Some years ago, during the early days of dentistry, injured or diseased teeth are usually extracted. As of now, tooth extraction is not only the available option, every effort is now made to save your natural teeth without pulling it out. A root canal treatment is now used to save teeth with deep decay and damages. The treatment is required when the innermost layer of your tooth becomes inflamed or infected.
During root canal, your dentist will clean out the infected or decayed pulp and disinfect the canals of your tooth roots. A successful root canal treatment may allow you to keep your tooth for a lifetime. However, unlike most other simple dental procedures, a root canal is not something that you can skip because of the cost. When the root of a tooth gets infected, it is very dangerous to leave it untreated. The infection could spread easily to other vital organs in the body and result to serious health problems.
Well, the cost of root canal is quite high, it’s understandable to worry whether you can afford a root canal treatment. Sometimes, the only safe alternative to root canal is complete removal of the tooth. So, it can be helpful to understand how much root canals cost and why that cost may vary. Doing research ahead of time and comparing prices can help you know what you’re in for, the actual amount a dentist would charge varies depending on certain factors.
Factors that affects cost of root canal
- Location and condition of the affected tooth: how severe the cavity is and the location of the tooth that needs to be repaired is considered as the main factor that determines the cost. Molars are much more expensive than bicuspids and front teeth. The front teeth have only one canal, while the molars can have as many as three. The procedure will even be more expensive if you have an infection in a tooth that has already had a root canal. (1)
- The country: the region of the country and the cost of living there can also determine the cost of the procedure. The cost of root canal closer to the coasts is always higher than the national average.
- The person performing the treatment: a root canal treatment can be performed by an endodontist who specializes in root canals or by a general dentist. The costs is always lower if it’s performed by a general dentist, you can expect higher price tags if you choose to see an endodontist.
- Whether or not you have insurance: the cost of root canal will be much lower if you have dental insurance. Depending on the type of insurance plan, most plans cover 60% to 90% of the cost provided that the treatment is medically necessary.
The cost of root canal without insurance
The root canal treatment varies depending on certain factors as we have seen above. The cost is quite expensive, since the root canal treatment is almost always accompanied by a crown. On the day first day of the appointment, there are certain necessary examinations and preparation that you must pass through. These additional fees may be separate or included, it’s always important to know their prices too. The initial consultation may cost $50 to $200. You will need to do an X-rays which costs about $25 to $250. The anesthesia can cost from $50 to $500 per hour, the cost will greatly depend on the type needed.
Now, here are the estimated national prices for root canal based on tooth type. Remember, this are the full costs without insurance. We will soon get to the estimated cost of the procedure with insurance.
- Front teeth: the cost of the treatment for anterior teeth falls between the range of $300 – $1,500.
- Bicuspids: this set of teeth includes the premolars, the cost of a bicuspid root canal ranges from $400 – $1,800.
- Molars: like I said earlier, molars can have up to three roots, this makes it more expensive. The cost typical falls between $500 – $2,000 per molar.
Finally, at the end of the day the average root canal procedure costs about $762 – $1,111 per tooth without including tooth restoration costs. In most cases, the dentist may need to place a crown or a filling in the tooth afterward, and that will be an additional charge. (2) The type of crown you get is another major factor that will determine your total bill. Porcelain crowns are specially designed to look just like your natural teeth.
Although, porcelain crowns are prone to chip and break easily. Porcelain crowns costs between $500-1500 per tooth. Metal crowns are much more harder and lasts much longer than most other crowning materials. Metal crowns costs between $600-2500 per tooth.
The cost of root canal with insurance
Dental insurance will always be one of the best ways to reduce dental costs. There are numerous types of dental plans available, most of these plans will cover up to 60 – 90% of the total cost of root canal treatment and accompanying restoration. However, if you have a dental insurance plan already, it’s very important for you to understand all your plan details.
According to Authoritydental, most of the available dental insurance plans have an annual maximum of $1,000 or $1,500.
With insurance, your cost will be much lower. For instance, let’s say that your dentist charges $500 for root canal and $900 for the crown and its placement. Without Insurance, the total price is supposed to be $1,400. With an insurance plan that covers 70% of charges, you will pay $420, that’s 30% off.
Cost of root canal retreatment
Having a root canal treatment, does not actually mean that you are totally free from being re-infected. According to reports, root canal treatment is not overly successful. According to statistics, it is estimated that root canals have a 90% success rate. The retreatment is estimated to have a 77% success rate.
So, it’s necessary for you to know that there are many situations that could contribute to the return of infection. In most cases, several patients gets re-fected when the treated tooth lose its crown or sustain a fracture. In order to avoid such a situation, you should adhere to the aftercare instructions and also stick to good oral hygiene and habits.
Well, you can end up paying up to 20-30% more for root canal retreatment. Root canal retreatment is much more complex and expensive as the dentist will still need to drill the tooth to access the infected areas. In most cases, the underlying cause of the problem can be so challenging to find and treat unless all of the filling has been removed. In total, the cost of root canals retreatment ranges anywhere from $800 to $2,500 per tooth.
Finally, the estimated costs of root canal treatments that I listed above, are what I got from the little research that I made. The charges may vary totally from what you are seeing here, you can get more accurate estimates of reasonable charges in your area through the FAIR Health website. On the FAIR Health website, you can look up for the costs of the full treatment and restoration at your area by ZIP code.