An X-ray, also called radiographs, is an essential part of any dental procedure. This gives you detailed pictures that show if there is an abscess, cyst, or impacted tooth. Based on the results, your dentist can identify any problem and, hence, recommend the dental treatment suitable for your needs. So, how much does dental X-ray cost?
Average Price of Dental X-ray
The cost of dental X-rays ranges from $25 to $300. When you undergo this procedure, you can expect up to 21 images, depending on the type.
The good news is that you can also avail some discounts. There are dental clinics that can give you reduced rates. There may even be some facilities that offer students free X-ray services.
You can search the list provided by the American Student Dental Association. There are also dental groups that provide discounts for those who cannot afford it.
Aside from that, you also have to factor in other additional costs. For instance, there can be an additional charge if there is a need for the previous dentist to provide you with copies of X-rays to your current dentist. This will cost you about $10 to $40.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Dental X-rays
The cost would depend on different factors, such as the following:
- The kind of X-ray
There are different kinds of X-rays, and the exact procedure you will need will depend on the dentist’s order. Each type has varying costs.
- The fee of the dentist
Professional fees charged by dentists reading the X-ray also differ depending on expertise, reputation, and location.
- The location
Costs are also expected to differ depending on your state and city. So be sure to search for more affordable services.
If you have dental insurance, you do not have to worry since most insurance will cover the X-ray. But then, there are copays which can be around $5 to $50. It is also important to note that there are limits to the procedures that can be undertaken.
Know More About Dental X-ray
By using the results found in dental X-rays, your dentist can provide preventative recommendations and identify any problems the patient may have. Just like other types of X-rays, it uses energy to go through the soft tissues since teeth, as well as the bone, are dense.
It passes through the cheeks and the gums. In dentistry, the most common kind of radiograph used is the intraoral X-ray.
Compared to other types of X-rays, this one provides much more detailed information about the tissues, bone, and teeth. That is why, even if you have to shoulder the cost, you still need to have it.
Through the X-ray, your dentist can find out if there are problems with your teeth and take a look at the roots. Your dentist can also check the bony area and the status of your teeth.
Some of the issues that X-rays can detect include the following:
- Decays in between teeth that are not visible during the oral exam
- Bone loss related to gum disease
- Changes in the bone
- Root canal infection
- Abscess/infection at the root of the tooth
- Development of wisdom tooth
- Check if there’s enough room for incoming teeth
- Cyst and tumors
Types of Dental X-rays
If you have periodontal disease, your dentist can also determine it based on X-rays. There are different kinds of X-rays, which include the following:
- Bitewing X-rays
They are used to look at areas between the teeth and this type of X-ray can show if there is any cavity. The average price of a dental X-ray for the bitewing type showing both the lower back and upper teeth would cost you around $25 to $250.
However, this depends on whether it is for a single bitewing or a complete set. By using this type of X-ray, your dentist can see if there is any decay or if there is bone loss due to gum disease.
- Periapical X-rays
This type of X-ray is used to see the roots of one to three teeth and the entire crowns. It also enables the dentist to see the bone structure, as this type shows you dental problems, if present.
The cost ranges from $25 to $250.
- Panoramic X-rays
It gives the dentist a complete view of the teeth as it shows both the lower and upper jaw. It can cost you about $100 to $250 for this type of X-ray.
Compared to other types of X-rays, it can give a much broader view of all the areas and see if there is any problem like jaw fractures, foreign objects, cleft palate, etc.
- Occlusal X-rays
This type of X-ray is used to see the upper and lower teeth. Dentists often use this type for children who are having difficulties with periapical or bitewing X-rays.
The occlusal X-ray is cheaper and averages $25 to $100. Also known as the palatal X-ray, this type shows the lower and upper mouth.
- Full Mouth Series (FMX)
This is a series of 18 to 20 X-ray images composed of four bitewings and the periapical of each tooth. With this, the dentist will be able to have a comprehensive look at each of your pearly whites.
FMX is typically priced at around $100 to $300. This is typically required when visiting a new dentist to serve as the basis for the initial consultation.
When to Get Dental X-rays
Since you will have to pay for the dental X-ray price, you need to know when to get a dental X-ray. It will actually depend since it is your dentist who will recommend the type of X-ray.
When it comes to the frequency, it would depend on your dental history and your current condition. There are some people who may need it every 6 months.
Those who do not have any gum disease or severe dental problems may have to take it once every couple of years. If you are a new patient, you will have to get an X-ray as part of the diagnostic procedure.