Cost of Dentist Without Insurance – Overview
The high cost of dental healthcare services is the number one reason most people won’t go to a dentist, according to the American Dental Association.
Besides, the cost of visiting a dentist without insurance is on par with your annual insurance bill.
However, the high cost is justified by the impressive advances that modern dental science has made. These advances have helped to treat and prevent numerous dental diseases.
Constant advances result in a gradual rise in the cost of dental services. This means that more people will find it expensive to visit a dentist and maintain good oral health.
Still, there are ways that you can visit a dentist without insurance.
How to Get Dental Work Without Insurance?
According to industry statistics, around 74 million Americans have no dental insurance. These tens of millions of people have to pay for dental services out of their own pockets.
This has caused most people to relegate dentist visits to twice a year.
Most people are unaware that this lax attitude to visiting a dentist for the fear of dental costs may eventually end up costing significantly more in the future.
So, if you are among the 70+ million Americans without dental insurance, but suffering from dental problems, here are some ways to seek help:
1 – Dental Schools
You can receive quality treatment at a lower cost than private dental offices at an accredited dental school.
Dental schools have clinics for dental students to work under the supervision of licensed and experienced dentists.
You can be assured that the licensed dentist keeps a close eye on the work of the dental student at every stage. This ensures that patients get quality and affordable treatment.
However, the catch is that you may need to visit the dental school more often. You can find an extensive list of accredited dental schools on the official website of the American Dental Association at https://www.ada.org/en/coda/find-a-program/
2 – Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP
Medicare may not pay for most routine dental treatments, such as fillings, cleanings, dentures and extractions.
However, Medicare Part A does offer cover for select emergency dental treatments that are provided at a hospital.
Every state is obliged to provide Medicaid benefits to children enrolled in the program. Some of these states offer additional dental cover for adults. Even children can receive an oral screening from a physician, not a dentist, under this scheme.
At a minimum, Medicaid offers the following dental care covers to children:
- Restoration of decayed and broken teeth
- Treatment necessary to relieve dental pain and infections
- Dental procedures that are essential to maintain the child’s oral health
The U.S. federal government collaborates with state governments to offer low-cost health coverage for children who do not qualify for Medicaid, due to the low-income status of the family. This initiative is called the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP for short.
3 – Local health departments
There are some local health departments that provide low-cost or free dental services to eligible individuals.
To find the nearest local health department, you can check the official HHS website at https://www.hhs.gov/answers/health-insurance-reform/.
If you want to find the nearest federally funded dental clinic near you, you can visit this link https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/.
4 – Payment options
In case you do not have dental insurance and cannot access any of the above-listed assistance, then you can find a dentist who offers different payment options for their services.
What is the cost of a Dentist visit without Insurance?
The type of service you require determines the exact cost of a dentist visit. For instance, routine teeth cleaning can cost anywhere between US$ 75 to US$ 200, with an average cost of US$ 127.
If combined with a dental x-ray, the cost of dental treatment can cross US$ 300. More complicated treatments, such as deep cleaning, can cost even more, around US$ 500 to an astonishing US$ 4,000 for the entire treatment.
Even if you have dental insurance, you may still have to pay several hundred dollars for this procedure out of pocket.
However, sometimes paying the cost of a dentist visit is more affordable than your monthly insurance premiums.
This works really well if you only need essential dental services, such as exams and cleaning each year.
Those with dental insurance often end up paying out of pocket because their carrier has a limited provider network. In addition, some dental plans have a low annual maximum which makes paying their monthly premium a task.
Let’s take a quick look at the average cost of specific dental treatments in the United States:
1 – Teeth Cleaning
Those with dental insurance can receive coverage for teeth cleaning twice a year. On average, the cost of teeth cleaning at a dentist’s clinic costs around US$ 127.
2 – Composite Tooth Filling
The size of the cavity and the material being used for the filling will determine the exact cost of a composite tooth filling procedure.
On average, the cost of tooth-colored or composite fillings to restore one surface costs around US$ 90 to US$ 250, and US$ 150 to US$ 450 to restore three or more surfaces.
With dental insurance, you get coverage that pays around 50 to 80% of the cost, so the average cost of composite tooth filling without dental insurance is around US$ 204.
3 – Wisdom Tooth Removal
It is affordable and cost-effective to get all your wisdom teeth removed at the same time. The average cost of removing four wisdom teeth without a discount comes to around US$ 415 per tooth with insurance.
Without insurance, you may need to pay as much as US$ 250 to US$ 750 for wisdom teeth removal.
4 – Root Canal Treatment
The cost of a root canal procedure depends on the experience of the dentist performing the treatment. Usually, dental insurance helps pay around 50% of the total cost, which can range between US$ 1,000 and US$ 2,000 per tooth.
5 – Dental Crown
The cost of a dental crown procedure will depend on the type of materials being used.
People with dental insurance may still need to pay around US$ 530 to US$ 1,875, out of pocket, for a porcelain crown. People without dental insurance may need to pay up to US$ 800 to US$ 3,000 for fixing dental crowns.
Despite the rising cost of dental services and insurance premiums, it is highly advised to buy an affordable dental insurance plan.
If you cannot purchase dental insurance for some compelling reason, you should ensure that you approach the nearest dental school or the local health departments and receive dental treatment for good oral health.
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