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It’s always better to maintain good oral hygiene than to get your teeth fixed. Dental procedures are expensive, especially if you need root canals or a dental implant, which are far more costly than brushing your teeth and flossing.

However, if past poor choices have led you to needing dental treatments, you must find a way to pay for these procedures.

We’re going to outline the basic cost ranges for the most popular treatments and then provide a long list of no-cost options that may extend to you or your family.

Understanding the Basic Costs of Dental Treatments

2023 Blocks on coins indicating increasing cost

Dental treatments can be expensive, especially if you’ve neglected your oral hygiene for years and are trying to restore it. Multiple factors go into costs, such as paying for supplies, dentists, assistants and more.

The following procedures and their average costs are something you need to know before seeking ways to pay for them:

Teeth Cleaning

Routine teeth cleanings are one of the best ways to maintain a healthy smile and catch dental issues before they progress. You’ll likely need to have a cleaning before your procedure unless it’s an emergency.

Many dental insurance options will cover the cost of cleaning.

However, you will likely pay between $100 and $145+ for a cleaning. Every province and dental office has its own pricing, but they will generally fall within the price range above.

Basic Dental Check-Up

An examination of your teeth will be required if you haven’t been in the office in a long time. You’ll find that examining an existing patient will cost between $35 and $70, but this price may be much higher if this is your first time in our office.

The check-up is our way to find out about issues that you may have and identify which treatments may be necessary.


Cavities, root canals and basic tooth decay may need to have x-rays done. The cost of X-rays will often cost between $25 and $55+.

Teeth Fillings

If you have caries, you’ll need fillings to restore your tooth's strength. The cost of fillings can vary greatly based on the type of material chosen for the filling. Filling materials may include:

  • Amalgam
  • Ceramic
  • Composite resin
  • Gold
  • Glass ionomer

On top of the material that is used in the filling, the cost can vary based on tooth-coloured restorations, placement and size of the filling. Due to all of these factors, you can expect to pay between $160 and $500.

Molars that need larger fillings will be the most expensive to repair.

Tooth Removal

Removing your tooth is the last resort and not something that we recommend unless it’s 100% necessary. Sometimes, a root canal is possible and eliminates the need for an extraction.

We classify removals as simple and complicated.

If you have a simple removal, costs will fall between $85and $200. However, a complicated removal can cost $350 - $450.

Root Canal

Root canals are a very intense dental procedure and one of the costliest options available for anyone seeking dental treatment. We only perform root canals when the damage to the tooth is such that it cannot be repaired using a traditional filling.

With this information in mind, root canals on your front teeth will cost between $550 and $720+. Back teeth are more complex to work on and may cost between $850 and $1250+ to have done.

Tooth extraction is cheaper than a root canal and may be an option for you. However, we recommend:

  • Getting a root canal when possible
  • Doing everything you can to keep your natural teeth
  • Exhaust all financing options before having an extraction when a root canal is possible

When you have an exam and we determine what work you need done on your teeth, we’ll help by providing the cost of the procedures upfront. Knowing the cost can help you narrow down your payment options and find a way to get the dental care you need.

Dental Crown

Dental crowns are another popular restorative treatment option for patients. You may pay $200 and $600 out of pocket if you have insurance. Without insurance, you can expect most dental crowns to cost $800 - $1,200+.

Porcelain crowns are often more affordable than metal crowns, so they’re a cost-effective option for tooth restoration and look great, too.

If you were to request a gold crown, the cost could be significantly higher, although gold will last longer and offers top-tier strength and durability. We will be more than happy to discuss your dental crown options and costs when you’re in our office.

Dental Implant

Dentures are an excellent option for dental restoration along with bridges, but neither of these options offers the realistic look of a dental implant. You’ll have to pay for different parts of the implant, including:

  • Abutment
  • Crown

Most dental centres will charge you between $3000 and $5,000+ for dental implants. If you’re younger or want to have the most realistic tooth replacement possible, implants will be the right solution for you.


Invisalign can help restore crooked teeth and help with tooth spacing issues. We have great results with Invisalign for our patients, and the cost can vary greatly from $2,000 to $8,000.

Adults often prefer Invisalign over braces because they’re not noticeable and will blend into the look of your natural teeth better.

However, if you don’t mind braces, they’re often more affordable and will allow you to restore your smile for slightly less with minimal maintenance.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening can be done in-office or at home, and there are a few options at our disposal to help you restore your teeth to their natural white color. However, you can expect to pay between $350 to $450 for custom trays you wear at home.

If you want even better results, in-office treatment can cost $600 to $700, although the price can vary slightly.

Anyone considering teeth whitening will want to consider discussing their options with a member of our team. We’ll review your teeth shade and determine how much whitening you can expect from each procedure.

No Cost Options to Fix Your Teeth

Dental care is expensive, and we’ll do all that we can to work with our patients to ensure they receive the care they need without sacrificing their dental health. However, there may be options to fix your teeth at no cost to you that you should know about, including:


Always start with your insurance if you need dental care and do not have the money for an entire procedure. Insurers offer you the option to pay just a percentage of your overall procedure cost and some offer:

  • $ 100-lifetime deductibles
  • Guaranteed acceptance
  • Next-day insurance

Many employers do offer dental insurance as part of their benefits packages. But, unfortunately, income plays a significant role in this benefit being offered, according to benefits Canada.

If you have an employer-provided plan, you will limit your costs and may even enjoy some treatments for free.

You want to ensure that you spend time reviewing your plan and learning what expenses you may have to pay.

Local Help

Local groups can help pay for your dental care. However, there is also the Universal Dental Care Canada, also known as the Canada Dental Plan, which offers numerous coverage options that will be fully phased in by 2025.

The plan will begin its first stage of being phased in on December 1, 2022.

Starting on this date, the plan will allow for children under the age of 12 to have much-needed dental work performed if their family:

  • Earns less than $90,000 annually
  • Isn’t part of an employer plan

An investment of $938 million is being made and is expected to help 500,000 Canadian children.

However, the plan will extend to the following in 2023:

  • People under 18
  • Seniors
  • People living with disabilities

By 2025, the goal is to have dental insurance provided to all family members who are part of families earning less than $90,000 annually.

How Much Will This Plan Pay for Eligible Persons?

The Canada Dental Benefit isn’t unlimited, so there is a cap on how much each household member can spend on their dental procedures. A tiered payment plan is provided, including:

  1. $70,000 or less in adjusted net income - $650 per person
  2. $70,001 - $79,999 in adjusted net income - $390 per person
  3. $80,000 - $89,999 in adjusted net income - $260 per person

Unfortunately, the government hasn’t provided details on which procedures are covered under this plan. You’ll need to keep a close eye on the benefit to learn what may or may not be paid through these benefits.

Payment Plans

Financing and payment plans may not be ideal, but they’re an option for many dental procedures. Discuss your options with our team. CareCredit is available in Canada, and you may be able to get credit to pay for your procedure with a 0% interest option.

You will need to repay the cost of treatment, but most will offer:

  • 6 - 24 month repayments
  • 0% interest after a certain cost threshold

You’ll want to review your options and see if you can use a payment plan to help cover your costs. Since dental issues rarely resolve on their own, waiting to get a much-needed procedure done will only cause the problem to worsen and may even lead to higher costs for future treatment.

Patients who want to apply for CareCredit or similar financing options must know that while most patients are approved, some will not be.

No Cost Dental Care for Certain Groups or Individuals

Military Veterans

If you’re a military veteran, you will have dental insurance covered under the Veterans Affairs Canada Dental Services. You may qualify for coverage under the following circumstances:

  • Receive disability benefits
  • Part of a long-term care program
  • War Veterans Allowance recipient
  • Part of the Veterans Independence Program

Primary care is provided to certain veterans and pre-authorized services. Most basic procedures, up to $1,500 per year, are covered. You will need to have authorization for more expensive work, such as crowns, bridges and other complex dental procedures.


Anyone in a federal prison has a right to dental care and health care services. Acute conditions will be covered as well as preventative care, such as fillings and extractions. However, inmates will not have every procedure covered for free and will be expected to fund certain treatments on their own.


The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) offers coverage for certain groups of protected people, including refugees. Unfortunately, not all treatments will be covered under the IFHP. Instead, procedures for the following will be covered by the program:

  • Active infections
  • Oral trauma
  • Pain
  • Bleeding

Limited and temporary coverage is offered through the IFHP.

Indigenous People

If you’re an indigenous person, you have Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) available to you. A wide range of procedures will be covered under these benefits, such as:

  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Root canals
  • Oral surgery
  • Cleanings

You will need to meet specific requirements to be approved under this benefit option. For example, you will only be approved if you’re registered under the Indian Act or are Inuk recognized.

If you have plans available to you in the public or private sector, you must submit all of the dental plans to them first before using the NIHB.

Additional Steps You Can Take to Afford Dental Care

Fixing your teeth should be a top priority, but you will need to spend the time to find a no-cost solution. A few steps that you can take include:

  1. Going to the dentist to get a full list of the procedures that you’ll need done.
  2. Call our office and inquire about financing options, standard rates and more.
  3. Compare costs across dentists to find one that’s ideal for you.

You may also want to look for local assistance programs that will help you cover the cost of emergency dental procedures that you need performed.

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Dr. Gurpreet Sidhu - Dentist at Lighthouse Dental Centre and Blue Water Dental
Dr. Gurpreet Sidhu

With nearly two decades of experience, Dr. Sidhu enjoys helping his patients learn about dentistry. Knowledge is meant to be improved, challenged and shared.

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