A visit to the dentist is something that can be nerve-wracking, especially if you suspect you need a root canal.
If you are wondering how much a root canal treatment will cost; it can be expensive. Root canal treatment is a lot more pricey than dental fillings or even a new crown.
Several factors influence root canal pricing, and cost can vary by individual.
Read on to learn more about root canal costs and treatment.
Signs you may need a root canal
If the nerve of your tooth is infected, compromised, or dying, it is likely you will need endodontic therapy such as root canal treatment. There is no other way to repair teeth that have necrotic nerve tissues other than undergoing a root canal.
You may need a root canal if you have the following:
- A cracked tooth or severe tooth pain
- Dental abscesses
- Infected tooth roots
- Severe hypersensitive teeth
- Tooth discoloration
- Nerve death and tooth loss
- Tooth decay spreading to the nerve chamber
- Damaged teeth
- Extensive dental work
Your dentist will determine if you need a root canal after a dental examination and x-rays. If you're experiencing excruciating pain or your dental cavity is filled with pus, your dentist may seek the counsel of root canal experts known as endodontists before they schedule you for a root canal.
Factors That Affect Root Canal Therapy Cost
The cost of root canal treatment can vary depending on your location and the board-certified dentist you choose. Listed below are several factors that affect root canal costs.
Certain teeth may have deeper roots than others making the dental procedure more complicated to perform.
The anatomy of your natural tooth can also be a factor that influences the cost of a root canal. If the canals are curved, hard to reach, twisted, or calcified, it can make the procedure tricky and tedious to perform.
The dentist you are visiting can determine the price. Specialty practices are generally pricier than regular family dental practices. Sophisticated state-of-the-art facilities with advanced equipment may also charge you a higher price.
If you choose to be sedated through the procedure, the type of sedation or local anesthetic you choose can bump up the cost of the procedure.
After a root canal, you may need a protective crown. However, in some cases a crown is not needed. The restoration option you choose will determine the price.
Root Canal Cost (Without Dental Insurance)
Root canal treatment can be an expensive procedure if you don't have insurance coverage. On average the cost of this procedure, if you do not have insurance, can be in the following price range.
Average root canal cost:
- Front teeth: $800-$1500
- Bicuspid/premolar: $1000 to $1,600
- Molar Teeth - $1,100 to $1,700
If you don't have dental coverage, you'll need to pay for the root canal procedure out of pocket.
As mentioned, the cost can fluctuate depending on the clinic you pick. You’ll want to request quotes and check reviews before you zero in on the dentist who will perform your procedure.
Be prepared to pay between $700 to $1500 on average to treat a root canal. Bear in mind, that this price does not include the cost of the dental crown. You may need one after the procedure.
The further back you will need to go into your oral cavity, the more roots there are. This means that your premolars and bicuspids are likely to have one or two roots and if this is the case, the procedure may take longer and also cost more.
Premolar root canals can cost between $800 to $1600.
Your molars, which are the furthest back teeth in your mouth, can have 2-3 roots. In rare cases, they may even have 4 roots. These teeth are not just hard to see but also hard to reach thus making the procedure potentially challenging for a general dentist.
Depending on the positioning of the tooth, your dentist may have to refer you to a specialist which may also raise the cost.
Your doctor will be able to give you an estimate of what the procedure will cost during your initial consultation.
Is Root Canal Treatment Covered By Dental Insurance?
With healthcare costs skyrocketing, it's natural to worry about the cost of a root canal.
Thankfully, root canal treatment including local anesthesia is covered by most policies. In addition, having dental coverage can bring down your out-of-pocket expenses.
With insurance, your ballpark costs may be the following.
Cost of a root canal (with insurance)
- Front tooth - $300 to $900
- Bicuspid/premolar - $400 to $900
- Molar - $400 to $1,200
Having a dental care plan does not necessarily mean that the procedure is fully covered.
Your root canal will be covered at the tier that is specified in the plan you chose.
Wondering what that means? Insurance benefits in most cases are prevention-driven and mainly cover preventive costs. This means dental insurance covers more preventative services such as cleanings, fillings, and annual checkups. These services are usually covered up to 100%.
However, if you start developing either cavities or gum disease, your coverage may begin to drop. In most cases, dental plans may pay about 60-80% of the root canal costs. You may look at it as an incentive to keep your mouth and teeth healthy.
For major treatments such as treating molars and multiple teeth, your coverage may drop as low as 50% which will make you responsible for half or more of the cost of the procedure after copays and deductibles.
Many employers also offer employee benefits packages that you can use to your advantage.
Root canal treatments and gum disease tend to fall into the “major” treatment category. This means if you have good dental coverage, your insurance will cover the cost at a lower percentage than they would for other basic restorative procedures.
Your dentist’s clinic will work with your insurance provider and provide you with a breakdown of the covered dollar amount and what you'll pay out of pocket.
This figure again can fluctuate based on your dental plan and whether or not you have met the deductible for the year and also whether you are seeing an in-network or out-of-network dental facility.
Most insurance policies have a set maximum amount of coverage per year for dental procedures and endodontic treatment.
National average of root canal costs (with a crown)
- Root Canal Cost: $700-$1400
- Crown Ranges: $800 - $2000
- Fees/ Additional Costs: $200
Total With Insurance: $450 to $2,000
- Root Canal Cost: $800 to $1,600
- Crown Ranges: $800 to $2,000
- Fees/Additional costs: $200
Total With Insurance: $500 to $2,200
- Root Canal Cost: $1,000 to $1,600
- Crown Ranges: $800 to $2,000
- Fees: $200
Total Without Insurance: $2,000 to $3,800
Total With Insurance: $600 to $2,200
Ways to Pay for a Root Canal
No insurance? And no health savings account to dive into?
No need to worry, many financial providers and government programs offer payment plans that allow you to pay for your treatment over 6-24 months.
You can choose a payment plan that makes it easier to budget your treatment and offers either 0% interest or low-interest financing options for longer periods.
These plans get you immediate approval for a root canal or endodontic therapy, so you will not have to wait to schedule your treatment. Most dental offices accept major credit cards as well.
Your dental office may also have in-house membership plans that offer you decent discounts.
These programs will help save money and work as an alternative to insurance. They may also include perks such as no-cost check-ups and annual cleanings.
You can also try a dental school, they offer affordable dental services. Dental schools have students learning to be licensed practitioners. In school, students that treat you will be supervised by a licensed dentist.
There are many ways to make sure you get your root canal treatment done. Remember that waiting to treat an abscessed tooth will only make the costs go up if further complications arise. Don't wait until a throbbing tooth becomes a dental emergency.
You will save money by treating your affected tooth sooner than later. If you need multiple root canals, it's best to do them all at once. Root canals hurt slightly, but you'll heal and feel better afterward. Your root canal therapy (and crown) will blend in perfectly with your natural teeth.