Root canal treatment or endodontic treatment refers to dental procedures to treat the inner layer of the tooth. The objective of the treatment is to save the natural tooth and to maintain a natural smile. The root canal price 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.
The portion of tooth erecting above the gum line is referred to as the crown and the embedded portion as the root. The first layer of the tooth is the white enamel and followed by a hard layer called dentin. The pulp is the inner layer of the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves. The pulp extends up to the root of the tooth and connects to the tissue surrounding the tip of the roots. The pulp is responsible for the development of the tooth.
Therefore, the endodontic treatment is an important procedure when the inside of the tooth or the pulp is inflamed. If left alone, it can result in discomfort, hypersensitivity to temperature, and eventually develop to abscess.
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 of 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 assures the normal sensation while chewing and biting.
Average Cost of Root Canal Treatment
The cost of endodontic treatment usually depends on the type of the tooth to be operated on and the intensity of the damage. The typical root canal cost of the treatment is around $200-$900 per tooth.
The service covers the removal of pulp coronal to clean the bacteria or decay. The chamber of the tooth will be spaced and shaped for medical filling. There are three basic treatments under endodontic services which depend on the condition of the patient.
- Root Canal Therapy – refers to the basic dental procedure to treat the inflammation of the root canals. The average root canal price for such treatment is around $200-$900.
- Endodontic Retreatment – the tooth after the treatment requires proper care. There is a small possibility that the tooth would not heal properly. Retreatment is usually recommended by the endodontist to save the tooth for the second chance. The same fee applies as to the typical root canal treatment.
- Apicectomy – when non-surgical treatment is unsuccessful, the endodontists require a microsurgical procedure to remove the infected tissue. The typical cost of such treatment is around $600 – $1,800.
In the private sector, the root canal treatment is available throughout the country. The Phoenix Endodontic Group provides endodontic service which is payable through cash, insurance or credit line. The cost of the endodontic treatment under such clinic is around $900-$2,100 per tooth. The cost depends on the required treatment to correct the issue.
What are Included
Medical screening such as x-ray and consultation is necessary as part of the pre-assessment. The treatment usually requires an x-ray of the damaged tooth and costs around $26-$120. The x-ray is used to determine the condition of the decay and the root canals. The consultation determines the health of the patient including allergies and history of any medical surgery.
The root canal prices in the private sector cover the administration of the anesthesia, medical filling, and the professional service. The endodontic treatment has various types to meet the requirement of the patient. The root canal treatment typically needs two visits or more depending on the complexity of the damage. Also, a final appointment to 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 complication. After the treatment, severe pain will be experienced by the patient for few days which needs medication to soothe it. In case the tooth has been broken again, pain reliever such as Smart Health Naturopathic is a good medication available on Amazon.
Shopping for Root Canal Treatment
Health provider like CVS Health has a department such iSave that provides dental service to the public. iSave provides a dental saving plan that people can subscribe to which reduce the root canal cost significantly.
CVS iSave has a comparison of dental procedures price under non-member and member plans. Members have access to privileges like 15%-50% discounts on all dental procedures. An individual plan costs around $15 per month or $180 annually. A family plan is also available for the whole family with a monthly fee of $25 or $300 annually.
- Check-up – the average price is around $57-99 for non-members. While for members the cost is around $24-$36.
- X-rays – the average price is around $70-$144 for non-members and $31-$70 for members.
- Root canal (molar) – the average price is around $1,170 for non-members. The root canal costs around $576 for members.
Factors Affecting Cost of Root Canal Treatment
- 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 damages can increase the overall cost of the treatment by almost 20% per tooth. In-depth check-up and proper post-treatment are critical to prevent any retreatment on 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.
- Type of tooth
The type of the tooth affects the price of the procedure. The dental procedure for anterior tooth costs less while molar tooth costs much more. The final restoration of the crown is and requires another appointment with a dentist.
Based on the CareMore Dental Chart for Endodontic Services:
Endodontic Therapy (Anterior tooth) – it costs around $240.
Endodontic Therapy (Bicuspid tooth) – it costs around $297.
Endodontic Therapy (Molar tooth) – it costs around $373
The American Dental Association provides a list of fees under Medicaid for every service from diagnostic up to oral surgery and even endodontic. The fee for the treatment can vary depending on the health 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.
Based on the Medicaid Fee Chart surveyed along the 50 states:
Therapeutic Pulpotomy (D3220) costs around $30 – $188
Anterior Endodontic Therapy (D3310) costs around $136 – $685
Molar Root Canal (D3330) costs around $200 – $960
- Dental Plans and Memberships
Membership and dental plans are good alternatives in availing dental service in the private sector. Insurance has limited coverage, complicated claim procedures, and high monthly fees. Meanwhile, a dental plan and a membership under a health provider are more flexible and cost-efficient. In Carefree Dental, the root canal treatment costs around $484 with a plan. In comparison to the original price which is around $823, it is more cost-efficient with almost 41% saving.
Endodontic clinics also cater insurance option as a mode of payment for the services. Weston Endodontic Care usually charges around $600-$1,800 per tooth for the root canal treatment. The clinic’s policy is to assure the opportunity to maximize the benefits claimed by the client through insurance.
- Experience of the Professional
Universities with dentistry or endodontist courses provide service to the public through student and specialized clinics. The University of Washington provides a comparison of fees among student clinics, graduate specialty clinic and UW’s faculty who practice endodontist.
The price range provided above shows clear indication how the experience of the endodontists affects the cost of the service. The experienced practitioners can charge more for their service fee.
Student clinic – root canal treatment (molar) with a maximum four canals costs around $400.
Graduate Specialty Clinic – the same scope of treatment but costs around $731.
Faculty Practitioners – the cost of the treatment is around $1,282.
The University of Washington also provides flexible payment through cash, check, insurance and credit line. Care Credit can be availed online for dental coverage. Care Credit offers no-interest payment plans with low monthly payment.