How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
A root canal is a treatment used to repair a tooth that is severely decayed or infected. A root canal is done by the process of running a small thread-like material through the top of the tooth down to the root. Without a root canal, the tissue surrounding the tooth can become infected or an abscess can form. The cost of a root canal will depend on how many molars need to be worked on, your geographical location, the dentist performing the procedure and the complexity of the procedure.
How much is it?
- The cost of a root canal will largely depend upon the number of canals in the tooth as well as the location of the tooth in the mouth. Teeth that are typically in the front will require one root canal while those in the back can need up to three.
- On front teeth, the average root canal can cost anywhere from $450 to as much as $1,300. This cost will greatly vary depending on the expertise of the dentist and the complexity of the problem.
- A root canal performed in the middle of the mouth can cost anywhere from $500 to as much as $1,600.
- For back molars, the costs can vary anywhere from $700 to as much as $1,700. Again, it will depend on the complexity of the situation.
- The tooth on which a root canal will be placed may also need a crown once the procedure is done; the prices mentioned above will not include the crown prices.
- If you do have dental insurance, you may find that your policy will cover upwards of 80% of the costs. Since every policy is different, make sure that you talk with your insurance provider to see what is and is not covered. If you do not have a dental insurance policy, companies, such as eHealthInsurance.com, allow you to browse through hundreds of policies and get estimates for monthly premiums.
- According to the website TheWealthyDentist.com, the average root canal is going to cost anywhere from $740 to $1,000 per molar.
What is going to be included?
- Before the root canal begins, x-rays will be taken to reveal the shape of the canal. The area will then be numbed and the tooth will be drilled opened. Using a pin-sized file, the dental pulp will be suctioned out, the empty area filled, and then the tooth and openings sealed. During this procedure, the pulp and nerve will be removed so that the inside is cleaned out. To learn how it works in detail, DentalComfortZone.com has a guide.
- A root canal can either be done by a dentist or a endodontist.
What are the extra costs?
- While the root canal can be done in one visit, a dentist will highly recommend that you come back for a follow-up visit. This visit will often result in an office exam surcharge. However, if the root canal is complex, you may have to come back in for another visit.
- Depending on the billing policy, the x-rays may or may not be part of the overall root canal price quote.
- Emergency root canals can cost 10-20% more.
- An initial consultation to discuss your options may be extra. Some are free while other offices may charge upwards of $100.
- After a root canal is completed, a dental crown will be topped. Depending on the type of crown you like, the costs are going to vary. SEE: “How much do dental crowns cost?“
Tips to know:
- A root canal is needed with severe tooth pain happens upon chewing or if the tooth starts to darken in color. The swelling of the gums can be a sign as well. A root canal is more likely to occur in teeth that have dental decay, have had many cavities and fillings, or have a chip or crack.
- The normal sequence of events for a root canal are the initial visit, the root canal, the crown, and the follow-up. At the initial visit, the dentist will determine if a root canal is needed in the first place. Once it has been decided, the root canal will be performed. Depending on your dentist, the crown may be placed at the same appointment or they may ask you to make a separate appointment. Finally, a follow up of the procedure will ensure that everything is healing correctly and that the crown fits perfectly.
How can I save money?
- If you have dental insurance, be sure to use it. 99% of the time, you will find that they will pick up at least a portion of the bill.
- For those that do not have insurance, consider low-priced dental plans from companies such as DentalPlans.com. Dentists that participate in these plans can often save you as much as 60% off your bill.
- Consider a local dental school if you have one in your area. These schools can perform a procedure like this for a fraction of the cost.