Are you or a family member needing dental x-rays but don’t have dental insurance?

Dental X-Rays

How Much Do Dental X-Rays Cost Without Insurance?

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 how much dental x-rays cost without dental insurance, why dentists recommend them and the different types of dental x-rays your dentist might use.

How Much Does it Cost to Get Dental X-Rays?

Dental x-rays can cost anywhere from $30 to $200 depending on the type and number of x-rays you need. If you have no insurance, learn more about the best savings on dental x-rays 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 Get X-Rays?

Dental x-rays are helpful for dentists for a number of reasons. Without x-rays, dentists would not be able to find and treat dental problems thoroughly and effectively. Dental x-rays show dentists:

  • Decay: areas of decay not visible in an oral exam
  • Fillings: what is beneath existing fillings
  • Bone loss
  • Changes in the mouth: particularly in the bone or root canals
  • Infections at the root of a tooth or in the gums
  • Mouth structure: the full structure of a person’s mouth
  • Abnormalities like cysts or tumors
  • Growth: for children, it shows dentists how well teeth are coming in

Types of X-Rays

There are two types of dental x-rays: intraoral x-rays and extraoral x-rays.

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.

X-Rays and Dental Savings Plans

With a procedure that happens so often at the dentist, your savings can also add up with an insurance alternative like a dental savings plan. Plans like the Care 500 Series Plan or the Dental Access Plan (powered by the Aetna Dental Access network) can often cut your x-ray bills in half (or more).


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 dental savings 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.

Summary: Why is Care 500 Series our
best selling plan for x-rays?

  • 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
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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