Dental X-rays help your dentist identify problems like cavities, tooth decay and impacted teeth. The cost can be different for many reasons, but the goal is the same—to find and fix problems early to help you save money and avoid discomfort in the future.
Here’s an overview of the cost of dental X-rays.
Dental X-rays generally cost between $25–$750.1 Reasons for the range in cost may include:
- The type of X-ray you need—There are different types of dental X-rays, each needing their own special tools and equipment.
- How many X-rays you need—The more you need, the more you’ll likely pay in total.
- Your dental insurance coverage—Some dental plans only pay for a portion of an X-ray and have limits on how many are covered per year.
- Where the X-ray is performed—Some dentists or dental offices may charge more than others.
Your dentist is the best person to help you understand how much your X-rays will cost. They can give you a quote based on the type of X-ray, number of X-rays needed and what your insurance will pay for.
There are 2 main types of dental X-rays: intraoral (when the X-ray film is inside the mouth) and extraoral (when the X-ray film is outside the mouth). Here are some common examples of each.
- Bitewing—Named for the wing-shaped device you bite down on, the Bitewing captures a small section of the lower and upper teeth to find problems like tooth decay and decay between teeth.
- Periapical—This X-ray shows a small section of the mouth, usually 1–2 teeth, to help diagnose painful issues such as impacted teeth, fractures, cracks and abscesses.
- Occlusal—These are taken to view inside the roof or floor of the mouth to monitor full tooth development and placement.
- Panoramic—Showing the entire mouth area to detect emerging teeth, impacted teeth and tumors, Panoramic X-rays are taken by a machine that rotates around your head.
- Cephalometric—Also called a “ceph,” these X-rays view an entire side of the head to help with dental and orthodontic treatment planning, and to diagnose issues like sleep apnea and Temporomandibular disorder (TMD).
- Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT)—Similar to a medical CT scan, a CBCT provides a highly detailed 3D image of the teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone structure to view before oral surgery or other procedures.
If you don’t have dental insurance, you pay all costs out of pocket. Here are some prices of common types of dental X-rays to give you an idea:2
Yes. Dental X-rays produce very low levels of radiation. Modern tools and techniques limit your exposure to radiation, and a leaded apron and/or a leaded thyroid collar can be worn for extra protection.3
Dental X-rays help your dentist find and treat problems that can’t be seen with a simple oral exam. If you have to pay money for an X-ray now, remember that it could save you money and mouth pain in the future.
For more information on coverage and costs, check out what dental insurance covers.