How Much Does It Cost To Go To The Dentist Without Insurance?

According to the American Dental Association, cost is the number one reason people won’t go to the dentist. And contrary to popular belief, the cost of a dentist without insurance isn’t much different from your annual insurance bill.

Before you look at these numbers, it’s important to remember that modern dentistry has made significant advances to improve the treatment and prevention of dental diseases.

These improvements continue to cause the cost of dental treatment to surge each year. These rising costs make it challenging for those without dental insurance to see a dentist regularly to maintain optimal oral health. 

However, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. There are plenty of ways you can have dental work done without having that dental insurance card. 


How To Get Dental Work Done Without Insurance 


Approximately 74 million Americans have no dental insurance and have to pay their dental costs out of pocket. And since most people think the cost of a dentist without insurance is beyond their reach, many people have been opting out of their bi-annual dentist visits.

Unfortunately, this can lead to more expensive treatment in the future. Lucky for you, there are several options that exist for those without dental coverage! 

Let’s talk about them.

Option 1: Dental Schools 

If you live near an accredited dental school, you can find quality treatment at a lower cost than private dental offices offer. These schools have clinics where dental students work under the supervision of licensed dentists. Typically, the experienced dentist checks every phase of the student’s work to ensure high-quality treatment.

Here’s the catch: you’ll probably need to see these dentist trainees more frequently. It also means more time spent in the dental chair for each visit.

You can find a list of accredited dental schools at the website of the American Dental Association.

Option 2: Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP 

Medicare does not pay for most routine dental care such as cleanings, fillings, dentures, and extractions. Medicare Part A covers some emergency dental treatment provided in a hospital. 

Every state must provide Medicaid dental benefits for children enrolled in their program. Some states also offer dental coverage for adults. When examined by a physician, children might receive an oral screening, but this does not replace the required exam by a dentist.

The minimum dental care provided to children under Medicaid includes:

  • Treatment that is necessary to relieve dental pain and infections
  • Restoration of broken and decayed teeth
  • Procedures that are essential to maintain the child’s oral health

The federal government partners with state governments to offer affordable health coverage for children who can’t qualify for Medicaid due to their family’s income. This program is called the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. It works closely with Medicaid to offer different benefits in each state. 

Option 3: Local Health Departments

Some local health departments provide free or low-cost dental services. 

You can search for a federally funded clinic near you here.

Option 4: Ask About Payment Options 

Suppose you have no dental insurance and no access to any other assistance. In that case, you should find a dentist that has different payment options for their services. One popular payment method accepted by many dentists is CareCredit.

CareCredit provides no-interest financing options for 6-24 months on charges over $200. You can also take advantage of longer-term financing at reduced interest rates for more expensive dental fees. 


How Much is a Dentist Visit Without Insurance?


The cost of a dentist visit without insurance depends on the service you need. A routine cleaning can cost $75-$200 with an average cost of $127. When this appointment includes dental x-rays, the price can reach $300 or more.

If you need a more extensive cleaning (known as deep cleaning) expect to pay $500-$4,000 for your entire mouth. Even with dental insurance, you likely will pay several hundred dollars for this procedure. This highlights the importance of preventing gum disease rather than treating it.

Sometimes the cost of a dentist without insurance is more affordable than the monthly insurance premiums. This is especially true if all you need each year is basic services such as exams and cleanings.

Even if you do have insurance, you could end up purchasing insurance with a limited provider network. This makes finding a dentist more difficult. Some dental plans have a low annual maximum that makes paying their monthly premium unappealing.

Here is a list of national prices for standard dental procedures that can help you make your decision:

1. Teeth Cleaning

Insurance usually pays all the fees for cleanings twice each year. Standard cleaning from a dental hygienist, on average, should cost about $127. 

2. Composite Tooth Filling

The cost of a filling depends on the size of the cavity and the material used for the filling. Composite, or tooth-colored fillings, can cost $90-$250 to restore one surface and $150-$450 to restore three or more surfaces.

Dental insurance usually pays 50-80% of the fee, and the average cost without insurance is $204.

3. Wisdom Tooth Removal

Having all your wisdom teeth removed at the same time is cost-effective. Without a discount for removing all four, expect to pay around $416 per tooth if you have insurance and $250-$750 without insurance.

4. Endodontic Treatment (Root Canal)

The cost of root canal treatment can vary considerably depending on the experience of the dentist. Good dental insurance may help pay approximately 50% of the fee, ranging from $1000-$2000.

5. Dental Crown

The materials used to make your crown determine the cost. Patients with dental insurance can pay $530-$1,875 out of pocket for an all-porcelain crown. If you don’t have dental coverage, you can pay $800-$3,000 for this procedure.


Steps On How To Go To The Dentist Without Insurance

how much is it to go to the dentist without insurance

Finding a good dentist who can provide high-quality dental care helps you maintain healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime. If you don’t have a dentist and don’t have dental insurance, here are the steps to take:

  1. Compose a list of good dentists. Ask friends, family, and other healthcare providers for the names of their dentists.
  2. Call these dental offices and ask for their out-of-pocket prices for routine check-ups and cleanings. If you know of any specific dental treatments you need, ask for those prices.
  3. If you live near a dental school and don’t mind the extra time this option requires, get their prices.
  4. Evaluate the costs of each dentist considering your budget. 
  5. Choose the best dentist that you can afford. Make sure that the cost of getting an exam and cleaning twice each year fits into your budget. This is critical for your oral health, and it also helps prevent expensive dental problems from developing between dental visits.



Want to know our out-of-pocket prices? Just call and ask! Lasry Dental Clinic is located South Beverly and Wilshire in between Beverly Hills and Beverlywood.

26 replies
    • Barbara
      Barbara says:

      This is the exact natural remedy I followed to get rid of cavities naturally ( ). You’ll be absolutely thrilled with the step-by-step plan that guides you through the ultimate solution to get rid of cavities naturally, that you’ll only have one regret — and that is this: Not having had this valuable resource years ago!

  1. Patricia K
    Patricia K says:

    How can I get info on pricing for dental work? Fell and knocked inner area of two front teeth. They were already always rather crooked.
    Thank you for any pertinent information.
    Thank you.

  2. Carol A Logan
    Carol A Logan says:

    I have a broken tooth under my bridge that it is holding up. I need an estimate of pulling my teeth and getting a plate

  3. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    There is a dentist in Santa Maria who does everything possible to reconstruct a tooth (avoiding pulling) and he is a miracle worker: I cant remember his name. I also can’t remember if he was Chinese or another Asian group. If I remember I’ll post it, but I do know he also works at slo county correctional facility. He was the only part time dentist they had, so you could call or try to look up on the slo county sheriffs website to figure out his name. I was also accustomed to having laughing gas, but he broke me of that, and I had had almost no dental work done most of forty six or more years, and then I needed about six teeth repaired and cavities filled, the novacine was only the slightest pain ( although anxiety provoking) and only once on a really huge cavity did I wind up gripping the chair so hard I gave myself a blister on my hand! Otherwise the five times I went and had dental work done, it was not bad. Oh it just occurred to me (cause I have medicAre and no supplemental insurance, that the norr clinic in slo I believe has either free or reduced cost dental and medical services for rhe uninsured. I believe the norr clinics are a state of california phenonomena. Sorry I don’t know what norr stands for but I believe it is an acronym:

  4. Laurent
    Laurent says:

    What’s the point of insurance if you still high out of pocket fees, even if dentist is in network. I’m paying for bone grafts, cat scans, anesthesia, another bone graft to have successful implant surgery. I have Delta Dental Federal High Plan. I’m bracing for shock.

    • Jo Blow
      Jo Blow says:

      I don’t think you understand how the medical community(and any industrial complex) works. It’s about $$$ and always will be about $$$. They need sick people which is why they charge so much and it takes so long for stick people to get help. They need a continuous supply of cattle to come through so they can pay their bills and buy their toys. Mansions are not cheap. Insurance has always been a scam by the financial industry to be able to control and inflate the prices. You are not just paying for the dentists mansion but also the insurance saleman’s mansion and the bankers 8th mansion, yacht, and private jet.

      Please learn about capitalism and how it really works. Survival of the fittest… or, in this case, survival of the greediest. Remember, your teeth effect your health, your happiness, your interaction with others, etc. There is are reason why it is expensive.

      The good news is that eventually this system will completely devour itself and all those who benefited from preying upon others will be preyed upon. What comes around goes around.

      • Becky
        Becky says:

        Thank you for your clear description of medical and dental care in the USA. The pain is real for patients and damages our health by creating fear and insomnia. How can we change this for the better?

  5. Robb
    Robb says:

    Why do people without dental coverage have to pay almost twice the price out of pocket than someone with dental coverage, out of pocket? That isnt fair.

    • Georgette
      Georgette says:

      I asked the same question. The reason why is that if they gave the insurance company the same bill as we get as private people, the insurance would not accept them in their network. I had some dental work to do and it would’ve cost me 3000 out-of-pocket. With insurance at $56 a month it’s costing me about $700. I agree it’s not fair. But I guess they get so much business from an insurance that they lower the cost tremendously for insurance companies.

  6. Iris Smith
    Iris Smith says:

    Thank you for mentioning that when children are checked by a physician, they may receive an oral screening, but this does not substitute for the obligatory dental exam. My friend’s youngster has a jaw issue. I will advise her to take her son to a private dentist for an oral screening.

  7. Harmony Insurance Services
    Harmony Insurance Services says:

    Visiting the dentist without insurance can be a costly endeavor. Although it may be tempting to forgo regular visits to save money in the short-term, doing so can end up costing more in the long run due to the development of serious dental issues. The best way to stay on top of oral health is to prioritize preventative care and purchase a dental plan that fits within your budget.

  8. yes no wheel
    yes no wheel says:

    I was surprised to learn that a dentist without insurance can cost quite a bit more than one with insurance. I’m glad I have insurance, because it would have been a lot more expensive without it.

  9. Alice Carroll
    Alice Carroll says:

    Thanks for the tip about how look for dental associations will help a lot in finding the right dentistry clinic. I’d like to find a good one soon because I’m thinking about getting a dental crown. That will surely be necessary after a root canal procedure.

  10. Patricia
    Patricia says:

    Insurance benefits are vary from individual to individual. Before make any decision I would advice to contact with your provider and dental office as well to avoid any further unexpected overheads.


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