Dentist hands holding one tiny x-ray image.

Is the Cost of Dental X-Rays Worth It in the Long Run?

Published date field Last Updated:

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Dental X-rays may feel like an unnecessary cost, especially when you need to get multiple ones over a short period. But did you know that X-rays can help you save money in the long term? Find out how dental X-rays can not only save you money but also help with financial planning so there are no unpleasant surprises in the future.

How Much Do Dental X-rays Cost?

Your dental X-ray cost depends on many factors, from the type of X-ray you need to your dental insurance coverage. Your dental professional is the best person to help you understand exactly how much your X-ray will cost. Your dentist will give you a quote based on the type of X-ray and the number of X-rays needed. In terms of insurance, most dental insurance plans cover the cost of your X-rays, at least to some extent. If you’re uninsured, be sure to talk to your dentist about a payment plan if you need one.

According to Authority Dental, X-rays for your teeth cost $25-$750. The average cost of a bitewing X-ray is usually $35. The average cost of a periapical X-ray is around the same. Meanwhile, panoramic X-rays capture your entire mouth and jaw in one image. On average, a panoramic dental X-ray will cost you about $130.

How Can X-Rays Save You Money?

When you have a dental problem, your dentist will do a visual examination of your mouth. But this might still leave some questions unanswered. Your dentist can’t see the areas between your teeth, inside your teeth, or under your gums, just with the naked eye. These areas can only be examined by taking an X-ray. This very X-ray can help your dentist discover hidden issues before they’ve developed into serious problems, saving you a lot of money in the process.

For instance, you might have a small cavity between your teeth. If identified early, all your dentist will have to do is a simple filling. But if the cavity gets worse and remains undetected and untreated, you will eventually need a root canal or extraction, which will be much more expensive.

X-Rays Can Help with Your Financial Planning

No one likes being caught off guard by a huge bill. Some dental treatments can cost thousands of dollars, and it’s always better to be prepared for such an expense.

Dental X-rays can help you plan for large dental expenses for you and your kids. For example, the removal of wisdom teeth usually happens between the ages of 17 and 21. Removing the four impacted wisdom teeth can cost thousands of dollars. If your kids get X-rays when they’re much younger, your dentist can predict if they will need their wisdom teeth to be removed in the future. This way, you’ll have time to plan and save for the treatment.

While the cost of dental X-rays is undoubtedly high, they’re worth it in the long run. Not only can they save you from bigger bills and more pain in the future, but they can also help you budget in the present.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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