Emergency dental care can be quite expensive in the US when compared to countries around the world. One way to avoid the high cost is to go for the recommended oral check-ups with your dentist, at least twice a year. This helps in maintaining good oral hygiene and finding out about potential dental problems way before you need expensive treatment.
One of the more common treatments is root canal. And if you need one, the cost may be a bit more on your mind as it is considered more expensive when compared with other dental treatments.
In this post, we look at the average cost of a root canal in the United States and a few factors that determine the final cost:
Location of the Tooth:
The American Association of Endodontists says that one of the key factors that has an impact on the cost is the location of the affected tooth. The costs for root canal treatment of incisors, canines (cuspids), pre-molars (bicuspids) and molars are different as they offer different types of challenges during RCT. For instance, the cost of a root canal for molars is higher than one for incisors.
A 2016 post in NerdWallet estimates that the national average root canal costs are:
- Incisors (front teeth): $762
- Biscsuspid (premolars): $879
- Molar: $1,111
The same NerdWallet post cites FAIR Health putting the range for a root canal between $300 and $2,500.
Do note that these are 2015 prices and the cost may have gone up in your area in the last 4 years. For area-specific break-up see Where You Stay section below.
Type of Tooth Problem:
In most cases, tooth decay or infection is what warrants a root canal. However, the exact type of problem (decay, crack, etc.) has a direct impact on the cost. If you visit the dentist as soon as you notice any sensitivity, there is a possibility that the infection has not spread and the problem can be fixed easily. Compare this with a hypothetical situation where you waited even after noticing sensitivity and the infection got worse. In such a situation, the treatment will be carried out in stages and the cost will be relatively higher than the first case.
The Severity of the Problem:
The severity of the infection, pain or decay affects the price of the root canal treatment. For instance, if you have an infection and swelling in the tooth then the root canal specialist will have to treat these before starting with the RCT. This pre-RCT procedure will add to the overall cost of the treatment. As such, experts recommend that you visit the dentist as soon as you notice a small crack on a tooth, feel any sensitivity to hot or cold food, see some strange discoloration, and so forth.
Where You Stay:
Your geographical location also plays an important role in determining the cost of your RCT. You might have to pay more if you are in the Northeastern part of the country as compared to the Western region. Value Penguin estimates the below price range for different areas in the country.
- Western US: $900 – $1,100
- Midwest US: $1,00 – $1,200
- Southern US: $1,200 – $1,400
- Northeastern US: $1,500 – $2,000
It is important to remember the additional costs involved such as the cost of medication (antibiotics) that will be prescribed in the case of infection, cost of the crown you select out of various options to cover the treated tooth, follow-ups, post-treatment, etc. These will make the price go up.
An important point to note here is the insurance. If you have insurance for root canal treatment, then your costs will come down significantly. Just ensure your Endondontist accepts your insurance.
If you are dealing with a tooth condition that you think might call for a root canal and you are in Virginia or the Washington DC area, then visit our Special Care Endodontics centre in Vienna or Woodbridge to get the tooth checked. You may call (703) 650-9990 to fix an appointment. We are one of the few Saturday-open clinics and you will not have to worry about missing work. Plus, we accept all insurance.