Prevention Pays

Preventive measures in dental treatment are intended to defend against the onset of disease, such as using sealants to prevent cavities.

These examples of national average costs for common preventive and restorative procedures show that stopping disease before it starts can yield savings.

This is why the ADA believes that insurers should not impose cost-sharing measures such as deductibles or co-pays on patients for preventive oral health services.

The Affordable Care Act, in fact, forbids the imposition of co-payments for preventive care for new health care policies created after March 23, 2010, including oral health risk assessments for children.

National Average Costs of Common Preventive Services

• Topical fluoride application: $31.70 (child),
$32.59 (adult)
• Periodic examination by a general dentist:
$44.10
• Prophylaxis (cleaning): $61.14 (child),
$82.08 (adult)
• Sealant application, per tooth: $44.12

National Average Costs of Common Restorative Services

• Amalgam filling, two-surface, in a permanent
tooth: $146.61.
• Resin-based composite filling, rear tooth:
$197.09
• Root canal on a molar (excluding final crown):
$918.88
• Porcelain crown: $1,026.30
• Extraction of an erupted tooth or root visible
above the gumline: $147.32