So you got a mailer coupon from a dentist that says they only charge $69.95 for a regular cleaning & $19.95 for an exam & x-ray. Seems like of a cheap gimmick? And a lot of the times it might be, because depending on the type of practice it might be designed to get you in and up-charge you for a lot of unnecessary dentistry. Anecdotally, we here this a lot in corporate dental practices.
But, it just depends of on the practice. If it’s a mature practice you might want to question why they are giving away services. Usually, it’s a loss leader. Something they use to get you in and pressure you into other dental procedures. If it’s a new practice, then providing discounted services is one of the few methods a new practice has to introduce itself to the surrounding community, no different than a new restaurant trying to showcase its menu.
With respect to continuing care (on your next 6 month visit), a teeth cleaning really depends where you go and the quality of the practice you see. And it is more than likely covered by your insurance. The charge is going to be somewhere around $90+, but it can be more if there’s a need to do a full mouth root scaling. Often dental insurance will cover some or all of this cost for only 2 of your cleanings per year, regardless of what you might need.
The exam is $45 to $55 and the 4 basic bite wing x-rays are around $59 to $72. Depending on your insurance this might be covered anywhere from 60 to 100% after a small deductible is met. Periodic X-rays ($32 -$135) are needed to see if any problems are developing inside the teeth or around the jaw bone, and are generally required before cleaning the teeth of a new patient (which is why some practices offer coupons to defray the initial cost of a first visit). These are also often covered by dental insurance.
The main goal of professional teeth cleaning is to prevent gum disease, which is the primary cause of tooth loss. Dental hygiene is imperative, and cleaning your teeth is the first step toward their long term preservation.
Where we here a lot of horror stories is from the corporate dentistry experience where the more extensive deep cleaning process called scaling and root planing is up charged on your first visit. The procedure, when necessary, is done by quadrants (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left) at a cost of about $100 -$400 per quadrant depending on the severity of the problem or $400 -$1,600 for the entire mouth. This is rare in our office, but more often than not, if the mouth is in such poor health and we can’t treat it, we will refer the you out to a periodontist. Most dental insurance includes these procedures.
Again, the goal is a healthy mouth which an integral part of your overall health. Oh, and by the way, just because you had your teeth cleaned professionally, the jobs not done. You have to do your part and brush and floss daily if you want to keep them. If you have additional questions, feel free to email or call our office. Our goal here is to create an informed patient.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD
Hanna Orland, DMD
3781 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Chamblee, GA 30341
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Sandy Springs, GA 30328