How Much Does a Dental Checkup Cost Without Insurance?
If it’s been longer than six months since your last dental checkup, Encinitas families can trust their smiles to the caring team at Ablantis Dental. But one of the most common questions we hear from new patients—and even existing ones—is how much does a dental checkup cost without insurance?
Dental Checkup Cost Without Insurance
Today, more people than ever don’t have dental insurance. Or, they have a policy that they’re unhappy with. Understanding dental checkup costs without insurance can ease the frustration if you’re trying to access routine dental care without active coverage.
Your dental checkup is usually broken up into several services, which are each billed separately on your check-out statement. These can include things like:
- An exam (comprehensive, periodic, or limited)
- Prophylaxis/healthy mouth cleaning
- Oral cancer screening
- Periodontal evaluation
- Bitewing X-rays and/or Full Mouth X-rays
- Dental sealants
Normally dental insurance will pay 100% of the cost of most procedures during a dental checkup, as long as it is for preventative purposes and six months since your last visit (twice a year.) But if you don’t have insurance, you may be hesitant to pay for it out of pocket.
The Risk of Skipping Dental Checkups
Without a regular dental checkup, Encinitas families inadvertently put themselves at risk for emergencies, tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Routine checkups are a smart investment that allows you to stay ahead of any oral health concerns. That way if our Encinitas dentist spots an issue early on, you can address it while it’s smaller and more conservative to repair.
Even if you’re worried about dental checkup costs without insurance, the fee of the exam alone is like added insurance for your smile.
The Myth of Good Dental Insurance
Each month people with dental insurance pay into a premium. From that account, they can schedule “free” checkups. However, the annual allowable amount—which is the amount your dental insurance will cover every year if you need treatment—is usually no more than about $1,000 or $1,500, which is the same amount it was in the 1980s. It hasn’t risen with the cost of inflation, much like other types of insurance. As such, it’s more of a preventative service and people don’t get as much out of their policy as they hope they will.
Even great dental insurance won’t “pay for” most treatments beyond a checkup. Because of that, a lot of families find it’s more budget savvy to pay for their checkups out of pocket if they don’t have insurance, as opposed to trying to find a policy that works for them.
The out-of-pocket cost for a cleaning and exam is usually under $200 for most people (less for children.) But remember to ask about additional prices, such as X-rays, which are necessary for a comprehensive exam and screening of oral disease. X-rays prices impact the total cost of your checkup, as can fluoride or sealants.
Fortunately, options like in-house dental membership plans are replacing the need for dental insurance and saving people money on their oral health care.
How Long do Dental Checkups Take?
A routine exam and prophylaxis (healthy mouth cleaning) usually take about an hour if you plan checkups twice a year. If you’re simply seeing our Encinitas dentist for a dental exam, it can range from 15-30 minutes or more, depending on the complexity of your situation. The main thing is that Dr. Cortadi will take the time needed to address your concerns, answer any questions you have, and work with you to develop a care plan that fits your goals and budget.
Ask About an In-House Membership
If you don’t have dental insurance, you can still access affordable dental checkups in Encinitas at Ablantis Dental. Our Encinitas practice has a special in-house membership plan priced at a flat fee per year, which includes important preventative care services (healthy mouth cleanings, X-rays, fluoride) as part of your membership. Additionally, members can access discounts on exams, fillings, dentures, surgery, and more!
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