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Average Dental Costs – Are Your Dentist’s Fees Above Average?

If you don’t have dental insurance and have to pay out of pocket for your dental work, you are probably aware that high dental costs can limit what kind of dental treatment that you can afford.

You might also wonder why such seemingly simple dental work can cost so much.  I won’t answer that question in this article, but if you’re interested in that subject, Dr. Dean Brandon has written an excellent article on his Pediatric Dentistry blog entitled, Why Does Dentistry Cost So Much?

Dentist FeesIf your dental work seems like it’s costing you too much, you might be wondering if other dentists in your area offer the same dental procedures at a lower cost.

It’s pretty easy to find out if your dentist’s fees are above average, as you’ll find out below.

How To Find Out If Your Dentist’s Fees Are Higher Than Normal

A dental practice optimization company, Sikka Software, has created an online tool that will show you the average dental costs for ten common procedures.  You can get to the tool by clicking here.

They send you the average dental fees via email, so you will need to give them your email address.  Don’t worry though, I’ve done this a few times for various ZIP codes of places where we are thinking about practicing and they haven’t sent me any spam/newsletters/unwanted email.

The email that they send you may be a little hard to understand, so I’ve given an explanation below.

Making Sense of the Average Dental Costs Chart

Sample Dental Fee SurveyTo the left is a sample fee survey that I requested for Burlington, Vermont (one of the areas we had previously considered as our future home.)

I outlined the 50th percentile fees in pink.  That’s the column that you want to look at if you want to compare your dentist’s fees to the average.

They provide the average dental costs for ten different dental procedures.  Here’s what they mean:

0120 Periodic Oral Exam is the exam that you have every six months where your dentist evaluates your head, neck, mouth, and teeth to make sure everything is healthy.

0330 Panoramic X-ray is the big x-ray that goes around your head.

1110 Prophylaxis is simply a routine cleaning

2331 Resin-Based Composite is a 2-surface white filling in a front tooth (for example, it could be for a cavity that is located between two front teeth.)

2392 Resin-Based Composite is a 2-surface white filling in a back tooth.

2740 Crown is a crown made completely out of porcelain or ceramic.

2752 Porcelain Fused to Noble Metal is a crown made out of porcelain that has a thin metal substructure for added strength.

3346 Anterior Endo is a root canal in one of the six front teeth (you can count on a root canal in a back tooth being somewhere between 20% to 60% more than this fee)

5110 Maxillary Complete Denture is just a traditional upper denture that replaces every tooth in the upper jaw.

7140 Single Tooth Extraction is when you get a single tooth pulled with forceps (i.e. – the dentist does not need to surgically go in and remove bone to get the tooth out.)


Keep in mind that this company simply takes the average of a small number of dentists that they work with.  The average dental costs that they email you may not accurately reflect the fees in your area, but they should be fairly close.

Remember that all fees are different for different dentists and depend of a variety of different circumstances.

Do you have any questions about the average dentist’s fees in your area or dental costs in general?  I’m happy to help answer any questions that you may have in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!



  1. Any one born prior to 1970 should be able to get a 40 to 50 percent discount on all dental services with all dentists. Why you might ask? Because in the years prior to that, dentists did not know how to preserve teeth or lower the risk of tooth decay. Their remedy back then was to extract. When you extract, you change the bite. When the bite continues to change, you get bone loss. And, I don’t have to tell you what happens after that. So, the onus falls on the dental industry since they are the reason many of us need major dental work. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the dental industry started to change their methods and procedures. Much of the younger people in the US have less of a decaying issue and with orthodontics both the teeth and bite of these individuals has improved greatly. Not only is having a great looking mouth a plus for hygiene , it is also a plus for getting a descent job, social activities, an individual’s level of confidence, etc. The face and the parts of the face are the first things people see. Our face is our history and also our introduction to the world. Having a great set of teeth should not be viewed as a privilege but instead a necessity. Sorry, if I don’t have much compassion for dentists and their cost of schooling. Maybe they should take that up with the schools and the government. Also, you would think that the dental equipment would, by now, be less costly since these machines/equipment have been in existence for many years and just get facelifts to keep up with the times. The technology has been around for years. Maybe the ADA should shake up the equipment manufacturers instead of trying to get every penny back from their patients.

  2. Maybe you should’ve brushed your teeth abit more back in the 1960’s and you wouldn’t have as many issues or any teeth extracted, blaming dentists for having to pull someone’s tooth to get them out of pain is not their fault. The person should’be bought a 50 cent toothbrush and used it once in awhile. Go educate yourself before blaming dentists for patients who don’t take care of themselves.

    • i actually believe the guy and if you hacks did the job the right way and charged a decent price for dental work and not be so concerned about your bentley or BMW giant mansion house and overseas vacations than dentists and doctors in general wouldnt have such a bad rap.

  3. Thankfully I have dental insurance now. In the past I didn’t. The bills can be really high! I recommend trying a dental indemnity plan. This allows you to visit any dentist with no difference in the discounted costs.

  4. It seems to me that, whatever dental insurance I have, the out of pocket is about the same for the service rendered including the actual time in the chair. I pay an insurance company, and then I pay the dentist. What the dentist submits to the insurance company is like the MVRP price for a new car – the sticker price, which is always high and then is negotiated down by the dealership.
    Why does this happen?


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