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To answer this question, you need to figure out 3 things. How much dental work you need, how much dental benefit you need, and how much you would pay to have dental insurance. According to, in this Oroville, California, if you have a healthy mouth, it should cost $528 a year (less than $45 a month) to keep up with your mouth maintenance.

Mouth maintenance should look like :

  • 2 Healthy mouth hygiene visits
  • 2 Fluoride treatments
  • 1 Exam by the dentist
  • 4 Routine x-rays 

At Oroville Gentle Dentistry, this would be closer to $455 ($37 a month) to have two regular hygiene visits as well as the typical exam and x-rays we take. If you prioritize these visits, you are much more likely to avoid problems and find problems that develop earlier when they are less expensive to fix.

Imagine being presented with a dental insurance plan that requires a monthly payment of $52 and offers an annual benefit of $500. The plan includes coverage for preventative care such as exams, x-rays, and healthy mouth cleanings with a 100% payout, as well as 80% coverage for fillings, root canals, and gum treatments, and 50% coverage for crowns, bridges, and dentures.

For a yearly cost of $624 ($52 multiplied by 12), what benefits are included?

If you never go to the dentist, you get nothing for your investment. The insurance company keeps the money. If you have two regular hygiene visits and the typical exam and x-rays you will have paid $624 for $455 of treatment and service. You have overpaid by $169. For a routine check-up and a standard filling on a back tooth priced at $257, your insurance would cover $141, leaving you with $116 to pay. The remaining balance of $205.60 would typically be covered by insurance, but since they have already paid $359 and have a maximum annual limit of $500, there is only $141 left to cover. Ultimately, your total payment would come to $740.

So, what happens if you set aside the same $52 a month and pay cash and pay in advance for all your treatment?

1. If you never go to the dentist you still have $624

2. If you have two regular hygiene visits and the typical exam and x-rays you will have paid $409 for $455 of treatment and service.

3. Remember paying in advance gets you a 10% discount if you pay cash or check and don’t have insurance.

4. The remaining $214 would be available in the event you needed or wanted something more.

To decide whether dental insurance is worth buying, you need to think carefully about your dental requirements, how much coverage you need, and the insurance premiums you’ll have to pay. While dental insurance can help you cover the cost of preventive care and some treatments, it may not always be the most economical option. Comparing the costs and benefits of dental insurance versus paying for treatments out of your pocket can help you make an informed decision. Whether you choose to pay for dental care through insurance or out of your own pocket, it’s crucial to prioritize regular dental checkups and maintenance to maintain oral health and catch potential problems early on. By considering your unique circumstances and weighing your options, you can choose the payment method that best fits your dental needs.

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