A root canal treatment is not exactly everyone’s favorite. It involves frightening dental procedures that can make a patient cringe with fear. It may seem exaggerated, but some people feel distressed when they are getting root canals primarily because of the discomforts the whole treatment brings.
Besides the ministrations, however, people also get scared of the costs associated with root canals. In fact, the average dental bill does not go below $500. Even if you have a dental insurance, the fees can still vary significantly, depending on the procedure’s difficulty. But of course, it can always help you lessen the overall costs you need to pay.
Average Costs of Root Canal with Insurance
According to a 2014 report from the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP), 64 percent of the total population in the United States have dental insurance plans. That was approximately 205 million people during that year.
A dental insurance that has an outstanding policy or coverage will reduce the out-of-pocket expenses drastically. Usually, this type of indemnity has a maximum limit of $1,000 to $1,500 per year. When it comes to the coverage, insurance plans cover 100 percent of the routine fees. But the root canal cost with insurance can take between 40 and 80 percent of the total bill.
On average, patients with dental insurance plans can pay 50 percent of the overall cost, depending on what tooth or teeth are being treated. If you regularly visit your dentist, expect that your out-of-pockets costs will increase. Apparently, most types of dental insurance require a small co-payment for every visit. Aside from that, deductibles are typical for patients who undergo a root canal treatment, and they considerably vary based on the chosen dental plan.
There are some instances when dentists perform a root canal procedure at a much lower price. But if you need to undergo a complicated root canal operation, you need to go to an endodontist, a dentist who specializes in the area of endodontic therapy – dealing with the pulp or soft tissues in the inner part of the teeth. And since an endodontist deals with a more difficult operation, the costs will be 50 percent more than the expenses you pay to a dentist performing the same type of procedure.
Costs of Specific Root Canal Procedures
The actual root canal prices with insurance vary based on what type of tooth is given the treatment. There are some cases when a root canal procedure takes a lot of time to finish, implying higher expenses to pay. For instance, your front teeth need to have a root canal, the costs can run from $900 to $1,100. On average, patients with dental insurance plans around $600 for a front tooth root procedure.
Meanwhile, a root canal procedure for a back tooth is relatively more expensive than that of a front tooth. It’s because dentists find it difficult to reach the back teeth, which means the operation can consume a longer time to complete. With that said, the costs can run from $500 to $2,000, having an average of $1,180. Those who have a dental insurance can pay an average out-of-pocket cost of $680.
According to a data from the Fair Health Consumer (FHC) via NerdWallet, the average national cost of a root procedure for a bicuspid tooth is $879, while the root procedure for a molar is $1,111. The prices can also vary based on the location. If you live in coastal areas, then expect the costs to be much higher than in other states. FHC has also provided the 80th percentile costs of root canal procedures in the most expensive states:
– The front tooth root procedure is around $929.
– Bicuspid teeth cost $1,054 per tooth.
– Molars have the highest price at $1,300 per tooth.
The figures above are mostly approximations, but they give you an idea on how much you may spend for a root canal procedure. However, there are some dentists who quote a standard cost for root canals, while others charge fees based on the number of hours spent on the operation, according to The Simple Dollar.
As the dental procedure commences, there are instances when you don’t know how much out-of-pocket expenses you need to budget. To avoid getting confused with the costs, make sure that you ask for the out-of-pocket costs before getting the root canal treatment.
In addition to those points, you should also be aware that not all root canal procedures are successful, especially when it’s performed for the first time. In the event when the operation is not successful, the dentist may need to perform another type of dental corrective procedure. As such, the costs you need to pay, even if there is a dental insurance, will cost more than the cost of a normal root canal procedure.
Types of Dental Insurance Plans
Consumers may get a dental insurance plan at work, but they can also avail this indemnity on their own through a private insurance provider. For a lesser insurance cost, consumers can go to a Health Insurance Marketplace of the state.
For your reference, there are four types of dental insurance plans as provided by NADP, and these are the following:
1. Dental Health Maintenance Organization or DHMO
– Among the four dental plans, DHMO has the lowest premiums or contributions.
– This is usually given to the employees. You are only allowed to consult a dentist who is on the list to make sure that the dental service is covered by this insurance plan.
2. Dental Preferred Provider Organization or DPPO
– This is somewhat opposite with DHMO. There is still a list of dentists you can go to, but you have the option to see another dentist who is not on the list.
– However, DPPO may only a small part of the total costs.
3. Dental Indemnity Insurance
– This has the highest premiums among the four dental plans.
– You can just go to any dentist you prefer and seek for any dental service you need.
– However, there no discounts for the typical fees of a dentist.
4. Discount Dental Plans
– Also known as savings plans, apparently, these are not insurance plans.
– There is a group of dentists who decide to give discounted prices to qualified enrollees.
– You have to pay directly to the dentist.