The Average Cost of Dental Work? Heres What You Should Know

average cost of dental work

We work hard to maintain our health. We eat right, get in as much exercise as we can, and try to get enough sleep. After all, the more we take care of our health now, the less we have to worry about later.

Unfortunately, there’s a common form of health maintenance that many people “brush” off: the need to maintain their oral and dental health.

Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for students to enter kindergarten with cavities and other oral health issues. Even if you eat a healthy diet, acids and sugars can still plague your teeth with bacteria and corrode your enamel. Taking care of your teeth is an act that requires minimal effort but is often overlooked since it can be the most boring part of your day. And going to the dentist twice per year? Though it’s vital in cleaning off the tartar and checking for health issues, few people are willing to work the bi-annual appointment into their busy schedules.

That isn’t to say that all people with bad teeth are simply lazy though. In fact, many dental health issues occur because of genetics. Some people are predisposed to having crooked teeth, jaw issues, or sensitive teeth that get cavities more easily. Unfortunately, these oral health concerns can, in turn, lead to other health issues. For example, crooked teeth are harder to clean which can lead to bacteria build-up and cavities. Even if your teeth aren’t your fault, they’re still your responsibility to care for.

The act of maintaining healthy, attractive teeth is essential for one’s confidence, even if they don’t want to put in the effort. In American society, especially, many people first notice another person’s smile. Whether it be at a job interview, dating online, or making new friends, people gravitate toward others with whiter teeth that exude health. This can cause the person with less-than-great teeth to feel bad about their smile and their overall appearance.

Worse yet, the cost of having to pay for the expensive dental services to fix their smile can be enormous. Only 40% of Americans have dental insurance and most others have dental insurance through their current health insurance broker that offers dental as an add-on. Unfortunately, the lack of dental coverage can exacerbate the cycle of poor teeth health.

average cost of dental work

Whether you take care of your teeth or not, there are some common dental procedures that you might face in the future. Here are some of the top examples of dental work that you might need — along with the average cost of dental work so that you can maintain your finances, too.

Keep in mind that all of these numbers will differ depending on your insurance plan — or if you have insurance in the first place. Talk to your dentist, along with your insurance provider, to see which procedures are covered.

The average teeth cleaning

You should get your teeth cleaned twice per year on average. These visits are designed to remove any built-up tartar from your teeth. If the tarter is left there and ignored, it can spread and form painful cavities in your teeth. You can prevent tartar build-up at home by brushing and flossing, but tartar accumulation is more common than not. In these instances, your dentist will have to remove the build-up with special scraping tools designed to get under your gum line and between your teeth. Doing this at home is nearly impossible since dentists have the right tools and experience.

During these teeth cleanings, your dentist will also check for abnormalities in your teeth and jaw. This is especially important for children who usually start to show signs of jaw issues around the age of seven. This is the time that children usually start to undergo orthodontic treatment to correct developing jaw and teeth issues. Since the child is still growing, stopping this problem as soon as possible can help your child’s health in the long run.

The average cost of dental work varies, meaning that your typical teeth cleaning will cost anywhere from $70 to $200 without insurance. In the event that you do have insurance, you might just need to shell out for the copay determined by your contract.


When it comes to braces, you now have two options: traditional metal braces or clear aligners.

average cost of dental work

Just about everyone wants straight teeth and braces are one of the best ways to get you there. Traditional metal braces utilize wires and bands to correct the orientation of your teeth and jaw. They are the perfect choice for those who have cross bites, under bites, and other jaw issues. Most people are able to get their metal braces off in about two years, though serious cases can take longer and require headgear to correct.

Clear aligners usually take the form of Invisalign braces, though there are other options now entering the market. Invisalign braces are a series of clear aligners designed to gradually shift your teeth with each new set that you get. Every two weeks or so, your orthodontist will send you a new clear aligner tray that you must wear for 22 hours out of the day. In fact, it’s only recommended that you remove the Invisalign trays when you have to eat or brush your teeth (and, of course, clean the aligners). Unfortunately, clear trays like these are not typically used to correct skeletal issues pertaining to the jaw. As such, they are better used to correct crooked teeth or teeth that are spaced out too far from each other.

When it’s performed on children, these two forms of orthopedic rehabilitation often have to be done more than once. This is because children aren’t great at maintaining their oral health with retainers, which must be worn often to “retain” the results gleaned from the orthodontic treatment. As such, you should have a serious conversation with your child and let them know about the level of responsibility that goes into maintaining their teeth. Older teens and young adults are more likely to maintain their results because they often pay for the work themselves. There’s no doubt about it: these procedures are expensive.

So, what’s the average cost of dental work? The average price of traditional metal braces ranges from $1,000 to $4,000 on average. Insurance can definitely help with that final cost but it’s a pretty penny if you’re only hoping for straighter teeth. Invisalign, on the other hand, ranges anywhere from $2,500 to $8,000 without insurance. Rest assured that these payments are broken up into affordable chunks over time, but it’s still a sizable investment that has to be considered if you’re living from paycheck to paycheck.

Getting braces and correcting your smile, however, can be one of the best ways to boost your self-confidence and smile more. Talk to your dentist — and your insurance provider — about how to lower the cost of braces. You might want to call around to a few different practices to find the best orthodontist for the job. The average cost of dental work can change from region to region so don’t be afraid to do some research on your own.


Most people will likely experience a cavity at some point in their lives. Cavities are a form of tooth decay that occurs when bacteria eats away at the surface of your tooth. The result? A small hole, or “cavity.” These can be incredibly painful, especially if they expose your tooth’s nerves to the open air.

average cost of dental work

Cavities are caused by a range of factors, bacteria being the main culprit. Eating many snacks, sipping on sugary drinks, and smoking can all boost the likelihood of getting cavities in your teeth. Cavities can be prevented by partaking in the proper oral health cleanings, like brushing and flossing your teeth, going to the dentist, and using mouthwash. But some people are more prone to cavities than others. Genetics plays a factor, as well as age. Because children lack the motor abilities necessary to clean their teeth, they’re more likely to get cavities. On the other hand, older adults with tumultuous health concerns might also experience more cavities as they get older.

Without the proper treatment, cavities will continue to grow on the tooth, eventually leading to bacterial infections or posing a threat to your surrounding teeth. They’re most commonly treated with a dental filling to stop the cavity from growing larger. The average cost of dental work for this concern? It can range anywhere from $50 and your copay all the way up to $450. If you have to get a tooth crown, this price can shoot up drastically. Tooth crowns can cost anywhere between $500 and $3,000 depending on insurance.

The best way to stop cavities in their tracks? Brush at least twice a day and after you have any acidic foods/beverages like coffee, lemons, or juices. The same goes for if you eat any particularly sugary or starchy foods since the bacteria will be more likely to cling to your teeth. If you’re unable to brush your teeth right away, rinsing with water can help clear your mouth out from the worst of the particles. You should also floss at least once per day and go to the dentist at least twice per year (which is basically the mantra of the article at this point). While you still might get a cavity here and there, following these tips will help you catch it sooner than later, saving you money on the average cost of dental work.

Cosmetic dentistry

A straight smile is an indicator of a healthy smile, but so are white teeth. Sometimes, brushing and flossing just isn’t enough to give you the bright smile that you’ve always wanted. In this case, cosmetic dentistry might help.

Professional teeth whitening is the best way to give you the pearly white teeth that you’ve dreamed of. Using industry-grade whitening gels, your dentist is able to do a better job at whitening your teeth than store-bought whiteners. You can also rely on your dentist’s professionalism. Store-bought items have the potential to injure your teeth and gums while a dentist will work hard to ensure your safety. The average cost of dental work for teeth whitening is around $300 to $1,000 without insurance. Because these procedures are cosmetic in nature, they’re not usually covered by insurance.

average cost of dental work

Dental veneers and dental implants are most often cosmetic since the average person can live with a few missing teeth. However, your quality of life might go down if you’re unhappy with your smile. Dental bridges can help bridge the gap between your teeth and are usually more affordable than the other options. Regardless, these procedures will typically cost around $1,000 to $3,000.

The average cost of dental work

The average cost of dental work depends on what you’re getting done and where in the world that the procedure is taking place. Some people might not be able to afford the average cost of dental work which is where insurance can be a lifesaver. Rely on this information to get a better idea of the world’s most popular dental procedures and how to keep your smile more healthy.

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