How Much Does Arestin Cost?

Written by: Staff

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Arestin is a prescription antibiotic powder approved by the FDA, and it has been touted as being one of the effective ways to fight periodontal disease and kills bacteria for up to 21 days.

This antibiotic is unique because it is made of microspheres, with the antibiotic being absorbed locally, right within the periodontal pocket where it is needed. Arestin does not go into the bloodstream like other regular antibiotics do. This powder, containing Microspheres, is inserted into the infected periodontal pockets immediately following a periodontal therapy procedure.

These microspheres are minute, bead-like particles, which are compared to sand grains and are not visible to the human eye. The microspheres are filled with minocycline, an antibiotic, and it releases the medication over time into the infected periodontal pocket, killing the bacteria that live there. It sterilizes the pocket temporarily for up to 21 days, allowing the body heal itself and diminishing inflammation.

Dentist by HerryLawford, on Flickr
Dentist” (CC BY 2.0) by HerryLawford

How much does Arestin cost?

The total cost of Arestin treatment varies depending on how much treatment you will need.  After your dentist evaluates your health, then he or she will be able to help estimate the costs.  The cost for Arestin alone is estimated to be between $30 and $55 per site or tooth. Per quadrant, you’re looking at an average of $60 to $95.  This is the cost without any insurance.

A dentist on this question/answer thread claimed that a deep cleaning needs to be done first before Arestin can be administered.  By the time you factor in the $280 for the cleaning, it would be best to budget $60 to $80 per quadrant or about $20 to $40 per site.

Many dental hygienists on this blog post stated that their office charges anywhere from $35 to $50 per tooth.

Arestin overview

Arestin is a tetracycline-based antibiotic treatment which can be placed beneath the gum where periodontal infections and diseases have caused damage to the bone and ligaments, including the supporting structures of the tooth.

The active ingredient in the antibiotic, known as minocycline, is a potent antibiotic treatment in a low dose which kills the bacteria causing periodontal disease. Arestin comes in a powder-like substance that uses a microsphere technology in order to deliver minocycline, which is placed painlessly under infected gums or periodontal pockets, directly to the infected site immediately after the dentist finishes the SRP (scaling and root planing) procedure.

Each dose is measured and is loaded into the specially-designed syringe. Once inserted into the pocket, contact by means of gingival crevicular fluid hydrolyzes the bioadhesive microspheres, thereby allowing it to directly adhere to the surrounding surfaces. In addition, this causes water-filled channels to form within the microspheres, offering a sustained release of minocycline in due course. Arestin can remain active in the periodontal pocket for an extended time period and does not need removal as it is bioresorbable.

What are the extra costs?

Arestin is used in conjunction with SRP (Scaling Root Planning), also known as deep cleaning, an additional punch in the fight against gum disease.  A deep cleaning will often cost anywhere from $100 to as much as $200.

Tips to know:

Arestin may be used as a component of a periodontal maintenance program that includes SRP and good oral hygiene. It is capable of continuing to fight the dental infection for up to 21 days following mechanical debridement.

Clinical research shows that Arestin is more effective compared to mechanical debridement alone and considerably reduces the size of periodontal pockets than periodontal therapy alone.

Arestin should not be used in any person who has a known sensitivity to tetracyclines or minocycline.  The use of medications of the tetracycline class in tooth development may lead to permanent discoloration of the teeth; therefore, it should never be used in children or in nursing or pregnant women.

Is Arestin a rip off? Trish Walraven at created a very helpful post, telling us what red flags you should look out for.  Arestin, as she explains, is not the worst of it all; your dentist just needs to justify the reason behind it.  If your dentist offers Arestin on your first visit, then this could be a red flag, for example.  The same could be said if your dentist were to charge more than $300 per placement.

Common Arestin side effects, according to, may or may not include bleeding from the gums, chills, dental pain, fever, problems with the teeth, redness and/or a toothache.  Less common side effects may include a bad taste in the mouth foul breath, painful sores or problems in the lining of the mouth.

How can I save money?

The cost of Arestin will vary depending on how much treatment you need. Following the evaluation of your oral health by your dental professional, they can offer you an estimated cost of discussed treatment options. Bear in mind that treating gum (periodontal) disease currently is less costly and better for health than waiting to treat the symptoms at a more advanced stage.

In case you have dental insurance coverage, the treatment may be covered.  Consult with your dental insurance provider or dental office. If you do not have dental or health insurance coverage, consult with your dentist about payment options for your periodontal (gum) treatment as many offices may offer their own in-house insurance plan or a cash discount.  If you’re interested in saving money on your next checkup, consider discount dental insurance-like plans from

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