A root canal is a relatively common endodontic procedure used to save a badly inflamed or infected tooth. It involves removing bacteria, organic debris and part of the soft tissue (root canal) inside a tooth and its nerves and then shaping the inside of the canal before filling and sealing the space. This helps to repair and restore damaged tissue surrounding the root of a tooth, preventing the spread of infection or inflammation.
When seeking root canal treatment, it is important to find out about costs before you start therapy. Since factors like location, experience and the kind and/or extent of the treatment often dictate the costs, it’s critical to find a dental professional who is affordable. Also, remember to ask what the upfront costs will be and get your cost estimate in writing.
The typical costs of a root canal will depend on several factors. These include:
- initial procedures such as x-rays and CT scans
- complexity of the treatment
- where you live (some major metropolitan areas are considerably more expensive)
- the number of canals in the tooth
- the location of the tooth (or ease of access)
- the particular dental professional’s training and experience, specialty and popularity (endodontists who are root canal specialists and typically handle the most difficult cases often charge more – 20%-50% more than general dentists)
- whether or not the tooth will need to be topped with a dental crown
Average root canal prices in metro areas
Root canal front tooth treatment can cost anywhere from $200 to $2,200 or more, but typically is about $500-$1,300 per tooth depending on the complexity and whether the treatment is being administered by a dentist or an endodontist.
Root canal molar (posterior tooth) treatment can be $200-$2,400 or more, but typically is about $500-$1,300.
Root canal bicuspid (mid-mouth or premolar tooth) treatment can cost anywhere between $400 and $1,800 or more, but the cost typically averages about $900-$1,200.
The prices outlined above are for the cost if a root canal only (treatment or removal of the inflamed, diseased or injured pulp tissue). This part of the treatment process may require one or more appointments, but only a single fee is usually charged.
The fee for root canal therapy typically includes whatever pre-treatment procedures (dental x-rays, local anesthetic, etc.) are needed as your treatment is being administered, the placement of a temporary (an interim) restoration at the completion of each visit, and whatever post-treatment care you and your tooth may require.
However, the cost estimates outlined above don’t take into account the final, long-term restoration that your tooth might need once its root canal treatment has been completed. Typically, the type of long-term restoration required will vary on a case-by-case basis. It can range from a simple tooth filling to a dental crown supported by a post and core, and for that very reason is often quoted as a separate fee – which can add a significant amount to the overall cost.
- Some endodontists may charge an initial consultation fee, simply to determine exactly what type of therapy it is that you need.
- Some root canal problems and complications may be difficult to diagnose and paying an endodontist initial consultation fee may be worth it when it comes to dealing with such problems. This dental specialist can utilize his or her experience and expertise to figure them out and implement appropriate therapy.
- Many endodontists and dentists typically charge more for cases that require emergency treatment; and you’ll have to pay an extra amount in order to have a same-day-, next-day- or weekend-procedure. The initial consultation fee or emergency procedure fee can be $50-$100 or more.
- After the root canal treatment is carried out, the tooth may require a filling – which may cost you an additional $100-$300 or more – or it may need to be topped with a dental crown, which can cost you $550-$1,500 or more for all-porcelain crowns per tooth (usually installed on front teeth); $750-$2500 or more metal crowns (usually placed on the out-of-sight back molars); or $750-$3,000 or more for porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (which can be utilized on both front and back teeth).
How Much Does A Root Canal Cost With Dental Insurance?
The cost of root canal therapy for individuals with dental insurance is typically lower than that of patients without dental insurance. So those without dental insurance can expect to pay more for this procedure. Depending on the terms of the specific policy, dental insurance plans can cover anywhere from 40% to 80% of the total costs.
Many dental plans, however, will only pay a maximum of $1,000-$1,500 for all covered dental procedures annually. That means if the cost for your treatment is higher than this maximum payout, then you’ll have to pay the extra amount yourself (out-of-pocket). The out-of-pocket expenses for this procedure usually average about $200-$1,100 (for root canal front tooth treatment), $250-$400 (for a root canal on a premolar tooth), and $350-$1,650 (for root canal molar treatment).
How to Get Low Cost Root Canal Treatment without Dental Insurance
Root canal treatment is expensive, and often out of reach for the average person without dental insurance. The fact that you cannot afford to postpone this procedure – since it could result in the spread of the infection and increase the risk of developing complications that would require more costly dental treatments down the line – doesn’t help matters.
Start with your local dental clinic
A low-cost root canal can often be found at your local dental clinic. To take advantage of such affordable treatment, use the internet or your local phonebook to search for community dental clinics. Call or visit these clinics yourself to find out if they offer any form of discount on this procedure.
Shop around for dental professionals
It is clear from the above prices that the cost of a root canal can vary greatly depending on different factors, ranging from location to the specialty of a dental professional. Use the internet, your local phone book and directories (including online directories) to find the most affordable dental clinic that offers this procedure.
Check out a nearby endodontic school clinic
Instead of visiting a full endodontic practice, consider an institution. Many dental schools often take patients on certain days and students are required to undertake supervised treatments as part of their endodontic education with their faculty members. To find a nearby endodontic school, check the Commission on Dental Accreditation’s list of dental schools across the country. The costs are typically much lower, since only partial payment is required to cover the cost of the materials and equipment used.
Ask for a payment plan
Many endodontic clinics offer payment plans for individuals without dental insurance. These clinics often work with financing companies to provide flexible payment options that cost much less than conventional credit financing.
Consider using credit options
Personal loans, credit cards and other regular credit finance options can also help pay for your root canal treatment. These credit options typically cost more in interest than other forms of payment, and you should negotiate with your lender to spread repayments over as long a period as you can in order to mitigate any negative impact on your personal finances.
Look for dental assistance programs
The federal government, states, and nonprofit organizations have dental assistance programs designed to help low-income families and individuals get the dental treatment they need. Check online and ask around to find out whether there are such programs in your locality.
Consider purchasing private dental insurance
Some insurance companies offer yearly dental insurance plans or they may charge a monthly fee to cover a percentage of the cost of your dental procedures. Consider taking advantage of such plans to reduce the cost of your root canal treatment.
- 1 Typical Costs
- 2 Average root canal prices in metro areas
- 3 Additional Costs
- 4 How Much Does A Root Canal Cost With Dental Insurance?
- 5 How to Get Low Cost Root Canal Treatment without Dental Insurance