By Jenifer Dorsey
Routine dental exams and cleanings are an important part of preventive dental care. A typical preventive dental visit will include an exam and professional cleaning, as well as topical fluoride and a set of X-rays, depending on your last dental visit and personal oral care needs. These visits, along with daily brushing and flossing, play an important role in maintaining good oral health.
Without dental insurance, the national average costs of common preventive services are as follows, according to the American Dental Association:
- Periodic examination by a general dentist – $44.10
- Prophylaxis (cleaning) – $61.14 (child), $82.08 (adult)
- Topical fluoride application – $31.70 (child), $32.59 (adult)
- Sealant application, per tooth – $44.12
However, with dental insurance, preventive care may cost little or nothing on top of your monthly premium, which may cost as little as $15 per month. Many dental plans cover two preventive care visits per year at or near 100 percent. Preventive dental benefits typically include professional cleanings, routine exams, X-rays (may be limited to one set per year), topical fluoride, and sealants (may be dependent on age). Benefits and frequency for each service will vary by plan, so be sure to read plan details carefully when selecting dental insurance coverage.
Dental insurance plans also include benefits to help reduce the cost of basic care such as fillings and extractions and major care such as crowns and root canals.
The national average costs of common restorative services are as follows:
- Amalgam filling, two-surface, in a permanent tooth – $146.61
- Resin-based composite filling, rear tooth – $197.09
- Root canal on a molar (excluding final crown) – $918.88
- Porcelain crown – $1,026.30
- Extraction of an erupted tooth or root visible above the gumline $147.32
These amounts are national averages. Prices will vary depending on where you live and your dentist’s rates. Contact your dentist to find out what he or she charges for the care you need.
Visit dentalinsurance.org for a quick, free quote and compare plans from multiple carriers and read more about selecting the right dental insurance plan.
Call 888-468-3390 to talk to a dentalinsurance.org dental insurance agent who can answer your questions and assist you in selecting the right dental plan for your oral health needs and budget.
 American Dental Association. “Action for Dental Health: Bringing Disease Prevention into Communities.” December 2013. Retrieved from http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Public%20Programs/Files/bringing-disease-prevention-to-communities_adh.ashx.