The Costs of Dental Scaling and Root Planing

If your dentist has recently recommended that you need a scaling and root planing procedure, you may be wondering what this is going to cost you. Dental scaling is a non-surgical procedure used to deep clean the teeth on the surface and below the gumline. Although scaling is a common procedure, it is not a part of a routine dental checkup and is an additional cost. Below is more detailed information on the expected costs of dental scaling and root planing, and some tips on how you can help cover these expected costs.

Expected Costs of Scaling and Root Planing

The scaling and root planing procedure is the primary treatment used to fight the onset of gum disease. While the cost can vary widely across the United States, and based on the level of cleaning needed, you can expect it to cost between $400-$4,000. There are many factors that contribute to this cost, including how experienced your dentist is as well as what additional costs may be tied into the procedure. Make sure you discuss with your dentist what their treatment plan is for you and the costs associated with this plan.

The procedure usually includes 2 steps:

  1. Dental scaling is when your dentist removes the buildup of plaque from the surface and gumline of the tooth.
  2. Root planing is the smoothing of the root below the gumline. The goal of the planing is to make it more difficult for plaque to reattach to your tooth roots.

While general dentists can perform both parts of this procedure, some dentists may recommend their patients see a periodontist if their teeth are in need of more work. It is important to know what exactly your dentist is recommending because a periodontist may charge 20-30% more than a general dentist.

Ways to cover the cost of a scaling and planing treatment

While a scaling and planing treatment can be expensive. There are ways to help cover the costs and make this more affordable. Here are some ideas:

  • Dental insurance: If you have dental insurance, this is a good place to start to cover your scaling and planing costs. Dental insurance may cover 50% or more of the treatment procedure. But be prepared for your plan to only cover some of the costs and be ready to come up with some alternative payment options.
  • Dental discount plan: Another option is to look into a dental discount plan. Discount memberships can help to save money on any dental procedure and
    may save you up to 60% on a scaling and root planing procedure.
  • Dental payment plans: Many dentists offer dental payment plans to help with the additional costs not covered by insurance. Be sure to inquire with your dentist if this is an option.
  • Dental Schools: If you have a good dental school near you, it may be worth checking out what procedures they offer. With newer dentists and advanced
    dental students you may find lower rates. Dental schools are always looking for patients to help dental students gain experience.

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