s important to choose a plan right for you. In house dental membership plans can be a great option to save a lot of money as well. The in-house plans can be specific to your needs with an average savings ranging from $500-$1000. This plan is a one -time fee (or can be made in payments) and covers you for one full year. No monthly rates, no waiting periods, no limitations on major procedures. Making it simpler with no unexpected out of pocket expenses and easily understood dental coverage & cost.
Our office will work with you to offer payment plans. We also partner with care credit if you need payments to be over a longer period of time. Our goal is to provide you with a beautiful, healthy smile, giving you confidence. We understand that quality dentistry is an investment and want to work with you to achieve your goals.