Cost of a root canal and crown treatment
Your teeth are priceless. However, if they have been compromised in some way, restoring them to their former glory comes at a cost. When you need a root canal and crown, understanding how much the treatment costs will help you make more informed decisions.
We have prepared a detailed cost guide to give you an idea of what to expect when it comes to a root canal and crown treatment. Read on to find out.
So what is the average cost of a root canal and crown?
The average price for treatment varies. Well, some of the factors with a significant influence on cost include:
· Tooth location
Dentists or endodontists take into consideration the category of the tooth that needs fixing. Speaking of category, we have the front teeth, bicuspids, and molars.
The front teeth will cost less, as they have only one root. Bicuspids or the premolars can have two roots, while molars have up to three. More roots will require more work and time, meaning you’ll pay more.
Cost range for a root canal by tooth location
· Front tooth — $300 to $1700
· Bicuspid tooth — $800 to $1,800
· Molar tooth — $850 to $2,100
Please keep in mind the cost above only applies to patients without dental insurance. Also, it does not include a crown yet.
Another thing worth mentioning is that, the treatment provider you choose and the region you live also play a role in determining the root canal cost. For example, if you live in a big, well-known city, the price tends to be higher. Endodontists could charge you up to 50% more than a general dentist.
· Material and size of the crown
After root canal treatment, a dentist will add a dental crown to the threatened tooth for better protection. You will need it, especially if the tooth repaired is a molar or premolar. The chewing function is more demanding.
Generally, the cost of crowns can range from $500 to $2,000. They could cost even more.
Patients have different types of dental crowns to choose from, depending on their needs. The main options include all-resin crowns, all-porcelain crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, gold crowns, and zirconia crowns. In each type, there are relatively cheap and surprisingly expensive options.
Cost range for dental crowns
· All-resin crown — $500 to $1700
· All-porcelain crown — $800 to $3,000
· Porcelain-fused-to-metal crown — $500 to $1,500
· Gold crown — $1,200 to $2,500
Zirconia crowns usually cost approximately the same amount as all-ceramic or porcelain crowns.
· Severity of the cavity
When you visit the dentist hours or a few days after you start experiencing discomfort and tenderness, the procedure for drilling, accessing, and filling the cavity becomes a lot easier. If you keep postponing the visits, however, you risk suffering a serious root canal infection. The infection might spread to the surrounding tissues, including other teeth, gums, and tissue in cheeks. In such a scenario, your dentist will charge you considerably more.
· Root canal retreatment
If an infection occurs and the first root canal treatment fails, retreatment might be more expensive. Of course, the doctor will charge you for repeating the procedures. They will need to drill and remove the existing root canal fillings, and clean it. He or she will then shape and fill the canal again. If you didn’t have a crown before, your dentist might recommend fitting one this time.
On average, expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,600.
Please note that sometimes treatment can fail even for the second time. If that happens, you may need to undergo some surgery, such as an apicoectomy. Or, you opt for tooth extraction. It is an additional cost you’ll have to meet.
Combined cost of a root canal and crown
A ballpark estimate could range from $1,000 to $2,500 for an incisor and $1,500 to $4,000 for a molar. You may pay higher or lower, though.
Root canal treatment with insurance
Dental insurance plans will typically not cover the full cost of a root canal, but they greatly reduce the out-of-pocket payments for the treatment. The level of benefits you’ll get depends on the features of your plan. Basic plans usually don’t cover much apart from routine dental care like regular cleaning and examinations. While some basic plans may cover a root canal, they only make a minor difference. Therefore, you will pay a bigger part of the cost.
Let’s assume you’re covered at 50% with no deductibles, and your root canal procedure is estimated to cost $1,500. If your yearly limit is set at $2,000 and you’ve already spent $500 for other dental procedures during the year, you’ll be left with $1,500 for a root canal. However, your treatment will only be reduced by $750. For the remaining $750, you will need to pay out of pocket.
In-network vs out-of-network
Even though your insurance plan may cover both in-network and out-of-network service costs at 50%, your out-of-pocket payments won’t be the same. You may need to pay more if you go to an out-of-network dentist.
With in-network dentists, they are usually contracted with insurers. The insurance companies have fee requirements that the dentists must adhere to.
If an in-network dentist charges $1,500 for treatment, your out-of-the-pocket payment would be $750. When you go to an out-of-network dentist, you may be charged $2,000 for the same dental procedure. This means you will have to pay $1,000 out-of-pocket, an increase of $250.
Waiting period requirement
Before scheduling a root canal, it is generally advisable to consult the representative of your insurance company and learn what your existing dental plan will offer, including the portion. This is especially true if you purchased an insurance policy recently and you’ve never used it before.
Some insurers might have a waiting period requirement. You may not be eligible for cost reduction benefits when it comes to complicated procedures like getting a root canal and crown. It is a strategy that insurance companies use to protect themselves against scams.
You can be tempted to wait until when you can use your insurance. As we mentioned earlier in this post, delaying the treatment can lead to serious complications.
If the root canals get severely infected, your tooth may be removed. Unfortunately, the cost of tooth replacement would be higher than the cost of a root canal and crown.
Does Medicare or Medicaid pay for a root canal and crown treatment?
If you were planning on using Medicare to reduce your root canal cost, it is best to explore other financing options. Medicare does not cover most dental care, and this includes a root canal. Nevertheless, there are some Medicare Advantage plans, which may cover your cost. As for Medicaid, it covers dental services, but be sure to check if you’re eligible to enjoy the benefits in your state.
Alternative financing options for a root canal and crown treatment
Without insurance, it becomes your sole responsibility to cover the full cost of your treatment. You might also carry an insurance policy but still, it can leave you with a huge bill that you can’t clear at once. If that’s the case, there are a few other options available to you to avoid an infection getting worse.
Some dental facilities will accept medical credit card payments. You may also want to secure a dental loan. If you’re a Heath Savings Account (HAS) holder, you may be eligible for some medical expenses. Make sure you check out the types of procedures covered.
Additional root canal costs you should know
You may incur other separate charges that can affect the final bill. However, they cost less, typically a few tens or hundreds of dollars.
· Initial exam
Before the root canal procedure, your dentist or endodontist will assess the actual condition of your tooth and determine if you’re a good candidate. An oral evaluation will cost anywhere between $20 and $100, although it can go up to $200. At this initial stage of treatment, you may undergo electric pulp testing, cold testing, and hot testing.
· Dental X-rays
Your dentist may need to perform dental X-rays before and after treatment. The X-rays help the doctor to capture images of the interior of your affected teeth, as well as the gums. They can reveal the extent of your tooth decay and infection in the cavities.
There are three different types of dental X-rays, and the cost varies. The cheapest is the periapical X-ray, which cost anywhere from $25 to $50. For panoramic X-ray, the cost ranges from $100 to $250. The cone-beam CT is the most expensive of all, costing between $150 and $750.
As with most dental procedures involving incisions, a patient will receive anesthesia to reduce anxiety and pain or discomfort during treatment. The endodontist may use conscious sedation or laughing gas on very anxious patients.
The dentists may charge between $75 and $500 for conscious sedation. Laughing gas, on the other hand, costs $40 to $150.
If after the initial examination the doctor determines you need root canal treatment but the procedure can’t be done immediately, he or she will prescribe some antibiotics for you to purchase. You will need to take the drugs until the treatment day. And when you start the journey to healing, the dentist will also prescribe some painkillers.
Ways to cut down the cost of a root canal and crown
A root canal can be a quite expensive procedure for the common folk. We’ve prepared this section to help you save money, especially if you urgently need the treatment. And without further ado, let’s explore the strategies that we think are worth your attention.
· Take advantage of dental discount plans
There are generous discount plans out there that can help you save up to a whopping 60% on dental procedures, including root canal treatment. The plans are just like membership programs. What’s more, they are compatible with insurance.
Some dentists will offer additional discounts when you use a certain payment method. Perhaps, they prefer paying in cash. Be sure to do some research on this to discover a money-saving opportunity.
· Compare prices of several dental facilities
Some dentists may add services you might not need. And even if that wasn’t the case, you should know that no two are created the same. The best way to know you’re not paying more than you should is to request free no-obligation estimates from a few dentists and compare their costs.
· Get root canal treatment at a dental school
If there’s a dentistry school clinic around where you live, you should try getting the services of the dental students. But is it safe? Yes, the students conducting complicated procedures like root canal are often closely monitored by trained and licensed professional dentists. However, since the steps involved in treatment will have to be graded, it means the procedure might take a little longer.
· Try negotiating the cost
Who said you can’t negotiate the cost for a root canal and crown? While dentists have a standard pricing technique, they have the freedom to adjust the cost limits. So you should give it a try.
· Request for a payment plan
Many dentists know that not everyone can afford the full cost of dental procedures at once. That’s why they have put in place some payment plans, which can greatly lower the upfront costs.
· Seek help from Dental Support Organisations (DSOs)
The DSOs provide affordable dental care to some groups of Americans. For example, you can turn to Dental Lifeline if you can’t afford the cost of the root canal.
When you need a root canal and crown treatment, it is generally recommended not to just go directly to the least expensive options without careful consideration.
Besides the cost factor, you should also read the review of past patients and see what they’re saying about the dentist or endodontists. If the doctor comes highly recommended, it might be worth paying for their services even if they charge a little more.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to get a root canal. If you suffer severe furcation, then chances are a root canal may not be possible. The tooth will probably be extracted.
It’s a good idea to request a second opinion in case a dentist recommends tooth extraction instead of a root canal.