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Do you know how much a dental x-ray can cost if you don’t have insurance? It’s essential to be aware of the expenses involved in dental care, especially when it comes to diagnostic procedures like x-rays. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of dental x-rays and the associated costs. We’ll also discuss financial assistance options for those without insurance and provide information on how insurance can help alleviate some of the financial burdens. So, let’s dive in!
Types of Dental X-Rays
A panoramic x-ray is a common type of extraoral x-ray. It captures a single image that shows all the teeth in the upper and lower jaws. Aside from providing a complete view of the mouth, panoramic x-rays help identify emerging teeth, detect impacted teeth, and even reveal potential tumors.
A cephalometric projection is another type of extraoral x-ray that shows the side profile of a patient’s head. Orthodontists find these x-rays valuable in assessing the relationship between teeth and the jaw. They aid in planning the realignment of a patient’s teeth if necessary.
Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)
Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a more advanced and relatively expensive extraoral x-ray. It generates three-dimensional images of a patient’s facial nerves, teeth, soft tissues, and bone structure. CBCT plays a crucial role in enabling precise and less invasive oral surgery procedures like wisdom teeth removal.
Additional Service Fees
When considering the cost of dental x-rays, it’s important to remember that there may be additional charges associated with the service. These charges typically range from $10 to $40 and cover the labor involved in taking the x-ray. Even with insurance, there may be co-pays ranging from $5 to $50 that patients must pay out of pocket.
The cost of dental x-rays can vary depending on your geographic location. States and areas with lower living costs generally have lower average prices for dental x-rays. For instance, the average cost of dental x-rays in California, a high-cost living state, is around $117. In contrast, it’s approximately $24 lower in Kansas, a state with a lower cost of living, where the average cost is $93.
Furthermore, even within the same state, different cities may have varying average costs for dental x-rays. For example, Los Angeles, California, being a high-cost living city, has an average cost range of $60 to $140. In contrast, Sacramento, California, with a lower cost of living, has an average cost range of $50 to $120. Therefore, your geographic location can significantly influence the amount you’ll pay for a dental x-ray.
Insurance Status and Financial Assistance
Without insurance, dental x-ray costs can put a strain on some families’ finances. However, there are options available to lessen the financial burden associated with dental care.
Financial Assistance Without Insurance
- Dental Schools: Accredited dental schools and public health clinics offer dental services at a fraction of the average price. Although you receive care from a dental student, they are supervised by licensed dentists.
- Dental Grants: Financial grants are available but often come with qualification criteria and long waiting periods. Check availability and eligibility in your state before applying.
- Public Dental Clinics: The Health Resources and Services Administration provides dental assistance to low-income individuals. You can also find low-cost clinics near you through the NeedyMeds dental clinic database.
- Dental-related Charities: Charities like Smiles Change Lives and United Way offer financial assistance for dental work that isn’t covered by insurance.
Financial Assistance With Insurance
If you require significant dental care, having dental insurance can be beneficial. Most dental insurance plans cover 50-100% of dental x-ray costs, with only co-pays as out-of-pocket expenses. Insurance terminology can be confusing, but Mira can help break it down for you.
It’s worth noting that there are often limits on the frequency of covered dental x-rays. For example, a dental insurance plan may cover seven bitewing x-rays per year and only one panoramic x-ray every three years. If you exceed the frequency provided by your insurance plan, you may have to pay for extra procedures out of pocket.
Medicaid, a federal and state program, offers healthcare coverage for people with limited income or resources. Dental coverage through Medicaid varies by state, so it’s crucial to check whether your state provides “extensive”, “limited”, “emergency” or “no coverage” for dental services. States with “extensive” coverage tend to help cover the cost of dental x-rays.
To learn more about dental insurance and whether it’s the right choice for you, click here.
Remember, regular dental x-rays are an important preventive measure for maintaining good oral health. Catching minor issues early on can prevent further discomfort and financial hardship. So, take care of your dental health and explore your options for financial assistance if needed. Your smile deserves it!
To find out more dental care tips and information that will make you smile, visit Make You Smile.