Preventable Emergency Dental Visits Cost Americans $2 Billion Every Year — Here's What You Can Do To Better Manage The High Costs of Dental Care

The end of the COVID-19 public health emergency has triggered many state Medicaid programs to review recipient eligibility for the first time since the pandemic first began — and an estimated 14.2 million people are expected to lose what little dental coverage they have. While the move to disenroll millions of Americans who no longer qualify for benefits might result in temporary cost savings for states, the long-term costs of reducing access to affordable preventative dental care will likely end up far outpacing any initial savings. 

Dental emergencies can be a very expensive issue that Americans face, costing approximately $2 billion per year, according to a systematic review of emergency department data. It’s also one of the most preventable. The average Medicaid enrollee with five continuous years of preventive care prior to 2019 experienced 43% lower costs than an individual who received no preventive dental care at all. 

Dental Care Still Costs Americans Billions Even With Insurance

The 14 million Americans at risk of losing dental coverage this year are just part of the affordable dental care problem.  According to the American Dental Association, the total amount spent on dental expenditures in the United States reached $162 billion in 2021

Less than half of that was covered by insurers, meaning patients had to pay $63 billion in out-of-pocket costs with the remaining $25 billion paid by publicly-funded supplemental programs. Due to budget concerns, more than half of Americans experiencing an oral health problem opt to just delay dental care which can lead to serious health problems. 

Dental Savings Plans Are An Affordable Alternative To Insurance That Could Put Dental Care Back In Reach For The Uninsured Or Underinsured

Dental savings plans are a flexible insurance alternative that allows plan members to access preventive, restorative and even cosmetic dental services at reduced rates. Plan members report an average savings of 50%*.

Anyone can sign up at any time and begin using their plan as soon as it activates, typically within 72 hours – though some plans activate in as little as 24 hours – even on large procedures. Unlike dental insurance, which typically caps coverage at $1,000-$1,500 annually, dental savings plans have no annual limits or restrictions based on current health conditions. With the cost of a root canal and crown costing roughly $1,200, it’s easy for traditional dental insurance to be maxed out after just one treatment plan. With dental savings plans, there is no limit to worry about. 

To use your plan, you simply show your membership card to one of the thousands of participating dentists and specialists nationwide, and you’ll be billed at the special reduced rate offered by your plan. 

For those who don’t have dental insurance, dental savings plans can help you afford expensive restorative care like root canals, crowns, bridges and dentures. They also include savings on procedures like dental implants, teeth whitening and veneers that are often not covered by insurance – as well as preventative care. 

Find your perfect plan today at, the largest dental plan marketplace with more than 25 plans from the most trusted brands in healthcare. makes it easy to find the plan that fits your specific needs. Visit and use their guided online plan finder today to get a personalized plan recommendation in minutes.

Featured photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.

This post contains sponsored content. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

*Discount Health Program consumer and provider surveys indicate average savings of 50%. Savings may vary by provider, location, and plan.

All cost averages obtained from procedure search tool, and independent research.

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