How Preventive Dental Care Saves You Money in the Long Run

Categories: Oral Health Tips

This spring, you’re likely still adjusting to virtual work, virtual school, and the “new normal” in the wake of coronavirus.

As you and your family adjust to living, working, and learning from home, certain expenses might be adding up. You may be spending more on things like faster internet for remote work and school, or replacing a worn-out laptop for work.

Another expense that you might have also noticed creeping up is how much money you’re spending on your family’s oral health.

From 1996 to 2016, the average American family nearly doubled their yearly dental expenses. That extra cost can make it more difficult for families to stay on top of their oral health.

In fact, nearly 80% of Americans admit to putting off healthcare needs — such as a routine doctor or dentist visit — because they can’t afford it.

Choosing to pay for a car repair over a dentist appointment might seem essential at the moment. But putting off dental expenses could cost you more in the long run.

And since oral health is directly linked to overall health, you could be inviting other serious health issues that accompany neglected dental health, like type 2 diabetes or Alzheimer’s.

It may seem counterintuitive, but investing more in your dental health through preventative care can keep you and your family healthy and cut heavy costs throughout the year.

We put together a list of common serious dental treatment costs and how you can save future money by staying on top of preventative dental services.

How Much Does It Cost to Fill a Cavity?

Cavities are one of the most common health problems in the US — especially with young children and teenagers.

A cavity forms when your tooth becomes damaged. Sugary and starchy foods can stick to your teeth and cause a buildup of acid and harmful bacteria. This can create plaque on your tooth enamel, which can harden into hard-to-remove tarter.

If left unchecked, the tarter can spread to the nerve endings of your teeth causing more damage throughout your body.

Filling a cavity is a two-step process that involves removing the decay from your tooth and filling it in with protective materials.

Silver and Metal Fillings for Cavities

While we don’t offer silver or metal fillings at Access Health Dental, at other offices these can cost between $50 and $300 depending on how many you need. With dental insurance, the average out-of-pocket cost can be as low as $89.

Natural-Looking Fillings

Tooth-colored resin fillings can range from $90 to $450 depending on the surface area. These are the only types of fillings we offer at Access Health Dental, as they’re much preferred by most all of our clients.

With dental insurance, the average out-of-pocket cost is around $207. Unlike metal fillings, tooth-colored fillings are considered a cosmetic expense by some insurances and may only cover the cost if the procedure is necessary.

But we offer dental savings plans to help cover the costs for your family.

Learn more about our dental savings plan and start saving today >

Porcelain and Gold Fillings

Porcelain or gold fillings can cost anywhere from $250 to $4,500 or more. These types of fillings take a lot longer to make and are made from more expensive materials.

Dental insurance can cover between 50%-80% of porcelain or gold fillings but many have maximums for these types of fillings.

It’s important to keep in mind the other costs associated with getting a filling like exams and x-rays. These can add $30-$350 per visit.

How Much Does a Tooth Extraction Cost?

There are several reasons you may need a tooth extracted, ranging from crowding to severe periodontitis.

Sometimes your teeth will need to be pulled before orthodontic treatment to make room for moving teeth or to save teeth that are damaged from procedures like chemotherapy.

  • A simple extraction can cost from $75 to $200 per tooth.
  • Impacted teeth or molars are significantly more expensive at $800-$4000 per tooth.
  • Additional costs can add up, too. These include x-rays and anesthesia, which can range from $25 to over $3000 depending on the type of anesthetic.

Many preventive measures can be done to avoid gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth extraction. Your dentist can discuss with you how to best keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong.

Gingivitis and Periodontitis

If harmful bacteria stays in your mouth for too long, it can affect your gums. This can even happen if you skip a yearly dental checkup.

When your gums become inflamed they can turn red or start to bleed — otherwise known as gingivitis.

When gingivitis worsens it can lead to periodontal (or gum) disease. This is when the gum starts to pull away from your tooth, leading to bone or complete tooth loss.

Average Costs to Treat Gum Disease

  • The first step is usually a deep cleaning, which can range from $140-$300 per session. Many insurances cover deep cleanings, but many have maximums that you might end up paying out-of-pocket for.
  • Another option is a surgical pocket reduction, which is when the dentist sews the gum around the teeth to make it harder for food and other particles to get stuck in the gums. This process typically costs $1000-$3000 without insurance.
  • If gum disease leads to bone or tissue loss, your dentist could also perform a gum or bone graft. This is when bone and tissue (real or synthetic) from another part of your body are removed and placed where loss has occurred. A single graft procedure can cost from $600-$1200.

Taking care of gum disease isn’t just good for your oral health. A recent study shows that diagnosing periodontal treatment early and starting intervention through dietary changes can also save you money if you have a concurrent health condition like type 2 diabetes.

Preventative checkups and routine cleanings are a great way to not only address your health but can also save you thousands of dollars in healthcare costs.

Root Canal

Underneath your tooth is a soft tissue called pulp (or, the root canal) that contains blood vessels and nerve endings.

When harmful bacteria infects your root canal, your tooth can become infected leading to pain and potentially harming other parts of your body and leading to other issues like heart and brain diseases.

During a root canal procedure, the infected pulp is removed and the tooth is deep cleaned and eventually sealed with a crown.

  • The average cost for a root canal is between $600-$900 for front teeth and $700-$1400 for other teeth and molars.
  • A crown is typically placed on the tooth after this process, which can cost up to $1000.

How Preventative Dental Services Can Save You Money

Whether you can afford to pay for these procedures out-of-pocket or not, there are many ways you can save money by taking advantage of preventative dental services.

First, be sure to stay up-to-date on bi-yearly cleanings. This is a great way to catch small dental problems before they lead to larger, more expensive issues — like periodontal disease and gingivitis.

An average dental cleaning can cost between $90-$120. If your family budget is tight, there are several money-saving resources your family can look into to make the most of your oral care — like a dental savings plan.

At Access Health Dental, we know that maintaining your oral health is essential to achieving your overall wellness.

That’s why we’re proud to offer the AHD Smiles Dental Savings Plan as a means to affordable, high-quality dental care for you and your family.

Learn more about our dental savings plan and start saving today >

Don’t Wait to Schedule Your Next Dental Appointment!

Good oral health isn’t just about having a pretty smile, and taking care of your teeth involves more than just daily brushing and flossing.

Practicing good dental habits daily is essential to preventing minor issues like cavities and gum inflammation before things get worse.

Have you been putting off your or your family’s routine dental visits because of finances? Or maybe you want to learn more about available preventative dental services?

Visit our website to learn more about our preventative care services today >