U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Health and Wellness > Dental Health
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-18-2019, 09:51 AM
 
2,144 posts, read 3,586,454 times
Reputation: 3351

Advertisements

What is the range or average cost of a cleaning if someone pays cash with no insurance? I'm looking at all the dental insurance plans to see if they are worth it. So trying to find the "value" of free cleanings/xrays or low co-pay cleanings and xrays that having insurance brings.

Also, lets say I have insurance but it doesn't cover crowns or root canals. Is there a different price I would pay if I paid cash with NO insurance at all vs. if I had insurance but crowns and root canals not covered? In other words, even if the insurance doesn't cover certain procedures, is the price lower just b/c you have the insurance vs. not having it?

Thanks!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-18-2019, 09:01 PM
 
1,572 posts, read 2,107,995 times
Reputation: 2455
Dental insurance is generally not worth it unless someone else is paying the premiums, such as an employer. It's NOT like medical insurance where you meet your deductible and then insurance picks up the rest. Dental insurance is actually the opposite of insurance since they cover cheap stuff like cleanings and fillings but rarely big stuff like implants. It would be like your auto insurance paying for your oil change but not a major collision.


As for the question of fees, you need to google "non-covered services" laws in your state. In some states, you will still get the "insurance rate" even though the insurance is not paying for it, which is pretty ridiculous.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2019, 12:05 PM
 
2,144 posts, read 3,586,454 times
Reputation: 3351
Quote:
Originally Posted by toofache32 View Post
Dental insurance is generally not worth it unless someone else is paying the premiums, such as an employer. It's NOT like medical insurance where you meet your deductible and then insurance picks up the rest. Dental insurance is actually the opposite of insurance since they cover cheap stuff like cleanings and fillings but rarely big stuff like implants. It would be like your auto insurance paying for your oil change but not a major collision.


As for the question of fees, you need to google "non-covered services" laws in your state. In some states, you will still get the "insurance rate" even though the insurance is not paying for it, which is pretty ridiculous.
I think if you know you are going to have a lot of work in the next few years, but its not urgent and you can wait out the 6 mos waiting period, dental insurance might save you some money.

It also might make sense if the insurance covers cleaning and xrays depending on how much cost cleaning and xrays would be if you walked in with no insurance and paid cash. If cleanings & xrays cost $300 a year paid cash with no insurance, and your premiums if you had insurance were say $500 a year and gave you 2 free cleanings & xrays, that would make the effective cost of the premium $200 a year. So $200 a year might be worth it for insurance that would pay 50% for fillings, crowns, root canals, etc..up to say a $2,000 annual max benefit. I tend to be a person that has a fair amount of work done on my teeth over time (I've had many fillings, crowns and two root canals over the years).

That would be good info to know if you come in with cash and no insurance, if you get the same price for a procedure as someone who has insurance but the insurance doesn't cover any of that procedure. That and knowing what cleanings and xrays cost to the cash paying no insurance client, would go a long way in helping me decide to go with dental insurance or not.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-28-2019, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Chemnitz, Germany previous in AZ, CA, AL, NJ,
3,373 posts, read 8,507,249 times
Reputation: 6114
I don't have dental insurance, and my dentist is in Nogales, Mexico. It is an excellent dental office, and a cleaning visit costs $40 US dollars. They take cash or credit cards. On my first visit last year, they took an x-ray that cost $15. They use a ultrasonic / laser cleaning instrument instead of hand scraping, and it usually takes 40 minutes or so. I go once every 6 months, and don't have any dental problems. I brush and floss twice a day and don't consume sugary foods or drinks, so that helps a lot.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-28-2019, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
7,971 posts, read 3,430,989 times
Reputation: 5599
$255 includes 10% discount. Paid by CC. age 68. MidValley Oregon, Longtime dentist who took over the practice from my previous dentist, who I had since I was in college.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2019, 12:00 AM
 
Location: SoCal
85 posts, read 53,957 times
Reputation: 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
What is the range or average cost of a cleaning if someone pays cash with no insurance? I'm looking at all the dental insurance plans to see if they are worth it. So trying to find the "value" of free cleanings/xrays or low co-pay cleanings and xrays that having insurance brings.

Also, lets say I have insurance but it doesn't cover crowns or root canals. Is there a different price I would pay if I paid cash with NO insurance at all vs. if I had insurance but crowns and root canals not covered? In other words, even if the insurance doesn't cover certain procedures, is the price lower just b/c you have the insurance vs. not having it?

Thanks!
A few months ago, I felt what seemed to be emerging cavities on two of my teeth. This caused great anxiety as some of the most painful physical experiences of my life were going through the ordeal of a root canal several years ago: The pain from an abscessed tooth was akin to my head being compressed by a large vise grip...the horror!

I quit working 9yrs ago and did not purchase private dental insurance once my COBRA expired - it had been almost 20yrs of regular checkups and two annual cleanings until that point. As another response alluded to, my decision simply came down to the cold analytical conclusion that the cost of two cleanings per year was clearly less than the annual insurance costs. Having said that, of course, laziness stopped me from going to my dentist and replaced with merely paying more attention to brushing and flossing consistently: I’m certain this is a very common scenario.

Anyway, I called my old dentist to have him X-ray and clean my teeth for old time’s sake. I was perhaps naive but I had always presumed that dentists have one price menu for insurance companies, and another for private individuals - this was partly due to having a hospital inadvertently sending me a bill for $25k after surgery for an Achilles rupture that my insurance covered. They said it would have been less to me if I didn’t have insurance.

So, I arrived at my dentist and told the new staff people my history with the office and my current situation, and asked them what the price for me would be. They replied: “The price is the same either way.” I asked what the prices are since it was never discussed to that point. The cost would be $175 for X-rays and $150 for the cleaning at a later date.

At that point I didn’t even grasp what the cost of fillings or, God forbid, a root canal would be. In a daze and trapped in the dental office, I sat in the waiting room in a mild state of confusion about costs, my cavities, my poor decision to not have insurance, etc...another dazed thought was that I should have contacted one of the dentists who send me mailings with “New customers! X-ray and cleaning for $99!”

Long story short...my dentist told me that I, in fact, did not have cavities. What I felt on my teeth were natural indentations that occur. We joked about stories from the past and he then sent me to the front desk to make an appointment for my teeth cleaning.

When I got home, I reverted back to my old self again within a few days. No cavities...no insurance...no problem! Teeth cleaning for $150...humbug! Cancel the appointment!

Now that it’s been about two months and my mind has sobered some more...I sit here in the same boat as you. Insurance at market costs and what they cover does not cover the simple economics of X-rays and cleanings...but insurance is not about the basics, I think we both realize at some level that insurance is about covering the expensive and unforeseen scenario. It’s like home insurance...in an ideal scenario we pay the insurance company thousands of dollars over a lifetime, but hope to never need to use it. Our teeth may not be a house...but it’s still kinda a big deal.

My brain accepts it..but I’ve still been procrastinating. And also, probably like you, the idea of simply going for a cheap HMO and hoping to find a good dentist versus taking the PPO route is a small battle in this bigger mental war...
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2019, 03:08 PM
 
2,144 posts, read 3,586,454 times
Reputation: 3351
I called around to a bunch of dentists and it wasn't clear for things like crowns, root canals, etc... if there was a separate "cash" price sheet and "in-network" insurance price sheet.

If I sign up for insurance, I have to wait 6 mos before the insurance kicks in either 25% or 60% of the cost for a crown or root canal. 25% for the cheaper insurance and 60% for the more expensive insurance. I asked the dentist offices if I was to sign up today with Delta Dental PPO and get a crown or root canal BEFORE the 6 mos was up, would my price be the same as the no insurance "cash" price? I could not get a clear answer.

The two insurance plans I am looking at with Delta Dental are:
1. $480 a year and they cover 100% of cleanings and xrays, 50% fillings (after 3 mos) and 25% of more expensive stuff like crowns, root canals. $1,500 max annual benefit.

2. $872 a year they cover 60% of cleanings and xrays, 80% of fillings (after 3 mos), 60% of more expensive stuff like crowns, root canals. $2,000 max annual benefit.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to get crowns, fillings and root canals down the road. I don't know that for sure, but a year ago another dentist I had at that time in a different state was indicating this. But who knows if this new dentist will recommend the same stuff. So if I DO need this work done, it probably makes sense for me to go with the $872/yr plan, since they kick in 60% for the expensive work, but only AFTER 6mos.

If I get a toothache and need this work done BEFORE 6 mos, I will have been better off going with the cheaper plan 1 since I will have to pay 100% of the cost anyway.

Calling around, I found cleanings + Xrays (more extensive xrays) + new patient exams ran about $350 total if you add everything up, if paying cash. Insurance would cover this 100%.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2019, 11:08 AM
 
2,759 posts, read 1,218,765 times
Reputation: 4968
In my area, cleanings are always $100+. The dental office I currently go to (just for that) charges $135 but they will take 5% ($7) off if you're a senior and you specifically ask each time for the senior discount. The dental office that does all of my other work (fillings and crowns) charges $175 for a cleaning and their hygienist is awful -- terribly heavy-handed -- so I don't have that done there. The average seems to be between $125 and $150 for a cleaning at any private practice.

These are normal cleanings (not scaling or deep cleanings) and I go every 3-4 months.

The last time I had a full mouth series X-ray was mid-2017 and it cost $195. Was told I would not need another series for five years.

I have never had any kind of dental insurance.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-07-2019, 12:35 PM
 
4,452 posts, read 2,168,093 times
Reputation: 9184
Around here, you have to pay for cleaning/exam/x-rays as a package deal and it ranges from $250-500 for a first time visit.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-09-2019, 12:46 PM
 
2,759 posts, read 1,218,765 times
Reputation: 4968
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYC refugee View Post
Around here, you have to pay for cleaning/exam/x-rays as a package deal and it ranges from $250-500 for a first time visit.
A dental office there won't just do a cleaning by itself? That sounds illogical, because some (many?) people get a cleaning every 3-4 months. Even then, I would think that twice a year would be the bare minimum for anyone, and nobody's going to get a routine x-ray that often (or so I'd hope.)

The ADA's policy is that for most people annual X-rays are not needed ... although many dentists still "push" them, and if you say No thanks they make you sign a form saying you declined.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/u...very-year.html

My current (new since 2015) dentist uses a special lead apron when taking X-rays; it has a 'collar' like a turtleneck in order to protect the thyroid. None of my other dentists ever had that kind and so I was immediately annoyed at them in retrospect, LOL.

https://www.kerrdental.com/kerr-tota...d-collar-x-ray

Especially because the ADA says this about it:

"The thyroid gland is more susceptible to radiation exposure during dental radiographic exams given its anatomic position, particularly in children. Protective thyroid collars and collimation substantially reduce radiation exposure to the thyroid during dental radiographic procedures. Because every precaution should be taken to minimize radiation exposure, protective thyroid collars should be used whenever possible."

And yet only one of the half dozen dentists and/or oral surgeons I've gone to in my life has ever used a thyroid collar apron.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Health and Wellness > Dental Health
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top