Smiles Across the G7: A Study of Dental Care Expenses

Here's a look at average dental treatment costs in the Group of Seven (G7) countries. The focus is on five key dental treatments: cleaning, crowns, root canals, tooth extractions, and fillings.

Many shy away from the dentist's chair, while others can't even afford it. Regular dental visits, however costly they may seem, are an investment in prevention, ultimately more economical than the cure.

But maintaining a healthy smile goes beyond just brushing, flossing, and yearly check-ups. Your location plays a significant role as well.

To pinpoint where dental care costs the least, Healthnews evaluated the G7 countries, focusing on five key dental procedures. Our analysis drew from over 350 local dental and oral health websites, providing a clear picture of where affordable dental health is a reality.

Key findings

Dental care prices across contries
  • Dental care in the U.S. is the most expensive across the G7 countries, costing an average of $518 for treatments.
  • Germany and Italy are the cheapest, with average costs of $210 and $173, respectively.

Countries with the cheapest and most expensive dental care

When evaluating dental care costs across different countries, it's clear how the diversity in healthcare systems and the extent of government involvement significantly impact prices.

Here’s how costs compare for common dental procedures alongside the average cost across these treatments in each country.

CountryCleaning, $
Crowns, $
Root canals, $ Tooth extraction, $
Fillings, $
Average, $
United States1631052838305234518
Canada136989542198203414
United Kingdom92627482238215331
France115418436126135246
Japan121460327204113245
Germany89323391113142210
Italy7830825697126173

United States

In the U.S., dental care is the most expensive among G7 countries, with an average cost of $518 across the mentioned procedures. A routine cleaning costs around $163, while more complex treatments like crowns and root canals average $1,052 and $838, respectively.

The dental care system is largely based on private practices, supported by various payment methods like insurance, direct payments, and specific government programs for those who qualify. Examples include Medicaid, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part F, and the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).

However, accessing dental care in the U.S. is still costly, especially for those without insurance. Insurance plans often have caps, limitations, or high deductibles, which limit the type and scope of treatments available within a reasonable budget. This situation makes it difficult for many people to get the dental care they need.

Dental care prices in U.S.

Canada

Moving north to Canada, the costs are slightly lower but still substantial, with an average of $414. Canadians might pay about $136 for a cleaning and close to $989 for a crown. However, compared to the U.S. and the United Kingdom, Canada has a relatively low average price for tooth extraction — $198.

Dental care operates separately from the universal healthcare system, primarily through private clinics. Unlike hospital and doctor services, dental services are not covered by the government healthcare plans for most Canadians. Instead, people often rely on private dental insurance, usually provided by their employers, to help cover the costs of dental treatments.

There are government-supported programs for specific groups, like Canada Dental Benefit (CDB). Community health centers and dental schools sometimes offer lower-cost services. Despite these, accessing affordable dental care is still challenging for many Canadians.

Dental care prices in Canada

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom results in an average price of $331 for dental procedures. Cleaning is more affordable at $92, and crowns are significantly less than in North America at $627.

The system encompasses both National Health Service (NHS) and private dental services, providing flexibility and choice for patients. NHS includes check-ups, treatments such as fillings and extractions, and some cosmetic treatments if clinically necessary. Patients pay a contribution towards their treatment, with costs structured into bands depending on the complexity and type of treatment required.

Private dental care in the U.K. offers a wider range of treatments, including advanced cosmetic dentistry not available on the NHS. Private dentists provide more flexible appointment times and shorter waiting lists. However, the costs are significantly higher and vary widely between practices and regions.

Dental care prices in UK

France

France offers dental care at an average cost of $246. A dental cleaning is priced at $115, while a crown is about $418. Tooth extractions and fillings cost nearly half that of the United Kingdom, at $126 and $135 respectively, compared to $238 and $215 in the U.K.

The French health system theoretically reimburses 70% of the costs for the majority of dental treatments through state social security, with the option for private health insurance to cover the remaining 30%. Despite this, the actual fees charged by dentists often exceed the state's suggested prices by a significant margin. As a result, the higher out-of-pocket expenses lead some individuals to forego necessary dental care.

Dental care prices in France

Japan

In Japan, the average cost of dental care is $245. With cleanings priced at $121, Japan ranks as the third most expensive among the G7 nations. However, fillings in Japan are the most affordable, at just $113.

The Japanese health insurance system covers most dental treatments, including routine check-ups, cleanings, fillings, extractions, and root canal treatments. Patients typically pay 30% of the treatment costs, making dental care more accessible and preventing high out-of-pocket expenses.

Dental care prices in Japan

Germany

In Germany, the average cost for dental procedures is even lower at $210. Germans, or more accurately, their insurance, can expect to pay $89 for a cleaning, $113 for a tooth extraction, and $323 for a crown.

Dental care in Germany is renowned for its high quality and is covered under the country's statutory health insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung, GKV). Almost all residents in Germany are required to have health insurance, either through the statutory system, which covers the vast majority of the population, or through private health insurance for those who qualify.

GKV typically covers routine check-ups, basic dental treatments such as fillings, root canal treatments, and extractions, as well as a portion of the costs for more complex procedures like crowns. For more advanced or cosmetic dental procedures, patients often need to pay a significant portion out-of-pocket.

Dental care prices in Germany

Italy

Italy boasts the most affordable dental care among the countries discussed, with an average procedure cost of $173. It stands out as the sole country in the study where certain average dental service costs fall below $100, with cleaning services at $78 and tooth extractions at $97. Italy has the significantly lowest price for root canal treatments at $256, in contrast to $391 in Germany.

The Italian National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale, SSN) provides certain dental services at reduced costs or free of charge, focusing primarily on prevention, diagnosis, and basic treatments. These services include routine check-ups, basic fillings, tooth extractions, and emergency care.

In the private sector, the costs for dental treatments are generally more affordable in Italy than in many Northern European countries and the United States. This cost efficiency is partly due to the lower cost of living and operational expenses in Italy.

In summary, accessibility and affordability of dental care are not uniformly distributed across the G7 countries, even among these developed nations. The significant role of government and insurance in determining dental care costs is evident, with countries that offer higher levels of coverage and support typically exhibiting lower patient expenses.

Dental care prices in Italy

Methodology

For our analysis, we gathered data on the costs of essential dental treatments across G7 nations, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The data collection occurred in March 2024.

We reviewed an average of 50 information sources per country, including local dental practice websites, online health forums, dedicated government pages, and healthcare price comparison platforms.

Prices were collected in the local currency and later converted to U.S. dollars (USD) for standardization. Currency values fluctuate, so conversions are indicative and based on rates available at the time of this study.

The obtained figures are meant to offer a general perspective on the costs associated with dental treatments across the G7 countries. Actual costs may vary depending on the specific dental practice and the detailed needs of the patient. This report does not account for dental insurance coverage, public healthcare contributions, or additional costs related to complex dental conditions.

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