Getting a root canal is not the most pleasant of experiences. The procedure involves removing the infected or damaged portion of a tooth, filling it, and sealing it. Many people put off getting a root canal for fear of the cost, but delaying the procedure can lead to more extensive dental work and higher costs in the long run. In this article, we will discuss the cost of a root canal and provide tips for budgeting for dental care.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that removes the infected or damaged portion of a tooth. This procedure is necessary when bacteria or trauma to the tooth’s pulp causes an infection. The dentist will remove the diseased pulp, clean the remaining portion of the tooth, seal the canal and restore the tooth.
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
The cost of a root canal varies depending on several factors including the severity of the infection, the location of the tooth, the dental professional performing the procedure, and the geographic location of the dental office. Costs for the endodontic therapy procedure typically range from $500 to $2,000.
Factors That Affect the Cost of a Root Canal
- The severity of the infection: The more severe the infection, the more expensive the root canal will be. In some cases, antibiotics or other treatments may be required before the root canal can be performed.
- The location of the tooth: Teeth located in the front of the mouth are typically less expensive to treat than those in the back because they have fewer canals and are easier to access.
- The dental professional performing the procedure: General dentists are typically less expensive than specialists such as endodontists, who specialize in performing root canals.
- The geographic location of the dental office: Dental offices in urban areas tend to be more expensive than those in rural areas. Costs may also vary depending on the cost of living in the area.
Does Insurance Cover Root Canal Costs?
Most dental insurance plans cover a portion of the cost of a root canal. The amount of coverage varies depending on the individual plan. Some plans may require a waiting period before covering major procedures such as root canals. Patients should check with their insurance provider to determine their coverage and out-of-pocket expenses.
How to Budget for Dental Care
Budgeting for dental care is an important part of maintaining good oral health. Here are some tips for budgeting for dental care:
Get Regular Check-ups
Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help prevent the need for more extensive and expensive dental work in the future. Filling cavities when they are small is much less expensive than performing a root canal or crown when the damage is severe. Dental check-ups can help detect problems early, preventing more extensive treatments and costs down the road.
Brush and Floss Regularly
Good oral hygiene habits can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which can lead to more extensive dental treatments. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash regularly can help keep teeth clean and healthy.
Patients can save money on dental care by choosing a dental office that offers competitive prices. Patients can also compare prices online or ask for a price quote from several dental offices before choosing a provider.
Consider Dental Savings Plans
Dental savings plans are an affordable alternative to traditional dental insurance. These plans offer discounts on dental services and procedures for a low monthly fee. Dental savings plans can help patients save money on routine dental care and other procedures, including root canals.
Getting a root canal can be expensive, but it’s important to address the problem sooner rather than later to prevent more extensive dental work and higher costs down the road. Budgeting for dental care can help patients save money and achieve optimal oral health. Patients should also consider purchasing dental insurance or a dental savings plan to help cover the cost of dental care.
How painful is a root canal?
A root canal is a relatively painless procedure. The tooth and surrounding area will be numbed during the procedure, and patients may experience mild discomfort or sensitivity after the procedure. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate any discomfort.
How long does a root canal take?
A root canal typically takes one to two hours to complete. For more severe infections or dental work, additional appointments may be required.
What can I expect after a root canal?
After a root canal, patients may experience some sensitivity or discomfort for a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate this discomfort. Patients should avoid eating or drinking anything until the numbness has worn off to avoid biting their tongue or cheek.
What are alternatives to a root canal?
Alternatives to a root canal include tooth extraction followed by implants or bridges. However, extracting a tooth can lead to a host of other issues, and implants or bridges are typically more expensive than root canals.
Is a root canal covered by insurance?
Most dental insurance plans cover a portion of the cost of a root canal. Patients should check with their insurance provider to determine their coverage and out-of-pocket expenses.
How can I save money on a root canal?
Patients can save money on a root canal by comparing prices at several dental offices, purchasing dental insurance or a dental savings plan, and keeping up with regular dental check-ups and cleanings.
1. American Dental Association. Endodontic Treatment. https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/patient_45.ashx
2. Delta Dental. Do You Really Need a Root Canal? https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/root-canal.html
3. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Root Canal Treatment. https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/root-canals