Dentistry Consumer

Dental saving and dental spending tips

Dental prices

The links below will take you to various data sources for dental procedure costs. Unfortunately, most dental price information is either restricted or privately owned - that is, you have to pay to get it. For example, state dental associations such as the Michigan Dental Association provide results their fee surveys only to association members. Dental insurance companies collect dental price data when processing claims, but obviously do not make the data public. Nonetheless, there are some decent sources of dental price information out there. Here are links to dental price information along with comments.

Comments on dental prices
Dental procedures come in many variations. Fillings, for example, vary by location in the mouth, the number of surfaces affected on the tooth, and material used. Will anesthetic, nitrous, or sedation be involved? Due to such complexity, there is no such thing as "the cost of a filling". The cost of a filling can vary from under $100 to over $500. This story repeats itself for crowns, bridges, implants, root canals, x-rays, exams, and many other dental procedures. Accordingly, dental offices are often hesitant to tell a caller how much a procedure costs. The real answer is, "It depends and we have to diagnose your specific case first."

Dental price source #1 -
Where to find the data: On the home page, enter your zipcode to find a dental plan. Click the "View Sample Savings" link to see average fees (nationally according to surveys) and discounted fees in your area.

Dental price source #2 - Dental Economics Survey
Nice survey from 2007. The graphics in the report show just how much prices for common procedures vary across the country. However, the survey results are presented in dental lingo and are not comprehensive. For example, the survey reports prices for only 2 of at least a dozen types of fillings, and only one of a handful of crown types.

Dental price source #3 -
Where to find the data: From the home page, click the "Dental Cost Calculator" link in the top bar. provides dental price estimates for a large number of dental services for 297 cities. The site is easy to use and fairly comprehensive. However, the prices reported on the site suffer some problems that lead to dramatic between the estimates and actual fees:

  • The dental price estimates are at least 4 years out of date.
  • The dental prices are estimated for each city using national averages and an adjustment factor.
  • Dental fee surveys are biased in favor of dentists who choose to respond. compared prices for 8 preventive care procedures in Grand Rapids, Michigan using a 2007 survey from the Michigan Dental Associaton. The estimates on ranged from 25% too low to 75% too high. Such dramatic differences reduce the value of the estimates.

Dental price source #4 - Ingenix Fee Analyzer
For the hardcore. Comprehensive, up to date price data based on dental insurnace claims. Prices start at $300 for a list of dental fees in one zip code area. While you're at it, you can purchase price data for medical procedures as well. Comprehensive national data for medical and dental will set you back tens of thousands of dollars.

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