How much does a root canal cost?
Root canal treatment may be the dental procedure with the widest range of cost, for a number of reasons. The root canal cost varies widely depending on the difficulty of the procedure. The main factor that affects the root canal cost is the estimated time that the dentist will need to complete the procedure.
In any case, the cost of root canal is significant and it may rise further in case of any complications or treatment failure.
Factors affecting the root canal cost
- Location/type of tooth. A root canal in one of the front teeth will cost less, as they have only a single easily accessible, wide and straight canal, contrary to the back teeth (molars) that have four, hard to reach, narrower and curved root canals. Dentists usually charge a set fee for each type of tooth, but some charge based on the total time consumed.
- Where you live. Another important factor affecting the average cost of a root canal treatment is the region where you live. There is a huge difference in root canal cost from country to country. Root canal fees charged by a dentist in India might be one tenth of the fee charged in US. But even within a country such as United States you should expect significant variations of the root canal cost between small rural towns and large metropolitan areas.
- Root canal complications. In certain cases it is difficult even for the dentist to safely pre-determine the cost of a root canal treatment. It is important to know if the dentist charges a fixed fee for the procedure or charges by the time spent to complete it. Root canal is not always a predictable procedure. A number of complications may occur on the course of the treatment, requiring additional effort and time by the dentist or more dental visits increasing the root canal cost.
- General dentist or endodontist? If the procedure is performed by a specialist, an endodontist, the cost of root canal therapy is expected to be as much as 30%-50% higher.
- Root canal failure. In a 5% of the cases, root canals fail requiring a re-treatment. Root canal retreatments are much harder than the original treatment and root canal cost is normally higher. Besides that, most general dentists will send the patient to a specialist for a re-treatment, further increasing the root canal cost. So, in case of failure, the cost of root canal could get up to 2,5x the normal cost.
Finally, to calculate the total cost of the treatment, the cost of the restoration of the tooth’s crown must be added to the actual root canal cost.
Average cost of root canal treatment (in U.S.)
Due to the several factors discussed in the previous section that affect the fees charged by dentists, the root canal cost expected if the treatment is performed by a general dentist may range as following:
- Root canal cost for anterior teeth (front teeth e.g. incisor) : $350.00 - $700.00
- Root canal cost for posterior teeth (back tooth e.g. molar) : $600.00 - $1000.00
Root canal cost and dental insurance
Most of the dental insurance policies and dental discount plans do cover root canal costs at a percentage around 50% or more. Also, many dental practices offer financing to patients without insurance or for the part of the treatment fees not covered by insurance.
Get the best dental insurance you can afford, so that you will not have to worry about the cost of a necessary treatment.