How Much Is a Dental Check Up Without Insurance?

The average cost of a first time dental check up without insurance is $87.19 while a returning patient exam is $54.79 which is a bit less. The difference in price has to do with the fact that a new patient requires a much more thorough work up since it's their first time at the office.


These numbers were provided by the American Dental Association (ADA) survey of fees:


ADA - dental check up exam fees nationally

However the cost for a dental check up may be less than that or it could be more. It all depends on the cost of living in your area. That is the reason why there is a range of fees.


This article will also go over the cost of an oral examination in different regions of the United States. As you may have guessed, it can vary depending on the state that you live in!


What is included in a dental check up?

Please be aware that all of the numbers and figures in this article are for what a "dental check up" is supposed to cost. That excludes the dental cleaning and also the x-rays. Those procedures have their own separate code and fee.


Think about it carefully because when you go make an appointment with the dentist, you usually say, "I want a dental check up and a cleaning". In other words, they are two separate procedures but they're usually combined together into one appointment. Having them together along with the x-rays will make it more time efficient and it'll take less visits thus saving you time.



New England - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode island, Vermont

A dental check up in one of the New England states will cost more than the national average. Without insurance it will be $99.64 for a first time patient and $59.17 for a returning patient to the practice.


Price range for a new patient:

  • 10th percentile = $72

  • 95th percentile = $141


Price range for an existing patient:

  • 10th percentile = $45

  • 95th percentile = $83



Middle Atlantic - New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania

The Mid Atlantic states will actually set you back less than average for an oral examination. If you don't have insurance it will cost $83.46 for a first time visit and $52.73 for a returning dental check up.


Price range for a new patient:

  • 10th percentile = $45

  • 95th percentile = $145


Price range for an existing patient:

  • 10th percentile = $33

  • 95th percentile = $85



East North Central - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin

A dental exam in the East North Central states will cost you about $89.25 for a first time visit and $54.86 for an existing patient if you do not have any dental insurance. That puts it slightly above the national average in terms of cost.


Price range for a new patient:

  • 10th percentile = $65

  • 95th percentile = $126


Price range for an existing patient:

  • 10th percentile = $43

  • 95th percentile = $70



West North Central - Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota

The average cost of a dental check up without insurance in the West North Central states is about $85.66 for a new patient and $52.68 for a returning one. That means you will save some money if you happen to live in this region since it cost less than the national average.


Price range for a new patient:

  • 10th percentile = $70

  • 95th percentile = $105


Price range for an existing patient:

  • 10th percentile = $44

  • 95th percentile = $66



South Atlantic - Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia

If you happen to live in one of the sunny South Atlantic states, it will run you about $93.59 as a first time patient and $57.51 for a returning dental check up without insurance. Those numbers are a bit higher than what the average is so you'll be paying more for living in the south.


Price range for a new patient:

  • 10th percentile = $60

  • 95th percentile = $137


Price range for an existing patient:

  • 10th percentile = $40

  • 95th percentile = $81



East South Central - Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee

A dental exam in the East South Central states will cost $70.92 for a new patient and $44.01 for a returning one if you have no insurance. This is quite a bit less than the national average pricing so your out of pocket expense will be significantly less if you live here.


Price range for a new patient:

  • 10th percentile = $50

  • 95th percentile = $96


Price range for an existing patient:

  • 10th percentile = $30

  • 95th percentile = $57



West South Central - Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas

An oral examination without insurance in the West South Central states will cost about $85.36 as a first time visit and $54.33 if you've been there before. That does put you slightly below the national average for a check up.


Price range for a new patient:

  • 10th percentile = $60

  • 95th percentile = $112


Price range for an existing patient:

  • 10th percentile = $40

  • 95th percentile = $75



Mountain - Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming

Without insurance a dental check up in the Mountain states will cost $82.08 for a new patient and $50.49 for a returning patient. That makes it a lot less than the national average so you're in luck if you live in one of these states.


Price range for a new patient:

  • 10th percentile = $62

  • 95th percentile = $113


Price range for an existing patient:

  • 10th percentile = $39

  • 95th percentile = $65



Pacific - Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington

A check up without dental insurance for the Pacific states will run you about $96.42 as a new patient and $66.05 as an existing patient. That is significantly more than the national average in terms of pricing, which probably has to do with the cost of living in these states.


Price range for a new patient:

  • 10th percentile = $66

  • 95th percentile = $145


Price range for an existing patient:

  • 10th percentile = $50

  • 95th percentile = $99



Takeaway

Without dental insurance the average cost of a dental check is about $87.19 as a first time patient and $54.79 as a returning patient. The fee for the check up excludes the dental cleaning and the x-rays because those have their own separate codes/fees.


However, most dentist offices will combine all three of those procedures into one appointment as a matter of efficiency. They'll usually give some sort of new patient special as well to consolidate the pricing.


Nonetheless, the difference in check up pricing can be attributed to the cost of living in your state. If you live in a higher cost of living neighborhood, you should expect to fork out more money for the oral exam. Inversely, if you live in a cheaper cost of living state you can expect to spend less!


If you happen to live in NYC, our dental office in long island city does offer dental check up services. Our LIC dentists will be more than happy to take care of your oral health!

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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!