Root canal treatment, or endodontic treatment, refers to the dental procedure that treats the inner layer of the tooth. Its objective is to save the tooth and to maintain that natural smile.
How much does root canal cost depends on the extent of damage to the tooth. Therefore, to further understand the importance of endodontic treatment, a basic understanding of the tooth’s anatomy is a must.
Average Cost of Root Canal Treatment
The average cost of root canal treatment is around $200 to $900 per tooth, but could reach up to $1,800 without insurance. This depends on the type of tooth and the exact type of procedure.
Root canal procedures are typically covered by 50% to 80% of insurance. This, however, depends on the type of coverage you have and your insurance provider.
At Dentistry At Its Finest in California, the cost of endodontic treatment without insurance is the following:
- Front teeth (anterior) – $600 to $900
- Bicuspid – $700 to $1,000
- Molars – $1,000 to $1,400
Treatments Under Endodontic Services
There are three basic treatments under endodontic services. The procedure that will be applied to you will depend on the condition of your teeth.
- Root Canal Therapy – refers to the basic dental procedure to treat the inflammation of the root canals. The average root canal price is around $200 to $900.
- Endodontic Retreatment – There is a small possibility that the tooth will not heal properly after a root canal treatment. Retreatment is usually recommended by the endodontist to save the tooth for the second time. The same fee applies, just like with the typical root canal treatment.
- Apicectomy – when non-surgical treatment is unsuccessful, the endodontist may require a microsurgical procedure to remove the infected tissue. This typically has the highest cost, at around $600 to $1,800.
What is included
The service covers the removal of pulp coronal to clean up the bacteria or decay. The chamber of the tooth will be spaced and shaped for a medical filling.
The root canal treatment fees in the private sector cover the administration of the anesthesia, medical filling, and professional services. Endodontic treatment comes in various types to meet the requirements of the patient.
The root canal treatment typically requires two visits or more, depending on the complexity of the damage. Also, a final appointment with the dentist is required to fix the crown of the tooth.
Post-treatment maintenance is very critical to assure that the treated tooth will last longer and to avoid further complications. After the treatment, severe pain will be experienced by the patient for a few days, which will require some medication.
Cleaning is something you might want to have addressed first before a root canal treatment commences, so be prepared to be charged for this. A routine dentist examination with cleaning costs around $75 to $200, but could go beyond $300 for deep cleaning without insurance. With insurance, regular cleaning would cost around $30 to $40 and over $100 for deep cleaning.
Medical screening such as x-rays and consultation is necessary as part of the pre-assessment. The x-ray is used to determine the condition of the decay and the root canals, while the consultation determines the health of the patient, including allergies and the history of any medical surgery.
The x-ray costs around $25 to $750 depending on the required type of x-ray, which can be bitewing, periapical, or panoramic. On the other hand, a preliminary consultation can sometimes be complimentary once you are committed to pursuing the root canal procedure. However, the usual cost can run from $36 to $70, or possibly more, depending on the clinic and location.
Factors Affecting Cost of Root Canal Treatment
Some of the factors that will be your gauge on how much you will pay for the service are the following:
1. Extent of damage to the tooth
The cost of the treatment is very dependent on the extent of the damage. The scope and complexity of the damage can increase the overall cost of the treatment by almost 20% per tooth.
In-depth check-ups and proper post-treatment are critical to prevent any retreatment of the same tooth. Proper dental hygiene after the treatment can also increase the cost–efficiency of the procedure by prolonging the good condition of the tooth.
2. Type of tooth
The type of tooth affects the price of the procedure. The dental procedure for the anterior teeth costs less, while the molar teeth cost much more. The last step is the restoration of the crown, which requires another appointment with a dentist.
The American Dental Association provides a list of fees under Medicaid for every service, from diagnostics to oral surgery and even endodontics. The fee for the treatment can vary depending on the health care providers and their location.
A good example is the surveyed average price of the treatment per state provided by Medicaid. The cost of molar root canal treatment in Alabama is around $516, while in New York, it is around $400.
4. Dental Plans and Memberships
Membership and dental plans are good alternatives to availing dental services in the private sector. Insurance has limited coverage, complicated claim procedures, and high monthly fees.
Meanwhile, a dental plan and a membership with a health provider are more flexible and cost-efficient.
At Carefree Dental, the root canal treatment costs around $536 with a plan. In comparison to the original price, which is around $880, it is more cost-efficient, with almost a 39% savings.
As previously mentioned, insurance typically covers 50% to 80% of the cost. If you have insurance coverage, this will be a big help to augment your savings. Just be sure to go to dental clinics that are within the network of your insurance company.
6. Skills and Experience of the Professional
When it comes to oral care, you would understandably want to get the best experience. Of course, you can only get that when you go for the skills and experience of dentists or endodontists. However, quality also comes with a hefty price.
The Causes of Inflammation
- Infection due to deep decay
- Traumatic injuries like chipped, dislodged, and knocked-out teeth
- Repeated dental procedures
Based on the American Association of Endodontists, there are many benefits to root canal treatment instead of the usual extraction and dental implants. Saving the natural tooth maintains the natural look and prevents any further damage to other teeth.
Moreover, the result of the procedure is that it restores the normal sensation while chewing and biting.
How to Save on Cost of Root Canal Treatment
Since this procedure can be very expensive at times, paying for a root canal can be a big issue for those who can’t afford it. Good thing, there are some facilities that can provide you with some affordable payment plans. All you have to do is ask your dentist about this possibility.
Also, like in most healthcare services, patients paying in cash and in full upfront are often given big discounts.
Another possible option is looking for universities with dentistry or endodontist courses. They provide service to the public through student and specialized clinics at a more affordable price. But you don’t have to worry about the quality as they are strictly supervised by professionals.