In the United States, the average root canal cost is approximately $1004. On the low end, the cost of a root canal may be around $750 while on the high end the cost of a root canal can be as much as $1380. This article breaks down data from over 1,000 dentists from across the United States, and details the cost of a root canal, to help patients make an informed decision about their oral health. It will also discuss the different factors that can affect the root canal cost so that patients never receive surprise bills in the mail.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal, also known as endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. The procedure involves removing the damaged tissue from inside the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting it, then filling and sealing it. A root canal often becomes necessary when a cavity is not treated promptly and the decay spreads to the pulp (the soft inner tissue of the tooth).
What Factors Affect the Cost of a Root Canal?
The Type of Tooth Involved
The type of tooth that needs a root canal will affect the root canal cost. This is due to the number of roots that are in each tooth. For example, molars (back teeth) typically have more roots than incisors (front teeth) and therefore, root canals on molars are usually more expensive.
If a Retreatment is Occurring
If you have had a root canal before and it failed, or if the tooth becomes infected again, you may need retreatment. This is typically more expensive than a regular root canal because it is a more difficult procedure.
If its a Child vs an Adult
Children do not receive the same endodontic treatment that adults do. While adults receive root canals, children receive what is called a pulpectomy. A pulpectomy is a partial root canal and is typically cheaper than a root canal, but the price will still vary depending on the dentist and the child’s age.
The Type of Dentist
Both general dentists and endodontists may perform root canals. General dentists are trained to perform root canals, but they may refer you to an endodontist if they feel like you need specialized care. Endodontists are root canal specialists who may charge more for their services.
Location of the Dentist
The geographic location of the dentist also affects the root canal cost. Dentists in rural areas typically charge less for their services than dentists in urban areas. This is because the cost of living in rural areas is usually lower than in urban areas, so dentists can charge less and still make a profit.
Sometimes additional procedures are recommended or requested during/before/after a root canal. For example, some patients may opt to be asleep during their root canal and most patients are recommended to have a crown placed on their tooth after treatment. The average cost of a dental crown is approximately $977 which can quickly add up during your visit to the dentist.
What are the Average Root Canal Costs Based on These Factors?
Although there are various factors affecting the cost of a root canal, we can take a look at the average costs of current dentists to help inform our decision-making. Please note that root canals are almost always followed by a crown, which is not included in this cost breakdown. The following data is from a survey completed by over 1,000 dentists from across the United States:
|Type of Root Canal||Average Root Canal Cost ($)||Low-End Root Canal Cost (10th percentile)||High-End Root Canal Cost (90th percentile)|
|Root Canal (Front Teeth)||799.76||620||1100|
|Root Canal (Premolars/Bicuspid)||917.71||705||1250|
|Root Canal (Molars)||1,109.31||870||1,472|
|Additional Cost if Obstruction Present in Root||487.32||210||750|
|Cost of Failed Root Canal (e.g. fracture)||385.88||103||625|
|Retreatment Root Canal (Front Teeth)||911.61||670||1305|
|Retreatment Root Canal (Premolars/Bicuspid)||1,044.12||760||1454|
|Retreatment Root Canal (Premolars/Bicuspid)||1,246.06||900||1700|
|Average Root Canal Cost||1004||750||1380|
For a full breakdown of all dental procedure costs click here.
How can I get a Cheap Root Canal?
If left unchecked, dental decay can continue to grow and may cause further damage to the tooth, requiring more involved and expensive procedures such as tooth extraction, implant, and crown. If a cavity has progressed to the stage that it needs to be treated, treating it earlier rather than later is of extreme importance. However, at the end of the day, root canals are extremely expensive. To help reduce the cost of a root canal there are a few options:
One way to get a cheap root canal is to go to a dental school. Dental schools are educational institutions that train students to become dentists. They typically have clinics where students can gain hands-on experience treating patients. The treatments provided at these clinics are usually very cheap or even free. However, the downside is that students typically are much slower and less experienced than practicing dentists.
Community Dental Clinics
Another option for getting a cheap root canal is to go to a community dental clinic. Community dental clinics are non-profit organizations that provide dental care to underserved communities. They typically offer their services at a reduced cost or even for free. However, the downside is that these clinics are often very busy and have long waitlists.
There are a few organizations that provide free root canals to low-income individuals. One such organization is the Dental Lifeline Network. The Dental Lifeline Network is a non-profit organization that provides free dental care to low-income seniors and people with disabilities. An organization that provides free pulpectomies is the Give a Kid a Smile Program from the American Dental Association. The Give a Kid a Smile Program is a non-profit organization that provides free dental health education, screenings, preventive care, and/or treatment for kids.
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) are organizations that provide health insurance coverage to their members. Many HMOs have dental plans that cover part of the cost of a root canal. However, the downside is that HMOs often have a limited network of dentists that they work with.
Dental Discount Plans
Another option for getting a cheap root canal is to sign up for a dental discount plan. Dental discount plans are not insurance plans, but rather membership plans that offer discounts on dental services from a network of dentists. These plans typically have an annual fee that entitles the member to a certain percentage off of dental services. The downside is that dental discount plans often have a limited network of dentists that they work with.
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No two mouths are the same, and each oral situation is unique. As such, it isn’t possible to give comprehensive advice or diagnose oral conditions based on articles alone. The best way to ensure you’re getting the best dental care possible is to visit a dentist in person for an examination and consultation.