If you’re about to have your first root canal treatment, you might be feeling pretty apprehensive about the whole thing – especially when your health insurance covers just about everything but your teeth.
If so, you’re not alone. Many folks in their 50s and 60s don’t have dental insurance either because they are self-employed, working part-time or have retired. But while it’s true that insurance companies don’t cover most dental treatments, it’s still not a wise choice to put your dental health on hold.
Why Get a Root Canal Treatment?
An endodontic or root canal treatment is the cheapest and fastest way to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed, infected or dead.
The treatment is primarily needed for two main reasons: 1) to treat an inflamed or infected tooth tissue inside the root canal pulp or to 2) clean and disinfect the inside of the tooth that is susceptible to fracture and decay.
Normally, a root canal problem is treated by a general dentist or by an endodontist. During the treatment, the inflamed or infected soft tissue inside the root canal or pulp is removed, and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected.
Subsequently, the space is cleaned and shaped, and the endodontist fills the root canals with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. The procedure typically lasts from a few minutes to an hour, and you will be given a local anesthesia to help you manage the pain while the filling is placed.
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
A root canal treatment typically averages from $300 to $2,000 depending on the severity of the condition. On a front tooth, root canal treatment can cost $300-$1,500. A root canal on a bicuspid or premolar tooth (mid-mouth) can cost $400-$1,800 or more.
A root canal therapy on a back molar can be $500-$2,000 or more, but typically costs about $1,000-$1,300. Like any insurance product, shopping around for the best rate and terms will take some time, but they may result in significant cost savings over time.
Aftercare and Treatment Advantages
The technology of today’s dental instruments has led to radical enhancements in endodontic treatments. Today, endodontist use ultrasonic needles in removing bacteria from an infected root canal and water laser with a bleaching solution to disinfect the tooth. And in cases where tooth extraction is the only solution, the missing tooth may be replaced with a dental implant or dental bridge to maintain the functionality.