A well-known saying reminds us: “In the grand tapestry of life, every thread is worth saving.”
The same principle can be said for our teeth and oral health. Every tooth is a vital piece worth saving in the intricate mosaic of our oral cavity.
That’s why we have dental procedures such as root canal treatment to help us avoid losing a tooth and keep that natural smile.
So, how much does a root canal treatment cost? And is it worth your time and money? You’ll find out in this article.
Is your tooth worth saving?
Imagine you visited your dentist with a persistent, throbbing toothache that had disrupted your sleep for days.
After a thorough examination and X-rays, your endodontist explained that the pain was due to an infected pulp inside your molar. You were relieved to learn that a root canal treatment was necessary to save your tooth, as you had heard that a missing tooth due to extraction would soon require dentures or dental bridges.
This scenario explains how saving a tooth can make a ton of difference. Many choose dental extraction over root canal treatment because it’s cheaper. However, many don’t realize that gaps due to missing teeth may result in teeth shifting and gum recession.
While dentures and bridges can fix spacing issues, they may not offer the same look, feel, and function as healthy and natural teeth.
So, is a damaged or infected tooth worth saving? Yes, it is.
Now its benefits are warranted, let’s discuss the cost of a root canal treatment and the factors affecting its price.
Root canal cost with and without insurance
It’s important to remember that several factors may influence root canal cost. These factors may include the specific tooth needing treatment and its location, the case's complexity, and other additional procedures that your dentist may require.
The cost of these procedures can also vary depending on factors such as your insurance coverage, the need for out-of-pocket payments, and whether your dental professional is within or outside the network.
Understanding the difference between in-network and out-of-network dentists can mean a lot for you if you need to save money. For instance, in-network dentists offer reduced rates negotiated by your insurance provider, so your out-of-pocket share is a percentage of the discounted fee.
After you've paid your deductible, dental insurance may cover 20% to 80% of the root canal treatment cost.
Let's say you need a root canal procedure and have dental insurance with an in-network dentist. Your insurance provider has negotiated a discounted rate of 20% with your dentist.
Suppose your dentist's regular fee for a root canal is $1,000. Because they are in-network with your insurance, they have agreed to charge a reduced fee of $800 (a 20% discount).
Your insurance plan may have a deductible, which is an amount you need to pay before your insurance coverage kicks in. In this case, let's assume your deductible is $200.
After you've paid your $200 deductible, your insurance plan covers a percentage of the remaining cost. If your plan covers 80% of the procedure, they will pay 80% of the discounted fee, which is $800. So, your insurance will cover $640 (80% of $800).
You are responsible for the remaining 20% of the discounted fee, which is $160 (20% of $800).
To find the combined cost of your root canal treatment with insurance, you should add the deductible amount to your share of the cost.
Deductible ($200) + Your Responsibility ($160) = $200 + $160 = $360
Therefore, the combined cost of your root canal treatment with insurance is $360.
On the other hand, you'll pay a percentage of their full, non-discounted fee with out-of-network dentists, which can be more expensive.
If we use Delta Dental’s Procedure Cost Estimator, here’s how the different types of root canal treatment would cost in Culver City, California if your dentist or endodontist is out-of-network.
Root Canal - Molar
$1,453 - $2,195
Root Canal - Premolar
$1,200 - $1,750
Root Canal - Front tooth
$1,095 - $1,750
Please note that actual percentages, deductibles, and fees can vary based on your specific insurance plan. Therefore, reviewing your plan details for precise information and talking with your dental care provider is essential.
What makes a root canal procedure expensive?
Think of a root canal as a major home repair for your tooth's foundation. It can get expensive because it involves specialized skills and equipment.
Endodontists carefully remove infected or damaged pulp and clean and seal the tooth. The complexity of the procedure, along with the materials and tools used, adds to the cost.
While dental insurance might help, you often still have copayments and deductibles to cover, especially if you choose an out-of-network provider. Nevertheless, the expense merits the importance of preserving your tooth and maintaining good oral health.
But can a tooth survive without a root canal treatment? Unfortunately, the infected pulp will not heal naturally.
So, if you ignore treatment and let the infection spread, the tooth might not make it, eventually needing to be pulled out.
But here's the thing: not every tooth needs a root canal. A simple dental filling can often do the trick if it's just a small issue, like a tiny cavity. And sometimes, if the pulp is only mildly irritated, you might dodge the root canal bullet.
It’s still best to consult your dentist to check out your tooth and recommend the best treatment. Regular dental check-ups are crucial for early detection and appropriate treatment of dental issues to maximize the chances of a tooth's survival.
If you’ve decided to agree with your dentist about the treatment, rest assured that it’s safe and almost pain-free.
Factors affecting root canal cost
As mentioned, several elements come into play when determining the overall expense of root canal therapy. Understanding these factors is essential because it can help you make informed decisions, manage your finances, and ensure you receive the dental care you need without any unforeseen financial challenges.
Here are valuable insights you need to know about.
Tooth location and treatment complexity
Front teeth usually have only one root and are easier to access, while back teeth or molars have multiple roots and intricate systems, making them more difficult to treat.
This increased complexity can result in a higher cost due to the additional time, specialized techniques and instruments, and expertise required.
The variation in dental treatment costs across different locations in the United States is influenced by a combination of economic, regulatory, demographic, and competitive factors that affect the overall cost of providing dental care in a particular area.
For instance, in a city like California, where the cost of living is significantly higher compared to a small town in Iowa, dental treatments tend to be more expensive due to higher rent, utilities, and employee salaries.
Also, in areas with a higher concentration of affluent residents, such as Beverly Hills, dental practices may charge higher fees for premium services to cater to the local demographic's preferences and ability to pay.
Post-treatment care and additional fees
Affected molars are subjected to more chewing forces and, thus, may require more extensive restoration, such as dental crowns, to protect them from further damage.
The decision to place a crown is usually based on the quantity of tooth structure that remains following a root canal procedure. The cost of dental crowns can also vary based on the material used, location, shape, and size.
What if I don’t have insurance?
Before undergoing treatment, talk with your dentist about your financial circumstances. Your endodontist might offer valuable advice or suggest ways to find assistance in covering the required treatment expenses.
Additionally, obtaining price estimates from various dental practices to assess the costs and discover the most budget-friendly solutions is a good idea.
If you don’t have dental coverage, you might want to consider getting a personal membership plan.
Personal membership plans
A personal dental membership or in-house membership plan offers a wide range of benefits for a monthly fixed fee and a one-time activation fee.
As an example, consider the dental membership program provided by United Dental Care, which encompasses various preventive care services such as:
- Regular check-ups
- Fluoride treatments
- Periodontal screenings
- Necessary x-rays
- Emergency dental examinations
Furthermore, this preventive care membership includes discounts on specific treatments typically covered by dental insurance.
For instance, if you're enrolled in United Dental Care's dental membership plan, you can enjoy:
- A 50% reduction in the cost of periodontal maintenance
- A 25% discount on dental procedures like fillings, tooth extractions, inlays or onlays, root canal treatment, and dental crowns
- A 15% discount on dental implants
We have covered everything in this article if you need to learn more about personal membership plans.
Consult an endodontist in Culver City
Root canal treatment, a crucial dental procedure, serves as a lifeline for our smiles, allowing us to avoid the loss of a precious tooth to dental extraction.
So, to safeguard your oral health, remember that we at United Dental Care are here to help you weave a beautiful and long-lasting smile.
If you live around Culver City or adjacent cities like Marina Del Ray, visit our office at 3909 South Sepulveda Blvd or book a free consultation. Your oral health deserves the utmost care and attention.