If you do not have dental insurance, paying for dental care can be a challenge. The price of dental procedures in the U.S. can vary greatly when you’re paying out-of-pocket. Having up-to-date information on how much dental procedures cost can be a great help in planning your treatment. If you’ve been wondering… How much is a root canal? Or… How much does a dental implant cost?… then please read on. We’ve created a comprehensive list of prices for many types of dental procedures.
Please note that the following dental costs are estimates and reflect typical prices for dental procedures with no dental insurance. The cost of dental care can vary depending on your geographical location and other factors. You may also get discounts on dental procedures from some dentists, which will bring your out-of-pocket expenses down. The only way to get an exact and accurate estimate is to ask a specific dental office for a quote. However, this list of estimated dental procedure costs for 2021 should help you in budgeting for your dental care.
Cost of Routine Dental Care
Dental Examination $100-$150
The rule of thumb is to visit the dentist every 6 months. If you don’t have any dental issues, you can probably go once a year. If you have dental problems, your dentist might advise that you get checked out more frequently, perhaps every 3-4 months. Regular dental exams are critical for early detection and treatment of problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. During a dental exam, you may be advised to undergo dental cleaning or x-rays which will cost extra.
Professional Dental Cleaning $75-$200
Getting your teeth cleaned by a professional can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. While routine dental cleaning costs $75 on average, deep cleaning can cost more. Keep in mind that professional dental cleaning is relatively inexpensive compared to other dental treatments. So, it is well worth the investment to schedule regular cleanings. This will ensure good dental health and may prevent complex and expensive dental treatments.
Scaling and Root Planing $150-$300 per quadrant
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning dental procedure in which the dentist removes plaque and tartar from both above and below the gumline. It ensures that the teeth surfaces are cleaned as well as the gum pockets and root surfaces. Deep cleaning or scaling and root planing usually costs $150-$300 per quadrant ($600-$1,200 for full mouth deep cleaning).
Dental Sealant $20-$40 per tooth
To prevent tooth decay, dentists can paint the surface of a tooth with a dental sealant. This is a thin plastic coating that covers the chewing surface of the tooth. Dental sealants are recommended in children and adults with deep grooves in the teeth that might need additional protection.
Tooth Bonding or Dental Bonding $100-$500
Tooth bonding or dental bonding is a procedure in which the dentist applies a tooth-colored composite resin to repair a discolored, cracked, or decayed tooth. This treatment can also help to close a small gap between teeth by increasing the size of the treated tooth. The cost of tooth bonding ranges from $100 to $500 per tooth.
Tooth Fillings $75-$250
The price of tooth fillings can vary greatly depending on the type of filling. A single tooth filling with silver amalgam is usually $75 to $150. A tooth-colored composite filling is slightly more expensive, ranging in cost from $100 to $250. Cast gold or porcelain fillings for a single tooth can run into thousands of dollars.
Root Canal Treatment $500-$1,500
If you have advanced tooth decay involving the pulp of a tooth, your dentist may recommend root canal treatment. The cost of root canal in the U.S. starts at around $500 for a front tooth and can be $1,000 to $1,500 for a molar tooth.
Dental Bridges $750-$5,000
If you have suffered from tooth loss, a dental bridge can fill the gap with one or more artificial teeth. A bridge is made of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the missing tooth. The crowns anchor the false tooth or teeth to the adjoining natural teeth. The cost of dental bridges depends on the type of bridge and the number of teeth missing. A bonded bridge starts at around $750. An implant-supported bridge with a 3-unit bridge and 2 implants can be up to $5,000.
Dental Crowns $1,000-$1,500
While a dental bridge is used when a tooth is missing, a dental crown is used when a tooth is fractured or damaged. A dental crown is basically a false tooth made of ceramic or porcelain. The color can be matched to your natural teeth. On average, a dental crown costs $1,000 to $1,500. The price of your dental treatment will go up, however, if you need root canal treatment, bone grafting, or gum surgery along with dental crowns.
A denture is a removable replacement for a missing tooth. It can be a complete denture (when all the teeth are missing) or a partial denture (when some natural teeth are still present). To make you a set of dentures, a dentist will take a series of impressions of your jaw for measurements. Following this, wax and plastic models will be created that you will try for fit. Once the color, shape, and fit of the denture is finalized, the final denture will be cast.
At the lower end of the price spectrum, cold cured dentures cost $500 per plate and $1,000 for a full set of upper and lower dentures. However, the materials used in these dentures can result in an artificial appearance. Mid-priced dentures are usually $1,000 per plate and $2,000 to $3,000 for a full set. They are heat cured and more durable than cold cured dentures. Premium dentures are $4,000 per denture and $8,000 per set. These top-of-the-line dentures cost a great deal but are made of high-quality materials and customized to give you the most natural look.
Custom-Made Mouth Guard $300-$800
A high-quality custom-fit mouth guard from a dentist or orthodontist can cost anywhere from $300 to $800. A mouth guard may be recommended if you have TMJ pain (temporomandibular joint pain or jaw pain), teeth grinding, or teeth clenching at night.
Dental Implant $1,000 to $5,000
A dental implant is a permanent replacement for a lost tooth. It is an artificial tooth made from titanium which is inserted surgically into the jawbone and capped with a dental crown. A single dental implant costs $1,000 to $2,000 on average. The price of a dental implant procedure can be higher depending on where you live as well as the complexity of your treatment plan. Dental implants with crowns/abutments can cost upwards of $2,500.
Cost of Single-Visit Dental Procedures
Tooth Extraction $75-$200 per tooth
A simple tooth extraction usually costs around $75 to $200 per tooth in the United States. Extraction of an impacted tooth can be more expensive and you may end up paying anywhere from $800 to $4,000.
One-Visit Dental Crown, Inlay, or Onlay $1,000-$2,500
If you have a severely decayed tooth or broken tooth, your dentist can perform an accurate tooth restoration in one visit with a single-visit crown procedure, inlay, or onlay. The price range for one-visit dental crowns is $1,000 to $2,500. The cost of single-visit dental crowns will likely be on the higher end if a root canal treatment is also required.
One-Visit Dentures $1,200-$2,000 for each plate
Advanced dentistry techniques now allow dentists to fabricate complete dentures in one visit. The entire process takes around one hour. You can expect to pay anywhere from $1,200 to $2,000 for this procedure.
Cost of Surgical Dental Procedures
Periodontal Surgery $4,000-$10,000
In people with advanced gum disease, periodontal surgery or gum surgery may be needed for effective treatment. There are various types of procedures that can be done. Flap surgery involves lifting the gums off the teeth to clean tartar in the deep gum pockets. After the surgeon has cleaned the tartar, the gums are stitched back in place. In patients with damaged or destroyed bone, a bone graft may be needed to replace the damaged bone with donor bone or manufactured bone. The cost of gum surgery or periodontal surgery can be anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 depending on the severity of the problem and the complexity of the procedure.
Full-Mouth Dental Reconstruction $30,000 and up
This is a procedure that consists of rebuilding or replacing all the teeth in the mouth to restore health, function, and aesthetics. It is a comprehensive dental treatment and is recommended for people with multiple missing teeth, advanced decay, several cracked or broken teeth, and numerous large fillings. Full mouth reconstruction is also sometimes performed in oral cancer patients and people with rare genetic disorders and congenital conditions like ectodermal dysplasia or dentinogenesis imperfecta. The treatment can include dental crowns, bridges, implants, dentures, veneers, and onlays. The cost of full mouth reconstruction is usually $30,000 or more.
Cost of Orthodontic Treatment
Metal Braces $3,000-$7,000
Despite a growing number of orthodontic treatment options, metal braces continue to be the most common. They are often worn by children and adolescents. Metal braces work by applying gentle pressure on the teeth through metal brackets and connecting wires. The cost of metal braces without insurance is usually $3,000 to $7,000.
Ceramic Braces $3,000-$8,000
Rather than gray or silver-colored metal brackets and wires, ceramic braces use tooth-colored or clear brackets. This makes them less noticeable. You can also choose the color that is closest matching to your natural tooth color. However, there are some downsides to ceramic braces. They are less durable than metal braces and can become stained. Also, they can cause gum sensitivity. Plus, ceramic braces move teeth slower than metal braces. The cost of ceramic braces can be up to $2,000 more than metal braces. The average price of ceramic braces is $3,000 but it can go up to $8,000 or higher.
Lingual Braces $8,000-$10,000
Lingual braces have many of the same components as traditional braces but they are fixed to the back of the teeth on the lingual (tongue) side. This makes lingual braces ideal for people who don’t want their dental work to be noticeable. However, lingual braces may not be right for some people. For example, those with an overbite may find that the lingual brackets pop off more often. The cost of lingual braces can be higher than conventional braces because the process to apply them is delicate and time-consuming. Typical costs of lingual braces are $8,000 and up.
Clear Correct or Invisalign Braces $3,500-$7,000
People who want straighter teeth without visible braces can choose invisible braces such as Invisalign and Clear Correct. These are custom-fitted aligner trays that are virtually invisible. They are worn for 20-22 hours a day. New aligners are given every couple of weeks. Clear aligners like Invisalign move teeth slower than ceramic braces and metal braces. The cost of invisible braces is $3,500 and up.
Clear Plastic Retainers $200-$500
Retainers help to prevent the teeth from moving after they have been straightened with braces. Your dentist may ask you to wear a retainer for 4-6 months after orthodontic treatment with braces. Clear plastic retainers are virtually invisible. They are available under brand names such as Essix, Zendura, and Vivera. Clear plastic retainers cost $200 and up. Vivera retainers that come as a set of four can be up to $1,200 per set.
Molded Acrylic Retainers $300-$600
Also called Hawley retainers, these are removable retainers made acrylic with a metal wire. They are adjustable and the color of the acrylic can be personalized. The material of this type of retainer is durable and lasts for years. It is easy to remove this retainer for eating and oral hygiene. A Hawley retainer or molded acrylic retainer costs $300 to $600.
Bonded Retainers $500-$1,000
This is a permanent retainer that costs $500 for one arch (top or bottom). It is made of metal (titanium, copper, or nickel) with a metal wire. It lasts indefinitely and is very durable.
Cost of Cosmetic Dental Procedures
Professional Tooth Whitening $250-$500
Over time, the teeth can become stained and appear unsightly. Professional teeth whitening can restore your smile to a dazzling white. Professional whitening of the teeth costs around $250-$500 but can be $1,000 or more depending on the state of your teeth.
Dental Veneers $1,000-$2,500
If you have broken, stained, or malformed teeth, dental veneers can give your smile a complete makeover. The average cost of dental veneers is $1,500 per tooth.
Dental Botox $300-$1,000
People who suffer from TMJ jaw pain or teeth grinding may benefit from dental Botox treatment. The flat rate price of dental Botox ranges from $300 to $1,000. Some dentists offer dental Botox on a per unit basis and it typically costs $12-$15 per unit.
Gum Contouring $50-$350 per tooth
If you have a “gummy smile,” a dentist can perform a gum contouring procedure to cut away excess gum tissue or restore gum tissue that has receded. Essentially, this is a cosmetic dental procedure that can help change the shape of your gums. The cost of gummy smile treatment ranges from $50 to $350 per tooth. The cost of gum contouring for the front teeth can be higher, ranging from $100 to $3,000.
Gum Grafting $750-$1,000
In people who have little to no gum tissue and exposed root surfaces, a dentist can graft a small amount of gum tissue. This is called a free gingival graft. The healthy donor tissue is usually obtained from the roof of the mouth. It helps to cover the root surfaces and prevent further gum recession. The price of a gum tissue graft can be anything from $750 and up depending on the complexity of the repair.
About the author
Dr. Greg Grillo
Dr. Greg Grillo DDS studied at the University of Washington where he received a bachelors degree with Honors and later attended dental school on the same campus. Following school Dr. Greg served in the United States Navy as a dental officer. During this time he received advanced training in specialty areas of dentistry while also treating families of members of the military.
As well as sharing valuable information on dentistry and oral health, Dr. Greg remains a practicing dentist to this day. He works with families in the Okanogan Valley where he lives with his wife and three children.