Infographic: Everything you need to know about dental care

Infographic: Everything you need to know about dental care

Can't read this graphic? Here below is the text-only version:

The Angie’s List Guide to Dental Care

Introduction: While going to the dentist may not be the most pleasant experience, dental care is important and poorly maintained teeth can affect your overall health. In this infographic, we show the lifecycle of a tooth and how you should budget for care.

When You Should Go to the Dentist:

  • Bleeding gums (gum disease)
  • Chronic pain
  • Canker sores
  • Dry mouth
  • Receding gums

Baby teeth: 20

Adult teeth: 32

Is Dental Insurance Worth the Cost?

Dental insurance provides peace of mind that no matter what the cause of that ache in your mouth, you're covered.

Types of dental insurance:

  • HMO - limits coverage to specific dentists in a specific network
  • PPO - choose from a network of “preferred” providers
  • Discount plans - pay an annual premium for discounted care

What dental insurance covers:

  • HMOs and PPOs typically offer "100-80-50" coverage.
  • That means that your insurance will pick up 100% of preventive care (like cleanings and X-rays), 80% for basic services (such as fillings) and 50% for major procedures (like crowns and root canals).
  • Discount plans typically provide a list for all procedures up front.
  • Most dental plans will not cover cosmetic procedures.

Baby Teeth Care (6 months to 8 years old)

#1 concern: Avoid decay


  • Wipe down your baby’s gum after feeding
  • Brush your child’s teeth with fluoride once they can spit
  • Feed them fruits, veggies, and whole grains
  • After the first birthday, use cups instead of sippies

Make a dentist appointment: Age 1

Cost: between $150 and $300

Losing teeth: Children should start losing their baby teeth around 6 to 8 years old.

Knocked out tooth: If a tooth has been knocked out, your dentist might be able to save it.

  • Call your dentist immediately
  • Handle the tooth with care
  • Place the tooth back in socket (if possible)
  • Put the tooth in saliva or milk

Cavity care

30% of 3-year-olds come to the dentist with tooth decay.


  • Avoid juice, a major cause of tooth decay
  • Only water at bedtime
  • Lead by example by practicing good dental health and habits yourself
  • Don’t share food, drink, or utensils

Signs of a cavity: tooth sensitivity and pain

Time to treat: 1 to 2 hours, depending on the amount of cavities

Time to heal: Almost immediately

Costs (with insurance):

  • Silver fillings: $34 to $183
  • White fillings: $90 to $250

Costs (without insurance):

  • Silver fillings: $75 to $150
  • White fillings: $150 to $250


Age to be treated:

  • Apply braces during the teen years, when the patients have most or all of their adult teeth.
  • If it is an underbite or overbite issue, treat at 8 or 9 years old.

Cost (with and without insurance): anywhere between $3,500 and $8,000

Types of braces for children:

  • Metal braces - $4,500 - 18 to 24 months
  • Invisalign braces - $3,500 to $8,000 - 12 to 15 months
  • Self-ligating braces - $4,500 to $5,000 - Less than 23 months

Wisdom Teeth Removal

35% of Americans get their wisdom teeth removed.

Signs of an infected wisdom tooth: pain in the area, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes.

Time to treat: 1 to 1.5 hours

Time to heal: 2 to 3 days

Cost (with insurance): between $134 and $481, depending on health of tooth and complications.

Pro tip: Get your teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months.

Chipped Tooth Repair

Types of repair for a chipped tooth:

Filling or bonding

  • What is it: filling the gap with composite resin
  • Cost: around $200
  • Covered by insurance: Yes


  • What is it: covering tooth with cap
  • Cost: $600 to $2,000
  • Covered by insurance: Partially


  • What is it: restore tooth appearance with porcelain or resin composite material
  • Cost: $925 to $2,500
  • Covered by insurance: No


  • What are they: thinner type of veneer
  • Cost: over $1,100 per tooth
  • Covered by insurance: No

Root canal

  • What is it: cleaning and sealing the area of exposed tooth pulp
  • Cost: $400 to $1,400
  • Covered by insurance: Partially

Tooth Replacement and Repair

Statistics show that 69% of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal or tooth decay. By age 74, 26% of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth.

Dental implants:

  • What are they: long-term replacements that your oral and maxillofacial surgeon surgically places in the jawbone
  • Cost: $3,000 to $4,500 per tooth
  • Covered by insurance: Partially
  • Time to heal: 12 weeks
  • Good candidates: Anyone healthy enough to have a routine dental extraction
  • Benefits: more durable to bite and don’t disturb other teeth


  • What are they: prosthetics to replace original teeth
  • Cost: $1,300 to $1,450
  • Covered by insurance: Partially
  • Replace: every 5 years
  • Types: complete and partial

Dental care is a lifetime commitment. Make sure to go for regularly scheduled checkups and maintain good oral health care.

Leave a Comment - 1



Subject: Sobering Reading!

First off I just wanted to say what an eye-catching image this is! However now I've got the flattery out of the way, the real take-home point from it is simply how expensive dental work can really be.

It really goes to highlight how important it is to:

a) Maintain an effective dental hygiene routine throughout your life to minimize the chances of tooth decay, gum disease and all the other nasties, and

b) Get yourself some reliable dental insurance so that if and when you finally do need some treatment it won't break the bank.

Thanks for the important (if somewhat shocking!) reminder :-)

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