What Root Canals Cost and Why the Cost Varies

a woman is buying a lamp from a seller after root canal treatment

If you have ever experienced tooth pain, you will know it can hurt your wallet too. Emergency dental care is expensive. As such, regular oral check-ups (at least twice a year) are recommended to head off any potential problems. If, however, your sore tooth requires a root canal, don't let the high price tag catch you off guard. Read on for a general rundown on the cost of root canals and why the price tag may vary based on a few factors.

Location, Location, Location

The amount your dentist charges for a root canal can vary greatly. Why the big discrepancy in price? According to the American Association of Endodontists, one of the main factors is the location of the tooth that needs to be repaired. If your cavity is on one of your front teeth, it will cost less. That's because front teeth only have one root, whereas molars can have up to three. More than one root means more work for your dentist and ultimately, a higher cost.

The region of the country in which you live may also determine the cost.

Sooner Rather Than Later

Another factor in the cost of root canals is how severe the cavity is and what needs to be done to repair the infected tooth. If you visit the dentist as soon as you notice sensitivity, the infection probably won't be as extensive and it will be easier for the dentist to drill, access and fill the cavity. If, however, you drag your feet and wait before making an appointment, the infection may become more severe. What could have been easily fixed with a filling might actually need a crown, which can hike up your final bill. If your tooth infection is so severe that it requires extraction, that would entail the highest cost of all; not only will you pay for the extraction, but the repair and an implant or bridge as well.

Retreatment for Past Root Canals

Finally, if you have an infection in a tooth that has already had a root canal, the procedure becomes a little more extensive. While your dentist will still need to drill to access the infected areas, you'll likely require a crown, even if you only had a filling before. This might explain why your bill is higher, even if it's the same tooth you have had trouble with before. To avoid this situation, adopt good oral hygiene habits and brush with a fluoride toothpaste that cleans teeth thoroughly and helps protect them against cavities. This will help strengthen enamel and replenish natural calcium.

If you don't have dental insurance and you're worried about the cost of a root canal, talk to your dentist. He or she may be able to extend a special discount if you pay upfront or offer a payment plan to help ease some of the pain when it comes time to pay your bill. In the end, any ethical dentist would much rather you make an appointment and seek treatment, no matter the cost. That's because, while it may seem expensive, root canals cost more the longer you wait. Let your dentist know your worries ahead of time and it's likely you can work out a solution for payment and get the root canal you need.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Tips for Care After a ROOT CANAL

A treated and restored tooth can last a lifetime with proper care. Root canals have a high success rate. Here are a few ways to take care of your teeth after a root canal:

  • Practice good oral hygiene – brush teeth twice a day, and floss at least once. Taking care of your teeth can help prevent future problems.

  • Visit the dentist regularly – cleanings and examinations by dentists and hygienists.

  • Avoid chewing on hard foods – chewing on hard foods such as ice can cause teeth to break, and can harm root canals.

Ouch! Are you experiencing sensitivity after a ROOT CANAL?