How Much Does a Dental Visit Cost?

Dental visits are pricey and can quickly set you back by hundreds or thousands of dollars. So, you need to budget ahead before scheduling an appointment. The first step to budgeting ahead is knowing the average cost of a dental visit so your dental bill doesn’t come as a shock.

Discover how much you’ll need to pay for standard dental procedures for yourself or family members based on age.

Cost of Dental Visit Based on Age

1. Children

Typically, the fee per child for every routine dental visit is between $65 and $100. And they’ll need these regular checkups twice a year or more often, depending on what your dentist recommends.

Children have access to more dental financial assistance options than other age groups. Government assistance programs like the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicaid, cover most dental care costs for children.

Under 12 Months

A visit to the dentist when your child is less than 12 months old is an initial checkup to assess their dental hygiene and any potential dental growth issues. This visit will help you to learn more about properly caring for your child's dental health.

This is also an excellent time to discuss teething issues, pacifier use, and oral habits, such as finger sucking, etc., with your child’s dentist. Contrary to some urban myths, fluoride doesn’t affect children’s IQ. But, if you’re worried about fluoride, this is also a great opportunity to discuss that with the dentist.

Typically, your baby’s checkup at the dentist attracts the routine dental visit fee – between $65 - $100.

1-2 Years

At this time, your child has had most of their teeth grown already. So, you’ll need an evaluation and update on their oral progress and health. Discuss your toddler's primary teeth, diet, and oral hygiene routine with your dentist.

Your dentist may suggest starting fluoride treatments, and they may repeat the treatment every six months or as often as your child needs it.

Fluoride treatments cost between $30 and $35 and usually happen twice a year.

2-6 Years

Your child may benefit from sealant treatments when they grow their first permanent molars at six years. Your dentist will also examine your child's jaw to check for misaligned teeth. They may also have questions about their oral habits, such as teeth grinding or clenching, nail-biting, etc.

Sealants cost $35-$40 per tooth and can protect teeth against cavities for six years or more.

6-12 Years

Your dentist may decide to start treatment for alignment issues if necessary. So, if your child needs braces, plan to spend $4000 upwards at the first stage of treatment.

Ages 12 Years and Up

The dentist will examine your teen’s third molars to know if they are present, where they are, and how well they are developing.

Orthodontic treatment typically begins between the ages of 10 and 14.

There are different braces; your dentist will recommend one based on what needs correcting. Your child will have to wear the braces for 18-30 months with adjustments every one or two months to match the current alignment of their teeth. If your child is up to 13 years, they may be able to get Invisalign treatment if their alignment issues aren’t too complex.

Orthodontic care usually ranges from $3,000 to $7,000 or more.

2. Adults Aged 21 Upward

Dentists recommend you visit the dentist for a dental cleaning once every six months. These are great opportunities for a dentist and a dental hygienist to examine your dental health.

You should talk to your dentist about cosmetic procedures if you need to be more confident in your smile.

An adult dental cleaning usually costs between $150 - $250. A yearly budget of $500  to $1500 should cover primary corrective therapy for a broken tooth, cavity treatments, root canals, crowns, etc.

Set aside at least $1,500 if you need to get a tooth pulled and replaced. Also, budget between $650 - $1000 per tooth for elective procedures like veneers and $400 to $800 or more for teeth whitening procedures.

3. When Expecting

When you get pregnant, remember to inform your dentist. Pregnancy hormones make you prone to dental issues like gingivitis and growths within the mouth. Your dentist will need to look out for these problems, and they'll also need to be extra careful while administering certain procedures or treatments. 

When expecting, you should generally wait until after your first trimester to get an X-ray, get some dental work done, take any pain medicine, or take any antibiotic (particularly tetracycline).

On average, dental exams and cleaning for adults cost around $250 per visit.

4. Ages 65 and Up

As you get older, you are more likely to have periodontal disease, tooth decay, and root surface decay.

Tell your dentist if you've noticed increased tooth sensitivity or a persistently dry mouth.

Don’t hesitate to inform your dentist of any other medical history they may need to know about. If you have broken, missing, or loose teeth, talk to your orthodontist about how to fix them.

An adult examination and cleanup will typically cost $150 - $250. Root canals and crowns can set you back over $2,000, and dental bridges between $500 - $1,200 for each tooth. Dentures can set you back over $2,500 for each plate.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Dental Care

  • Type of procedure: The dental procedure's complexity determines your bill. For example, getting braces is more expensive than a tooth filling. 
  • Materials used: Your choice of materials directly affects your dental care costs. For example, a gold filling costs more than a silver amalgam filling.
  • Geographical location: Locations with larger populations or more commercial activity usually offer more expensive dental care than less populated areas. It may be worth looking for more affordable locations when you need dental work done.
  • The specific dentist: Don’t be surprised to find significant differences in price between dentists within the same location. This is due to varying lengths of professional experience, overheads, equipment, lab fees, etc.
  • Age: For some procedures, it’s cheaper for children to get dental work done than adults. Also, children get more dental care coverage from government-assisted programs than adults.
  • Type of insurance or dental discount plan: Each insurance or dental discount plan gives you different extents of savings on dental care bills. So, the kind you opt for determines how much you’ll pay out of pocket.

Make Huge Cost Savings on Every Dental Visit

You shouldn’t have to worry about the cost of keeping your teeth and gums healthy and smiling confidently. With Carefree Dental, you can save anywhere from 15% to 50%* per visit in most instances at a participating dentist.

You can save on dental care, such as checkups and cleanings, for as little as $15.95 a month for individuals and $19.95 a month for families.

Get affordable dental care with Carefree Dental!




*Actual costs and savings vary by provider, service, and geographical area.

The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance, and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

Related Articles