dental care

Insurance for Root Canals
What Affects the Cost of This Treatment?

There was a time not so long ago when people were afraid of root canals because they thought it’s a very painful and extremely uncomfortable procedure.

But if you do a quick research online, you would know it’s really not as scary as you thought.

People nowadays are no longer worried about the pain of this procedure but what they’re afraid of is the cost.

It’s not a cheap dental procedure, which is why a good dental plan always includes insurance for root canals.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Root Canals

  • Insurance Policy
  • Dentist or Endodontist
  • Which Tooth Is Involved?
  • Total Services
  • Location of Clinic
1. Insurance Policy

Drastically reducing the cost is what insurance for root canals is all about. Obviously, different plans offer different benefits. Some insurance plans will only pay a percentage of the cost, for example, 40 or 50 percent. Other plans provide a fixed amount and you’ll have to pay the balance if the total exceeds it.

When you’re getting dental insurance, you need to balance the amount of the premium against the benefits you get for common dental services like root canals. In general, the more benefits you get, the higher your premiums will be each month.

2. Dentist or Endodontist

In most cases, your general dentist is perfectly capable of performing a simple root canal. Many general dentists perform 2 root canals every week.

But you also have the option to go to an endodontist. This is a root canal specialist who has received at least two years of additional training in this specialty. Endodontists are very experienced, and they perform as many as 25 root canals a week. They also have more advanced equipment to handle this procedure better. If there are any complications, the endodontist is also better equipped to deal with them than a general dentist.

If you choose to go with an endodontist, however, the cost will be higher. It’s not uncommon for an endodontist to charge 50% more than what a general dentist will charge you.

3. Which Tooth Is Involved?

The cost of the root canal may also vary depending  on which tooth is affected. That’s because the teeth near or at the front area are easier to access and treat, while those at the back are much more difficult to deal with. Usually, the cost for a root canal for an anterior tooth is more affordable than a bicuspid tooth while a root canal on a molar may be the most expensive. Some dentists quote a fixed price for each tooth and they will disclose this info during your consultation. Other dentists will charge you depending on how long the procedure will take, so you won’t know how much it will cost until the procedure is done.

4. Total Services

There’s more to a root canal therapy than just removing an infected pulp from the tooth. After the procedure, your dentist will also typically put on a crown over the tooth as well, and that’s going to be an added cost.
In a root canal, the infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned thoroughly to get rid of bacteria so that there’s no recurrence of the infection. And the dentist also wants to put a crown over the tooth so that the bacteria from the outside can no longer get inside the tooth. A crown is necessary, but it’s also important to first check how much it will cost you.

Also remember that if you go to a dentist because you think you have an infected pulp, the dentist will have to take X-rays and conduct a thorough examination of your affected tooth and surrounding teeth and gums. That may also add up to the total cost if the same doctor who confirmed the need for the root canal also does the procedure.

5. Location of the Dental Office

One dental clinic may quote higher rate than another clinic. Often this is because of location and the general cost of living in a particular area. It will also vary per city and even per state. A dental clinic in Manhattan may charge higher than a dental office in Buffalo; a dental service may be more expensive in Connecticut compared to Florida. Even in the same city, a dental clinic in a busier part of town may also charge more.

When Do You Need a Root Canal?

Only your dentist will know for sure if you need a root canal, and that’s after they’ve checked your teeth thoroughly. There are, however, some signs which you can watch out for.

One of the common indicators that you have an infected pulp is when you feel intense pain when you chew your food in that particular tooth. You may also feel some tooth sensitivity when you eat something hot or cold, and the sensitivity persists even when you’ve removed the food from your mouth. In some cases, you may not feel pain but your tooth has become stained and dark from the inside.

Your gums may also provide clues that you need a root canal. If they swell, become tender, or have persistent pimples, this may mean you have an infection in the roots of your tooth.

Check with your dentist if you notice any of these symptoms, and he or she may recommend a root canal. With the right dentist, the procedure will be virtually painless. And with insurance for root canals, the treatment will be more affordable as well.


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