Estimating the costs of dental procedures can be a difficult task. Even if you know the procedure that you need, it’s not always easy to find information about the expenses involved with the dental work. Navigating the insurance system can further complicate things. Due to the differences between insurance policies, it can be tricky for your dentist to give you a definitive answer about how much a procedure will cost, and how much your insurance will cover. In this post, we’ll show you a few resources and strategies that you can use to help estimate the cost of your dental care.
As with most research tasks, the best place to start is with an online search. You can often find details regarding your procedure that can help you estimate how costly it might be. Try to find out this information:
- How long does an average procedure take?
- How many office visits will it require?
- What special materials (braces, fillings, implants, etc.) are necessary to complete the dental work?
In general, procedures that take longer and require more materials will cost more. Calling in a specialist (such as an anesthesiologist or an orthodontist) will also increase your costs. This won’t give you an exact cost calculation, but it can help you determine what your bill might be in relation to other procedures you’ve had done in the past.
Online searches may also yield some dental cost calculator websites. These can be helpful, but take their estimates with a grain of salt. There are too many factors in the cost calculation to come up with an accurate estimate using the limited information you submit to the calculator. They are useful for getting a broad estimate, but to get a more accurate and specific estimate you’ll need to do a little more in-depth research.
Look For Online Specials
Some dentists offer special prices for certain services they offer. Finding these specials can be an easy way for you to estimate the cost of a procedure. For example, Dr. Bowyer offers a $99 new patient special that includes an examination, x-rays, a cleaning, and a teeth whitening kit. If you’re in the market for any of those services, then the $99 special price gives you an easy way to calculate what you’ll need to spend.
Consult Your Insurance Company
Most dental patients use dental insurance to help pay for their procedures. Insurance coverage has a tremendous impact on how much you will pay out of pocket for your dental care. Before you commit to an expensive course of treatment, consult your insurance company to determine:
- If the procedure is covered under your insurance
- How much of the cost of the dental procedure will be covered
- What your out-of-pocket copay will be
- If there are any annual limits on what your insurance will cover, and if the procedure cost will meet or exceed those limits.
To find out this information, you can call or email your insurance provider. Some insurance companies even have an online dental cost calculator to help you get a rough estimate without going through the trouble of contacting an agent.
Consult Your Dentist
Your dentist can also be a valuable resource for calculating the expense of your dental care. They are not only experts in your dental care, but also experts in navigating the confusing cost structures and insurance coverage pitfalls that you might run into. Most dentists are happy to work with you to plan out a course of treatment, and help you understand what costs you might incur. Some even offer financing plans to help you cover the cost of your treatment. Call your dentist’s office and ask if you can set up a time to discuss treatment plans and get an estimate of how much your dental procedures will cost.
Estimating the cost of dental procedures isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible if you approach it with a clear plan. Use the information resources at your disposal on the internet, with your insurance company, and with your dentist. If you do your research, you should be able to get a clear idea of what to expect once your dental bill comes in.