|Is Dental Care Affordable?
If you wonder whether dental care is affordable, we have covered all the information you need to understand dental treatment costs.
The Increasing Costs of Dental Treatments
Dental treatments have always been challenging for patients due to high costs. The challenge gets even bigger for U.S. residents. While the quality of dental treatments in the country is great, even the smallest procedure costs hundreds of dollars per tooth. The costs have increased over the decades due to rising inflation.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality report, the cost of dental care for a single person increased by 23% between 1996 and 2015. Moreover, the costs have risen even higher in the last few years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index suggests that dental costs increased 5.4% between October 2021 and October 2022.
The ever-increasing costs of dental procedures have made it nearly impossible for job holders to receive specialized treatments. Many dental patients hesitate to see a dentist due to the cost factor.
Costs of Common Dental Procedures
Dental treatment costs depend on the complexity of the case and the materials involved. General treatments are relatively cheaper and may be covered in a patient's insurance plan. Specialized or major dental procedures can be costly and may be partially covered by insurance plans. For a better understanding, we have covered the costs of the common dental procedures below to help you plan your treatment schedule.
Costs of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a lifetime investment. They are replacement teeth to restore your lost smile and restore your eating and chewing abilities. Dental implants fit into a patient's jawbone using a screw-like base, an abutment, and a dental crown. The procedure takes several months to complete. Dental implants are highly popular in modern dentistry. While they are the perfect solution to lost teeth, dental implant costs may shock you.
Multiple factors jump into the cost equation when determining dental implant costs. These factors include 3D imaging, extraction of damaged teeth (if needed), dental implant installation, abutment placement, dental crown fabrication, and crown placement. If you need a single-tooth implant, the cost may range between $3,000-$4,500. Full-mouth implants can cost between $60,000-$90,000.
Costs of Dental Bridges
A dental bridge is an alternative solution to the missing teeth problem. Dental bridges are prosthetic bridges that fit between healthy teeth to cover a missing tooth. The bridge holds an artificial tooth over the missing tooth cavity to support eating. Dental bridges are less effective and may have a few limitations.
Like dental implants, dental bridge costs depend on multiple factors, including bridge materials, number of missing teeth, and crowning costs for neighboring teeth. Moreover, a dentist may require a 3D image of the cavity to plan the procedure. Generally, dental bridges cost between $2,000-$5,000. The costs may vary depending on the complexity of the case.
Costs of Dentures
Dentures are widely popular for restoring eating habits in patients. They are prosthetic (sets of) teeth that fit in the missing tooth cavities supported by soft and hard oral cavity tissues. While dental implants fit into the patient's bone, dentures rest above the gums to provide essential chewing support. Some dental patients prefer dentures due to their relatively lower costs. You may choose implants for superior results if you get into the implants vs. dentures comparison.
Dentures are less effective and come with several limitations. Sometimes, they do not fit comfortably, leaving the patient in ongoing discomfort. Typically, dentures have different qualities based on the choice of materials. Low-cost dentures may cost you between $300-$500 per denture, while mid-priced dentures may range between $500-$1,500. Premium dentures can cost you between $2000-$4000 per denture.
Costs of Dental Fillings
A dental filling is a solution to fill the cavities produced within a tooth. Sometimes, patients have weak teeth that break due to excessive chewing pressure. Bacterial infections and other dental problems may also lead to partially chipped teeth. Dentists advise patients to get dental fillings in such cases for chewing support.
Patients can choose from different filling materials in most dental practices based on their pros and cons. Generally, a single silver amalgam filling costs between $50-$150. If you opt for a tooth-colored composite filling, the cost may be between $90-$250. Cast-gold or porcelain dental fillings can cost between $250-$4,500.
How to Afford Dental Treatments
Although dental treatments cost a lot, you can minimize the figures by looking for suitable insurance plans that offer decent dental coverage. You may thoroughly check the treatment coverage details to determine the best fit when getting an insurance plan. In some cases, dental savings plans may help you receive discounted treatments.
Talking to insurers in your area can help you list your options and compare them to pick a suitable match. Please note that insurance companies do not offer significant dental coverage to individuals. Only a few companies go the extra mile to accommodate people with dental coverage needs.
Dental treatment costs can be difficult to bear. If you notice a minor tooth problem, you may waste no time seeing a dentist and coming up with an immediate solution. If the problem grows bigger, you may have to bear high dental procedure costs. You should also keep a close check on your dental hygiene to avoid developing tooth infections.