Gum Disease. Yep, it’s about as pleasant as it sounds. (We’ll spare you the photos of swollen and bleeding gums. You’re welcome!)
If you don’t treat it, eventually gum disease can result in loose gums. This causes little pockets to form between the teeth and gums which can become a playground for nasty bacteria.
If the pockets get too deep and get too diseased, you may end up losing some teeth. Which, we’re assuming for most of you is not an ideal outcome.
One option that can prevent this from happening is a gingivectomy. This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that removes loose, diseased gums (called gingival) to get rid of any pockets between your teeth and gums. The procedure can help stop the progression of gum disease and improve the shape of your gumline.
How Much Does a Gingivectomy Cost?
The price of a gingivectomy averages right around $300 per tooth. The average cost range for this procedure starts around $200 per tooth on the low end and go up to around $400 per tooth.
If you have multiple teeth done at the same time, you can save money. For example, if you require the procedure in one quadrant in the mouth, the cost will average around $700 (figure between $500 – $1000).
For the entire mouth, the cost can range from $2000 up to $5000.
These costs are the out-of-pocket costs for those who do not have insurance. When you get a gingivectomy due to gum disease or a mouth injury, your insurance will likely cover the procedure.
However, if the gingivectomy is an elective procedure you get for cosmetic reasons, it’s unlikely that insurance will cover the costs.
Factors That Affect The Cost of A Gingivectomy
How much you pay for gingivectomy depends on a few key factors. One of the big ones is the condition of your gums. The worse the condition of your gums, the more care and attention the dentist needs to give them which will increase the costs.
How the procedures is done will also impact the costs. There are two main options here. One is where the dentist uses a scalpel. The other, a laser gingivectomy, uses a laser which can reduce the pain and amount of time it takes to heal.
How many visits to the dentist you need is another factor that affects costs. If you just need one visit, that will result in lower overall costs than if you need to come back multiple times.
Lastly, where in the country you live can affect how much a gingivectomy costs. You’ll usually find costs are higher in large metro areas.
There are some other costs you may have if you get a gingivectomy. If you have to get x-rays and/or diagnostic tests those will increase your overall costs. A diagnostic exam like this to evaluate the condition of your teeth and gums costs around $400.
Your dentist may also need to do some planing/scraping of your gums before a gingivectomy to prepare your mouth. This can also increase your overall costs.
How To Pay For a Gingivectomy
A gingivectomy can be one of the lower cost cosmetic dentistry procedures if you only need a few teeth done. However, if you need your whole mouth done, it can be thousands of dollars.
As mentioned earlier, insurance will likely pay for the procedure is it’s needed due to gum disease. However, if it’s for cosmetic reasons, then insurance likely will not cover the costs.
If that is the case, you should talk to your dentist about it. Dentists will often offer payment plans and/or financing options to help patients pay for procedures like a gingivectomy. The financing options may have more favorable rates than putting it on a credit card.
For those who can pay in cash, you may be able to negotiate a lower fee with your dentist.
Ways To Save Money On Your Gingivectomy
There are a few things you can do that might help you save some money on the cost of a gingivectomy.
One we just mentioned is to simply ask your dentist for a lower cost, especially if you are going to pay in cash.
Another is simply to shop around. Contact at least 2 or 3 dentists in your area to find out how much each charges for the gingivectomy procedure.
You may also be able to find grants for low-income patients to help cover some, or all, of the costs. A good place to start your search here is at grants.gov. Also, if you are eligible for Medicaid, that program will cover some dental procedures. Coverage will vary by state so you’ll need to do some research to see what benefits you may be eligible for.
There are also a number of charities that provide help for those who need dental procedures. Two to check out are the Dental Lifeline Network and Charitable Smiles. But there are a number of others you can find through some Internet searches.
Another good option is to look into a dental discount plan. These plans are similar to insurance, but not quite the same. Basically you pay an annual fee (which is usually $100 or less). Then you get access to discounts at in-network dentists. These discounts can be 20% to 50% so can add up to some decent savings.
To find a periodontist or dentist near you and get a gingivectomy cost estimate based on your unique situation, search our listings here.