DENTIST PRICES and DENTAL COSTS: Finding Affordable Dental Care

Posted by Dr. Joanne Baldos and Dr. Adam Szymczak on Mar 7, 2020 8:57:45 AM

Let’s start with the shocking truth:


Dentist prices do not differ much, however, your dental costs will differ greatly depending on which dentist you see!?


In other words, the price of a specific dental procedure does not differ from dentist to dentist, however, the number and the extent of the procedures that you will have done depends on who your dentist is!

How much of a difference in your dental costs? As much as $1,000 instead of paying $150!!! So if you are looking for affordable dental care STOP wasting time by comparing dentist prices and reduce your dental costs by finding the best dentist: a dentist that you do not need! 


Knowing the difference between dentist prices and dental costs is the way to finding affordable dental care!



1) Do Dentist Prices Differ? NO! Dentist Prices in Toronto = Dentist Prices in Ontario

Dentist Prices in Toronto, Dentist Prices in Ontario, Dentist Prices in Canada

Almost all dentists in Ontario follow the current Ontario Dental Association Fee Guide because most dental insurance companies reimburse based on the ODA fee guide. This is true for procedures that are typically covered by dental insurance such as dental cleanings, x-rays, fillings, extractions, root canals, crowns and dentures.


The Ontario Dental Association Fee Guide:

  • it is about 80 pages long!
  • contains about 1,300 dental procedures!
  • identifies each dental procedure by a 5 digit number: the dental code
  • many dental treatments are a combination of multiple codes
  • it is written in “dentist language”; words like cleaning, check-up and filling are NOT used
  • is not available online
  • copies are available in the reference section of many public libraries
  • although the Fee Guide is “suggested” almost all dentists in Ontario follow it

Dentist prices do differ significantly between dentists for procedures typically NOT covered by insurance:

  • cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening, veneers, braces
  • expensive procedures that insurance companies do not cover such as dental implants


Do Dentist Prices in Ontario = Dentist Prices in Canada? NO!

The other Canadian provinces have fee guides similar to the Ontario Dental Fee Guide. However, dentist prices do differ between the different provinces. A provincial Dental Fee Guide determines Dentist Prices within a specific region of Canada.


For example:

How Much Does a Dental Cleaning Cost?

A teeth cleaning costs $114 for 30 minutes of scaling.


Keep in mind that, the cost of a dental cleaning (in Canada and the USA) is based on time. More time needed to clean the teeth means a higher cost.


Therefore, your dental cleaning cost depends on:

  1. how much tartar and plaque you have on your teeth, which in turn depends on how good your oral hygiene is: the better you do at home the less cleaning time you will need
  2. the efficiency of the dental professional cleaning your teeth

If you want to save on your dental cleaning cost, choose a hygienist that is experienced: the removal of your tartar and plaque will be more efficient: a more detailed cleaning is less time. Your dental cleaning cost will be lower and the cleaning will be better!


Dentist Prices in Ontario and Dentist Prices in Canada for Some of the Most Common Dental Procedures:


Dental Procedure: common language

Dental Procedure: dentist language

Dental Procedure: dentist code

Dentist Price: Ontario


BC Dental Fee Guide: 2109

Alberta Dental Fee Guide:


Dental Cleaning

Dental Scaling: 2 Units= 30 minutes





Dental Check up by dentist

Examination and Diagnosis of Previous Patient





Check-up X-rays

2 Bitewing Radiographs








Tooth Removal: Simple

Tooth Extraction: Uncomplicated





Tooth Removal: Complicated

Tooth Extraction: Complicated






White Tooth Filling: Molar: Small Size

Tooth Coloured Restoration: Molar: One Surface





White Tooth Filling: Molar: Medium Size

Tooth Coloured Restoration: Molar: Two Surfaces





White Tooth Filling: Molar: Large Size

Tooth Coloured Restoration: Molar: Three  Surfaces 





White Tooth Filling: Molar: Very Large Size

Tooth Coloured Restoration: Molar: Four Surfaces





White Tooth Filling: Molar: Huge Size

Tooth Coloured Restoration: Molar: Five Surfaces





Root Canal: Front Tooth

Root Canal: One Canal





Root Canal: Molar

Root Canal: Three Canals






Dentist prices within any given province do not vary from dentist to dentist because each province has a fee guide. However, dentist prices across Canada do differ from province to province.


In the United States, dentist prices differ greatly from dentist to dentist even within any specific state! This makes choosing a dentist very complicated.


In Ontario, or in any specific province, dentist prices are the same so if you want to find affordable dental care you should focus on choosing the best dentist: a dentist that always has your best interests in mind.


2) Dental Costs Differ Between Different Dentists!?

Dental Costs Differ Between Different Dentists, But Dental Prices Do NOT!?

Some dentists are more aggressive with dental treatment recommendations than others!


A CBC researcher visited 20 dentists across Canada, the investigation concluded:

  • dentists vary on the amount of recommended treatment which causes dental costs to vary greatly from dentist to dentist
  • dental cost estimates from the 20 dentists consulted ranged from $144 to $11,931
  • the correct amount of treatment, and therefore dental cost, was about $1,900
  • 40% of the dentists recommended significantly beyond what should be recommended

The above investigation was done in 2012, the dental cost differences between different dentists are even greater now and getting worse because of:

If you want to save money on dental costs choose the best dentist:


Investing time to find a dentist will not only save you on dental costs, but it will save you time!


No matter who your dentist is, you can significantly reduce your dental costs by asking 3 simple questions when a dentist recommends a procedure, it will help you avoid unnecessary dental work.



3) Looking for a cheap dentist?

Cheap Dentist, Dentist Prices, Dental Costs


Compared to your other expenses your dental costs can be very high, as such you may be motivated to “shop around”, to save yourself some money.


You are probably going about it the wrong way by asking the wrong questions. These wrong questions will lead you to exactly the opposite: your dental costs will actually go up! :(


You may have convinced yourself or someone has convinced you that you need a specific procedure, so you call around for pricing. As noted above dentist prices do not differ much, but you get excited when you find a dentist that appears to be “10% cheaper”.


What if you do not need the procedure, to begin with? You would save yourself 100% of the dental cost! For example, more than half the people who end up getting their wisdom teeth removed did NOT need to have them pulled in the first place! Once you consider ALL the Wisdom Teeth Removal Costs, financial and other costs, you will agree with what experts are now recommending: you do NOT need to remove your wisdom teeth!


What if there is an alternative procedure that is 75% cheaper, but just as good? For example, a well placed filling instead of the overly aggressive and expensive dental crown. This happens all the time, as noted above some dentists are more aggressive with dental treatment and recommendations.


Instead of looking for a “deal” to save on dental costs, look for the Best Dentist (the one you do NOT need!!!) The Best dentist will truly save you time and money!


One of the worst choices you can make is to choose a dentist that advertises excessively. A dentist that advertises excessively is likely a “business dentist” not a “doctor dentist”. Who do you think is paying for all the advertising? You are!- through higher dental costs!


Ask yourself: Why is a dentist advertising? Most people find a dentist through word of mouth! Perhaps it is because people are NOT excited about recommending this dentist to their family and friends, so the “business dentist” must advertise to get patients.


Knowing the difference between dentist prices and dental costs will save you time and money at the dentist. Take it a step further and learn about the particular dental procedure that you are having done and you will also avoid a negative experience. For example, read Root Canal Cost to save all dental costs: Money, Time and Frustrations.


Did you know that the Ontario government is committing more of taxpayers' money in 2020 to Dental Care by providing some people with Free Dental Care:


OHIP Dental Coverage and Free Dental Care Ontario in 2020


YES, there is OHIP Dental Coverage in Ontario AND 4 other Free Dental Care Programs in Ontario as of 2020.


In the best interest of your health and well-being,

Dr. Joanne Baldos and Dr. Adam Szymczak




DENTIST PRICES, DENTAL COSTS and Affordable Dental Care


What is a dental fee guide?

A dental fee guide is a price list for dental procedures. A dental fee guide specifies each dental procedure and the associated price. Almost all dentists follow the prices specified in the dental fee guide as insurance companies pay the dentist based on the fee guide.



How much is a dental checkup and clean?

Most commonly a dental checkup and clean is $149. This includes 30 minutes of a dental cleaning (scaling) which costs $114 and a dental check-up by the dentist which costs $35. You may also benefit from checkup X-rays which cost $34 for 2 X-rays.



What is the average cost of dental work?

List of average prices for the most common dental treatments:

  • teeth cleaning: $114
  • dental checkup: $35
  • 2 check-up X-rays: $34
  • a full tooth X-ray: $28
  • tooth removal: $160 for simple and $247 for complicated
  • a medium-sized tooth coloured filling on a molar: $244
  • a root canal on a molar: $892
  • sedation: to be completely asleep: $450 for 1 hour
  • dental crown: $1,150
  • dental veneer: $1,400
  • dental implant: $2,000
  • a complete examination of an adult: $139



How much does it cost to get a tooth pulled?

It costs $160 to pull a tooth if it is simple, $247 if it is complicated. In addition, to the price of tooth removal, especially if you do not have a regular dentist, you will need an examination which will cost about $65 and a dental X-ray for $28.



Is it cheaper to get a root canal or extraction?

Extraction is much cheaper than a root canal. A root canal on a molar is $892. It costs $160 to pull a tooth if it is simple, $247 if it is complicated. A root canal saves a tooth, whereas once you pull a tooth it will be gone forever.



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