Where can I compare dental procedure costs?

Can someone provide me with a link or information about the average cost of various dental procedures? I have searched but have not found anything all that helpful. I went to the dentist today and have a long term dental plan, but it seems impossible to compare prices with other dentists without paying office visits first for everyone you ask.

Ideally, are there any doper dentists who could possibly answer questions concerning relative costs? I know that everything on my long term plan is necessary, I just think a couple of things seem pretty steep.

It’s pretty tough. I worked the front desk for a dentist once, and was strictly trained never to quote prices for most procedures We’d talk prices after the exam, because then the doctor could talk 'em into getting more work done.
Your best bet is to find people who go to various dentists, and ask them about their experiences and how much their work cost. Take notes.
I’ll add that in general, dental work costs a lot, regardless of what you’re having done or where you go. There is a lot of cost variation - but it doesn’t necessarily correspond with ability. The detist I worked for charged a pile to pay for all the high-tech gear she utilized to cover for the fact that she was an incompetent alcoholic whose hands sometimes shook when she’d get off a bender.
(I say that with a beer in my hand - I’m no teetotaler. But you just don’t go into surgery hung over. You just… don’t. Not if you’re the surgeon.)


heres a list of costs in South Carolina if you joined a dental discount plan


Why not ask your fellow Dopers? I’m sure you’ll find a bunch of people who’ve had the same procedure (says the veteran of 6 cavities $600, braces $2700 and wisdom teeth removal $850*).

*all prices canadian

Dental prices vary quite a bit by region. My root canal cost $800 in the midwest, while the same procedure cost my mom $1300 in San Francisco. Knowing where you are, geographically and urban/rural, will help people give you more accurate information.

One way to get a guideline would be to call your insurance (or any insurance plan that has dental coverage) and ask them about what they consider “reasonable and customary” in your area. They should have a specific value on every procedure.

Now that’s good advice. Wish I’d thought of it. Unfortunately, it won’t tell you what a specific dentist charges, so you’ll still have to ask the locals what they paid. It will give you a good baseline for comparison, though.

Be aware many insurance companies peg usual and customary to the 70% percentile for calculations.

Some calculations are by region. My office is on Chicago’s north side. Calculations based on U&C for Illinois as a whole, or even just the N side of the city, will not tell you what the going rate is in our area.

Thanks to everyone , especially Wes for the links and Hello Again for the suggestion to call the provider…never occurred to me! Good advice, which I will follow.

Incidentally, my SO called her dentist of long standing today and was able to compare some costs (for crowns, etc.) …they charge a little more than 1/2 what my dentist quoted me for the same procedure, same crown. I will go get my xrays tomorrow and see them on Monday. Pays to check I guess…