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No Dental Insurance But Need Dental X-Rays?

No Dental Insurance X-Rays

Dental x-rays are a necessary part of going to the dentist. However, the amount of x-rays you need depends on the condition of your mouth and teeth and how often you change dental offices. Some people need to get x-rays every six months, whereas others only need them every couple of years. Whichever category you fall into, it’s important to understand why dentists recommend dental x-rays, what the different types of dental x-rays are and how much they cost with no dental insurance.

Why Do I Need to Get X-Rays?

Dental x-rays are helpful for dentists because they allow them to visualize what’s happening inside a person’s mouth. Without x-rays, dentists would not be able to find and treat dental problems as thoroughly and effectively. Dental x-rays can show dentists:

  • Areas of decay, which are not visible in an oral exam.
  • What is happening beneath existing fillings, like tooth decay.
  • Bone loss, which occurs as a result of gum disease.
  • Any changes in the bone or in root canals because of infection.
  • Infections at the root of a tooth or in the gums, also known as an abscess.
  • The full structure of a person’s mouth to help them make proper preparation and decisions when it comes to tooth implants, dentures, braces or other dental procedures.
  • Other abnormalities like cysts or tumors.
  • For children, x-rays can show dentists a number of things, as well: how teeth are coming in (is there enough space for them all), if primary teeth are coming out when they should be so the permanent teeth can come in and if a child’s wisdom teeth will cause them future problems or not.

Types of X-Rays

There are two types of dental x-rays: intraoral x-rays and extraoral x-rays. Each one has more specific x-rays that fall into their categories, which you’ll discover in more detail below:

  • Intraoral X-Rays: The most common type of x-ray, intraoral x-rays give dentists a lot of detail to help them find cavities, check on developing teeth, monitor the health of tooth roots and bone and keep an eye on the general health of your mouth. Intraoral X-rays include:
    • Bite-Wing X-Rays: These x-rays show the upper and lower teeth in one area of your mouth. Bite-wing x-rays are often used to detect tooth decay between teeth and monitor any abnormalities in bone density, which could be a result of gum disease.
    • Periapical X-Rays: Periapical x-rays show dentists the whole tooth, even to the end of the root of the tooth. These x-rays are used to monitor any changes in root structure and the surrounding bone structure.
    • Occlusal X-Rays: Using occlusal x-rays are great for showing full tooth development and placement on a larger scale.
  • Extraoral X-Rays: The main focus of these x-rays is your jaw and skull. Dentists use these x-rays to see how the growth and development of your jaw is affecting your teeth. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and other structural problems are often monitored using extraoral x-rays. These x-rays include:
    • Panoramic X-Rays: They show all of the teeth in the upper and lower jaws on a single x-ray. Panoramic x-rays can show dentists the positioning of teeth in the mouth.
    • Sialography: A dye is needed for this x-ray. The dye is injected into the salivary glands and then the x-ray is taken. This x-ray would be used if a dentist is worried about salivary gland problems.
    • Tomograms: Tomograms target in on one particular area of the mouth and blur out everything else. If there are areas of the mouth that are difficult for him to see, he may request a tomogram to see the area more clearly.
    • Computed tomography: This is also known as CT scanning and is usually done in a hospital or radiology center. It is used to identify any problems in the bones of the face. Computed tomography is also very useful in helping evaluate the placement of dental implants and working on difficult extractions in the mouth.
    • Cephalometric Projections: Cephalometric Projections show the side of the head. It is helpful for seeing the relation between the teeth and the jaw and profile of a person. This type of x-ray can be very beneficial for orthodontists when planning their treatment.

How Much Will X-Rays Cost Without Insurance?

If you’re in need of dental x-rays but are without insurance, here’s what you might expect to pay for a few common types of x-rays if you live in California:

  • Intraoral – Complete Series of Radiographic Images: $163
  • Intraoral – Periapical – First Radiographic Image: $37
  • Intraoral – Periapical – Each Additional Radiographic Image:: $31
  • Bitewing – Single Radiographic Image: $36
  • Bitewings – Two Radiographic Images: $55
  • Bitewings – Three Radiographic Images: $67
  • Bitewings – Four Radiographic Images: $80
  • Panoramic Radiographic Image: $139

X-Rays and the Careington 500 Series Dental Plan

While the prices listed above for someone without insurance are not too terribly high, imagine what you could save by using an insurance alternative like the Careington 500 Series plan. This is a nationwide discount Dental Plan, but we’ve listed just a few sample price lists below for individuals who live in California, New York and Texas. See what you might save on dental x-rays with the Careington 500 plan.

California Careington Members

  • Intraoral – Complete Series of Radiographic Images: $69
  • Intraoral – Periapical – First Radiographic Image: $14
  • Intraoral – Periapical – Each Additional Radiographic Image:: $12
  • Bitewing – Single Radiographic Image: $13
  • Bitewings – Two Radiographic Images: $18
  • Bitewings – Three Radiographic Images: $23
  • Bitewings – Four Radiographic Images: $27
  • Panoramic Radiographic Image: $58

New York Members

  • Intraoral – Complete Series of Radiographic Images: $57
  • Intraoral – Periapical – First Radiographic Image: $13
  • Intraoral – Periapical – Each Additional Radiographic Image:: $8
  • Bitewing – Single Radiographic Image: $13
  • Bitewings – Two Radiographic Images: $17
  • Bitewings – Three Radiographic Images: $23
  • Bitewings – Four Radiographic Images: $29
  • Panoramic Radiographic Image: $57

Texas Members

  • Intraoral – Complete Series of Radiographic Images: $43
  • Intraoral – Periapical – First Radiographic Image: $11
  • Intraoral – Periapical – Each Additional Radiographic Image:: $6
  • Bitewing – Single Radiographic Image: $11
  • Bitewings – Two Radiographic Images: $14
  • Bitewings – Three Radiographic Images: $18
  • Bitewings – Four Radiographic Images: $22
  • Panoramic Radiographic Image: $43

Disclaimer: The prices listed above reflect what you can expect to pay at a general dentist that accepts our Careington Care 500 plan, not at a specialist. Specialists in our Careington Care 500 network have agreed to a flat 20% off their prices, which may vary depending on the specialist you see.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many types of dental x-rays and reasons to have them done. The prices vary from one to the other so understanding all you can about each type is helpful as you go in to have your own dental x-rays done. Stay ahead of the curve by realizing how much you can save on dental x-rays simply by choosing a dental insurance alternative like our discount dental plans. You’ll be able to keep more money in your pocket and get the needed dental x-rays that you need at the dentist.

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