Dental procedure costs.

Prices / Fee estimates for cosmetic, basic and major dental procedures. | The method we use to estimate dental costs. | Factors to consider when comparing your dentist's prices to others.

This page serves as the hub for information on Animated-Teeth.com that covers dentist prices for procedures and dental work.

To get started, select from one of the following categories.

1) Cosmetic dentistry:
 
2) Basic dental procedures:
 
3) Major dental procedures:
 
 

Each of our "costs" pages includes procedure details.

Besides just information about the prices dentists charge, our dental work pages also include information about:

  • Important options or choices that are available or must be made for that particular treatment or procedure.
  • How selecting different options will affect the price you pay.
  • Common dental insurance issues that may apply, such as coverage limitations or benefit caps.

How we calculate dental costs.

We outline the method we use to estimate fees for dental work at the bottom of this page .

That section also explains why prices among any group of dentists in a particular area may vary, even significantly so. And how to make sure you're making an accurate comparison when evaluating the fees of different offices.

Dental costs, by procedure.

1) Fees for cosmetic dentistry procedures -

 a) Dental veneers ▼ 

  1. Porcelain veneers - Per-unit (tooth) fees. | Replacements
  2. Lumineers® veneers - A type of ultra-thin porcelain veneer. Per-unit fees. | Replacements
  3. Composite veneers - Veneers crafted out of dental bonding. Per-unit fees. | Replacements

 b) Teeth whitening ▼ 

  1. Professional (in-office) treatments. - Per-session fees.
  2. Dentist-dispensed at-home systems. - Per-case, per-arch (upper or lower) fees.

 c) Orthodontic treatment ▼ 

  1. Removable braces - Invisalign® | ClearCorrect® | Invisalign Express® - Per-case costs.
  2. Lingual braces - Incognito® | iBraces® | In-Ovation® L | Harmony® - Per-case costs.
  3. Conventional braces (brackets and archwire) - Silver | Gold | Ceramic (white/clear) - Per-case costs.
  4. Orthodontic retainers - New | Replacement - Per-appliance (upper or lower) fees.

2) Fees for basic dental procedures -

a) Dental fillings ▼ 

  1. Dental bonding - Front teeth. - "White" fillings. Cost by number of surfaces.
  2. Dental bonding - Back teeth. - "White" fillings. Cost by number of surfaces.
  3. Dental amalgam - "Silver" fillings. Cost by number of surfaces.

 b) Root canal treatment ▼ 

  1. Root canal treatment - Incisors | Canines | Premolars | Molars | Retreatment - Cost by tooth type/number of canals.

 c) Oral surgery ▼ 

  1. Pulling Teeth - Simple Extraction (routine extraction) | Surgical Extraction - Per-tooth fees.
  2. Wisdom tooth extractions - Soft tissue | Partial bony | Full bony - Cost by impaction type, per-tooth.
  3. Sedation - Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) | IV (conscious) sedation - Per-appointment (procedure) fees.
  4. Alveoloplasty - Jawbone recontouring.

 d) Preventive dentistry ▼ 

  1. Dental sealants - Per-tooth fees. | Replacements
  2. Sports mouthguards - Per appliance (upper or lower) costs.
  3. Dental Space Maintainers

3) Fees for reconstructive dental procedures -

 a) Crowns and bridges ▼ 

  1. Dental crowns - Porcelain-fused-to-metal | Gold (all metal) | All-ceramic - Cost by fabrication type. Per-unit fees. | Replacements
  2. Conventional dental bridges. - Porcelain-fused-to-metal | Gold | All-ceramic - Cost by fabrication type / abutment or pontic. Per-unit fees. | Replacements
  3. Maryland Bridges - Abutments | Pontics - Per-unit fees. | Replacements
  4. Dental post and cores. - Prefabricated | Cast | Core (only) - Per-unit fees.
  5. Recement a loose dental crown or bridge.

 b) Tooth implants ▼ 

  1. Dental implants - Implant Placement (surgery) | Abutment Placement | Restoring the Implant - Per-unit ("tooth") costs.

 c) Dentures ▼ 

  1. Complete dentures - Conventional | Replacement | Immediate | Economy | Relines - Per-appliance (upper or lower) costs.
  2. Partial dentures - Cast Metal | Acrylic (plastic) | Flexible Acrylic | Replacement - Per-appliance (upper or lower) costs.

How we calculate our dental procedure cost estimates.

We've developed our own methodology for calculating the dental procedure fee ranges we show on our pages. In brief -

Step #1 - We start with local data.

We collect fee data from sources in our own local region. We start with that information because that's where our expertise lies. Our established range of contacts provides us with data from sources we trust and know are knowledgeable.

This includes: dentists, dental staff members (who are knowledgeable about their office fees, other office fees, and fee schedules used by insurance companies), and reports from patients.

Step #2 - We then calculate our nationwide (USA) dental fee estimates.

The second step of the process involves extrapolating the regional data we've collected into a national high-low price range, based on the Council for Community and Economic Research's 'Cost of Living Index' as it pertains to our region vs. various large and small metropolitan areas across the country, that we then average out into the numbers we show.

 Reference: 

Council for Community and Economic Research. Cost of Living Index Calculator.

About the high-low ranges we show on our individual pages ...

  • The low end of our price range - We feel that the lower number we show is representative of the average fee charged by dentists located in small rural towns or cities, like those typically found in the center 2/3rds of the the continental USA.
  • The high end of our price range - We believe that our high number is representative of the average price charged in the largest metropolitan areas (USA), primarily the East and West coasts.

Do your dentist's prices seem out of line with our dental-cost estimates?

a) It's common for fees to vary.

A big difficulty with estimating dental costs is that within any immediate area (even one smaller than a local zip code) the fees charged by dentists can vary significantly, even as much as 25 to 30%.

That's because every dentist has their own unique set of issues that must be factored in when setting their fees.

What factors does a dentist take into consideration when creating a fee schedule?

Here are some examples:

  • The dentist's cost of operation must be considered. This includes items such as office space (rent), equipment costs, as well as the number of employees and their comparative salaries. Each of these may vary widely among different dental offices, even in the same general area.
  • With some types of dental work (crowns, bridges, veneers, dentures, etc...), the fabrication costs for the restoration or appliance might explain at least a part of the reason why one dentist's fees are different than their neighbor's. (We provide estimates of laboratory expenses on each of our individual pages where they might be a factor.)
  • There are also many less tangible factors that will end up being factored in. Things like: What type of patient base (socioeconomic status) is the dentist trying to cultivate? What is the level of the dentist's professional expertise (general dentist or specialist)? What were the dentist's educational expenses? Even things like the dentist's degree of self-esteem (at least subconsciously) will play a role in the fees they charge.
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b) Our fee estimates may be out of line.

While we're pleased with how the numbers we show compare to real-life examples reported back to us by website visitors, there are other methods by which estimates might be calculated.

One is by conducting a survey of dental offices. The following link to DentistryIQ gives the results of this type of sampling, organized by US region.

You might want to compare their numbers to ours, or your dentist's, as a source for a "second opinion."


How can you accurately compare costs differences between dentists?

When trying to compare fees between two dental offices, one of the things you absolutely must know is precisely which dental procedure the quote refers to.

For example, when comparing dental crowns, you must first establish the type that's involved. It's construction might be gold, porcelain-fused-to-base-metal, all-ceramic, etc..., with the cost for each being different, possibly substantially so.

So, if you don't know which one you are receiving information about, you may end up making an inaccurate comparison.

Solution: Dental procedure codes.

The answer to the comparison dilemma rests with what is referred to as the "CDT® Dental Procedure Codes" list.

For ease and uniformity in processing insurance claims, the American Dental Association (ADA) has developed a list of codes for every dental procedure and type of dental work. This is an industry standard.

So when making an inquiry, simply use your procedure's code so to insure that the information you are given from each office directly compares.

Where can you see the codes list?

The list itself is evidently a big moneymaker for the ADA, so even just for informational purposes, they won't let us publish any section of it without threatening the collection of a fee. (Yes, they did that. Yes, we backed off. They're a big corporation with lawyers. That's who signed the letter.)

Fortunately, dental insurance companies that have already paid can publish it at will. The link below provides such a copy.

 Reference: 

 

Update log -

03/04/2019 - Content revision and addtions. Links to reference sources added.


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