How Much Does Dental Care Cost?
Regular dental care is crucial for preventing problems and maintaining good oral health. Failing to take good care of our teeth will leave them susceptible to a wide variety of health problems, including gum disease and even tooth loss. The effects of tooth loss should not be underestimated, as they can lead to a cascading chain of undesirable events. Other problems not related to oral health, such as lung disease, may also become prevalent.
Bad breath, difficulty eating, discoloration, and swelling are all indications of potential dental concerns, such as a damaged tooth or gum disease. Your teeth and gums should be properly cleaned and evaluated at least once every six months by skilled dentists like Dr. Garcia and Dr. Alexandra Garcia at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS.
It is difficult to give an exact estimate for dental care costs, but the prices usually vary from $80 to $400 for simpler procedures such as dental cleanings to as much as $3,000 and above for dental implants. Below is a more extensive look at common dental procedures and their overall cost.
Root Canal - Starting at $400
A root canal is recommended for individuals who have experienced advanced tooth decay. The procedure involves the removal of infected or inflamed pulp inside the tooth. This is followed by carefully cleaning and disinfecting the area. The cost of a root canal usually starts at about $400 for teeth that are easier to reach (such as the front teeth) and about $1,000 for teeth that are harder to reach (such as the molars).
Dentures - Starting at $500
Traditional dentures are not very effective at replacing real teeth, but they do help patients perform certain oral functions, such as eating and talking, albeit with their own challenges. Dentures often require multiple appointments for models, fittings, and adjustments. All of these costs may add up to several hundred or even thousands of dollars. However, the denture itself only costs about $500, depending on the material used. Some patients may opt for specially designed dentures made with gold that can easily run into the six-figure range.
In the debate between dental implants and dentures, dental implants are hands down the best choice because it is a permanent solution to missing or damaged teeth.
Dental Bridge - Starting at $1,000
It is common to replace damaged teeth with dental bridges. Simply put, a dental bridge is used to fill the gap by placing crowns on either side of the gap with an artificial tooth in the middle - hence the name 'bridging.' Dental bridges are relatively expensive, with most procedures starting at $1,000, depending on the number of missing teeth and the type of bridge used.
An implant-supported bridge with at least two implants can cost about $5,000. A bonded bridge starts at $1,000.
Dental Implants - Starting at $3,000
In the debate between dental implants vs. bridges, the former easily wins in virtually every category, including longevity, durability, comfort, and aesthetics, except price. A single dental implant can cost about $3,000, and this doesn't usually take into account other necessary procedures such as bone grafting and various tests such as x-rays.
Custom Fitted Mouth Guard - Starting at $500
Mouth guards may be recommended to patients who have teeth grinding or TMJ pain. An off-the-shelf mouth guard costs just under $50, but it doesn't provide full protection to the teeth, mouth, and gums, especially when you are sleeping. Custom-made mouth guards are specifically molded to align with the contours of your teeth, making them more comfortable for your needs. In general, you can expect to spend anywhere from $500 to $1,000 for custom mouth guards.
Tooth Extraction - Starting at $100
The cost of a single tooth extraction usually starts at about $100 per tooth, but it can go all the way up to $5,000, depending on the extent of the procedure. For example, wisdom teeth removal is usually a more expensive and complicated process because the molars may be partially or fully impacted.
Teeth Cleaning - Starting at $100
Routine teeth cleaning is relatively affordable and often costs under $100. It results in the removal of plaque, tartar, and calculus that could later contribute to gum disease. Patients can prevent various oral health problems by having their teeth cleaned by professionals like Dr. Garcia and Dr. Alexandra Garcia at least once every six months.
Teeth Whitening - Starting at $400
Teeth whitening is a good solution for individuals who want to enhance their smile without additional procedures and boost their confidence. Although you can easily use teeth whitening kits for quick results, nothing beats the solutions provided by professionals. This is because they use stronger solutions than the ones you would find in the grocery store or online.
Additional Costs to Anticipate
The cost of routine dental care can increase with additional testing, procedures, and medications. For example, your dentist may need x-rays if they need to take a closer look at the anatomical arrangement of various structures in your teeth. X-rays and CT scans are necessary for pinpointing the position of the nerves, sinuses, gums, and teeth.
You may also require bloodwork to check your overall organ function and health prior to receiving anesthesia, especially if you're undergoing more expensive surgical procedures such as impacted tooth extraction. Finally, you may require pain medication to manage discomfort after surgery as well as antibiotics to treat and prevent infections, which may increase the overall cost of dental care.
You can ask our dentists at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS for a cost estimate prior to any procedures. This will include a low-end estimate, which mostly involves routine cleaning and medications, as well as a high-end estimate, which may include possible tooth extractions and dental implants. Keep in mind these are merely estimates, and you may encounter higher or lower numbers in practice.
It is recommended to visit the dentist at least once every six months. However, some patients may require more frequent visits if they have more severe dental problems, such as periodontal disease. For a more thorough evolution and accurate estimates, call (346) 250-2930 to talk to our friendly staff at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS.