See what you can expect from a dental exam and find out one way to help pay for it without dental insurance.

How Much Does a Dental Exam Cost Without Insurance?

If you are without dental insurance, it might be easy to dismiss your regular dental visits to cut down on costs. However, your regular dental visits are where dental exams and cleanings take place. Most dental cleanings happen during your normal exams, but are considered different procedures. Dental exams are how you know the health of your mouth and how your dentist is able to address and treat any problems that are present. Here, you’ll see why it’s so important that you have these regular dental exams, what types of dental exams there are and what you can expect to pay for a dental exam with or without dental insurance.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Dental Exam?

A dental exam costs between $60 and $120 with no insurance. Learn more about the best savings at general dentists and see exact pricing in your area with the Care 500 Series Plan. Or see the best savings at specialists with the Dental Access Plan (powered by the Aetna Dental Access network).

Why Do I Need to Have a Dental Exam?

Dental exams are an important preventative measure for oral health. They allow dentists or dental hygienists to take a thorough look at the condition of your mouth and recommend any additional actions needed to safeguard your oral health.

Types of Dental Exams

Although most people only imagine there being just one type of dental exam, knowing the difference is important, especially when considering the cost. There are actually three types of dental exams your dentist can administer. These include:

  • A Periodic Exam: At your regular six-month cleaning visit, you will receive a periodic exam. During the exam, your dentist will examine all of your teeth, look closely at your gum tissue, maybe give you an oral cancer screening and review any x-rays you took.
  • A Limited Exam: A limited exam will focus specifically on a particular problem. This exam is usually performed during emergency visits, or after your dentist sees a problem area in one of your dental x-rays.
  • A Comprehensive Exam: This is a thorough exam that shows the dentist the health of your teeth, gums and jaw. A comprehensive exam will also include an oral cancer screening, discussion of previous dental work and, typically, a complete set of dental x-rays (although the cost of dental x-rays is additional). These exams are usually for new patients, or patients who have not been to their dentist in over three years.

Dental Exams and Dental Savings Plans

A dental exam isn’t as pricey as, say, a root canal, but with all of the other fees you need to pay for your dental cleaning, cutting the cost wherever you can go a long way. Here, you’ll see how much our  Care 500 Series Plan can save you on each type of dental exam. The Care 500 Series Plan is a nationwide plan, but here we’ve pulled just a few sample price lists for residents of California, New York and Texas. You’ll be able to see the benefits of having a discount dental plan by examining these sample prices.

California Careington Members

  • Periodic Oral Evaluation – Established Patient: $26
  • Pulp Cap Indirect: $39
  • Comprehensive Oral Evaluation – New or Established Patient: $44

New York Members

  • Periodic Oral Evaluation – Established Patient: $20
  • Pulp Cap Indirect: $25
  • Comprehensive Oral Evaluation – New or Established Patient: $25

Texas Members

  • Periodic Oral Evaluation – Established Patient: $16
  • Pulp Cap Indirect: $21
  • Comprehensive Oral Evaluation – New or Established Patient: $21

Note: The prices listed above reflect what you can expect to pay at a general dentist that accepts our Care 500 Series Plan, not at a specialist. Specialists in our Care 500 Series network have agreed to a flat 20% off their prices, which may vary depending on the specialist you see. Add the Dental Access Plan to get 15-50% off at general dentists and specialists, which we recommend when seeing a specialist.


Dental exams are a preventative treatment that can save you a lot of money in the long-run. Try our dental savings plans, like the Care 500 Series Plan to make your regular dental visits affordable.

Summary: Why is Care 500 Series our best selling plan for exams?

  • See exact procedure prices online (not estimates)
  • Large provider list of dentists
  • Great savings at general dentists (and specialists)
  • Millions of members, in business since 1979
  • Plan priced at an everyday low price, starting at $119 a year




This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional dental advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist with any questions you may have regarding your oral health.

Brad Meinen

Brad Meinen has worked at 1Dental for over 11 years and has a vast understanding of the dental arena. He has used the dental plans from 1Dental personally for over a decade.

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