How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?

Updated on October 4, 2021
Professional dentist surgeon and assistant performing dental operation in a clinic with modern tools equipment

A root canal is a dental procedure that is used to treat the infection of a tooth. When a tooth becomes infected, you can either remove the tooth, or choose to save it with A root canal treatment. A root canal is a very common treatment and is preferred by most patients over the removal of the tooth. Below we look at how much a root canal may cost.

Average Costs of a Root Canal 

To know the average cost of a root canal, you first need to know that depending on the tooth, the root canal can cost more or less. 

The front teeth only contain a single root, meaning that a root canal is relatively quick and easy, depending on how bad the infection is. For the front teeth, an appointment may only take an hour. The average cost in the US for a root canal on the front teeth is between $600 and $900. 

The premolars, which are the teeth in the middle of the mouth, can contain more than one root, meaning a root canal for these is a longer and slightly more complex procedure. Due to this, the average cost can be between $700 and $1000. 

Molars, which are the teeth at the far back of your mouth, contain around four roots, meaning they take the longest appointment. They may even take more than one appointment. The average cost for a root canal for a molar is between $1000 and $1400. 

Can Dental Insurance Help?

If you have dental insurance, this can reduce the cost of a root canal. This will depend on your dental plan, so make sure you read the terms and conditions of your insurance. If you are not sure, speak to your employer about your dental plan. Basic dental insurance plans will usually only cover general appointments, or cleaning of the teeth. With a basic plan, you may get a small amount of the cost covered, or none at all.

If you do not have any dental insurance, the cost will come down to you. However, many dentists offer payment plans to suit your financial needs. This can help greatly if you need a root canal but do not have the money to pay now. Root canals are not something that should be put off, as any infection in the mouth can lead to further issues or the loss of teeth. If you are worried about the costs of a root canal and you do not have dental insurance, speak to your dental practice about ways they can help. 

Using a Health Savings Account

If you do not have dental insurance, you may have a Health Savings Account (HSA), which could help you pay for some of the cost of the root canal. You must be eligible for a HSA and it may only cover some of the cost. Speak to your employer if you have a HSA through them to find out what it covers. You may also want to start your own HSA, incase you need it for dental emergencies, such as a root canal.

Before a Root Canal

There may be other factors to consider when looking at the cost of a root canal. Before the appointment, you may be given some antibiotics, which can help get rid of the infection before your appointment. This is usually the case if you cannot get a root canal appointment straight away. You must also factor in getting time off work, and whether this will be paid time. If you can get a root canal on a day you are not working, you should be fine to go back to work the next day.

After a Root Canal

After treatment, you will be in some pain and will need to purchase some painkillers. Your dentist may offer you a prescription or you can get over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen for the swelling and pain. If the root canal is going to take more than one appointment, the cost may be more. You may also need aftercare or other treatments, so speak to your dentist and see what they recommend.  

The Importance of Getting a Root Canal

The cost of a root canal should not put you off. The health of your teeth is of upmost importance and getting a root canal has many benefits including saving the tooth. It can also cost less than having a tooth removed and replaced. As a root canal is used to treat the infection, it can stop the infection spreading to other teeth which will cost more and lead to more pain. The infection could also cause an abscess if left untreated, which will likely cause time off work due to pain and discomfort. 

The cost of a root canal can vary greatly, depending on the infection, tooth, and whether you have any dental insurance. Speak to your dentist about the costs and any payment plans they offer. 

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