Updated Feb 2023
Being told that you need a root canal is definitely a bummer. But the truth is this procedure can fix a severely damaged or decayed tooth so you won’t need to extract it. So, it can’t be all that bad, right?
Basically, during a root canal, a dentist or endodontist (a specialist in root canals) will remove the pulp that’s inside your tooth. By cleaning out all of the decay and infection, the tooth can be filled and sealed. Then, a crown that looks like a natural tooth may be set in place.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what a root canal is, let’s discuss another frequently asked question: what is the average cost of a root canal? Below, we break down root canal cost with insurance vs. root canal cost without insurance.
Why does a root canal cost so much?
Unfortunately, root canals are not cheap. You might be shocked by the average cost of a root canal, especially if you need to pay for it all out of pocket because you don’t have insurance.
You might need to see your dentist multiple times, including before and after the actual treatment. Also, X-rays may need to be taken, and you might be prescribed medications, such as antibiotics and painkillers. Plus, the procedure involves anesthesia to help keep you comfortable, and you might need to purchase a crown that will restore the look of the tooth. It all adds up!
Factors that can affect the cost of a root canal
The total price will depend on factors like which tooth is being treated, which dental professional you’re using, where you’re located, whether or not you’ll be sedated, and if it’s an emergency root canal.
How much is a root canal without insurance?
When you don’t have a good dental plan to help you cover the cost of a root canal and crown, you’ll need to pay the entire bill out of pocket.
As mentioned above, the cost of a root canal can be determined by the tooth that’s worked on. Here’s a breakdown to give you an idea of some average prices:
Front tooth: $600 to $900, on average
Bicuspid (premolar): $700 to $1,000, on average
Molar: $1,000 to $1,400, on average
A dental crown may be used to restore the tooth, so don’t forget to include its cost. Depending on factors like the type of crown you get, you might spend anywhere from $500 to $3,000, on average.
If sedation will be necessary, the cost will depend on the type that’s used, as well as other factors. For example, inhalation sedation might cost upwards of $100, while oral sedation might be as high as $500 and general anesthesia might be as much as $1,000.
How much does a root canal cost with insurance?
The cost of a root canal with insurance will depend on your dental plan. Insurers might cover a percentage of the cost, such as 80% or 50% based on whether the procedure is classified as a basic or major service. You’d be responsible for the balance.
Example: if you need a root canal that will cost $1,200, you might only need to pay $240 if your insurer covers 80% of the bill. If your plan covers root canals at 50%, you’d pay $600. Those are substantial savings!
A superb dental plan may help cover the cost of the root canal, crown, and appointments and treatments you might need before and after the procedure. But keep in mind that policies might have exclusions, restrictions, copays, deductibles, and annual maximums that could affect how much will be covered.
Is a root canal worth it?
A root canal might be scary, but it can help you keep your tooth. Also, if a tooth is badly infected, you don’t want to risk the infection making its way to other parts of your body.
Put simply, if a root canal is the best or only treatment option, it’s certainly worth it, as it can prevent an existing problem from getting worse.
Dental insurance can help reduce your root canal treatment cost
Needing a root canal is stressful enough without worrying about how you’ll pay for it all out of pocket. With the right dental plan in place, you could save a lot, so if you don’t already have insurance, consider looking into the options available in your area.
The Direct Benefits Marketplace makes comparing dental insurance plans quick and simple. Start your search today for a policy that can help you save money when you need to undergo an expensive dental procedure.