How Much Does a Root Canal Cost
Root canals can be caused by a variety of different things, and the cost of a root canal treatment is determined by several factors, such as which tooth is infected, if you have any other dental emergencies, and how severe the infection is. Below we will look at how much a root canal can cost without insurance.
What is a Root Canal?
Before we look at costs, it is important to understand what a root canal is and why it is important to get an infected tooth treated. A root canal is a dental procedure used when a tooth has become infected inside the tissue. A tooth has many layers and underneath the visible hard layer is a soft tissue known as pulp. This pulp is what becomes infected and, as it is connected to the roots with connective tissue and nerves, an infection here can cause pain, swelling, and discomfort.
During a root canal, the crown of the tooth will be removed, meaning the dentist can access the infected pulp. All of the infected pulp will need to be removed to get rid of the infection. The area must then be cleaned to stop reinfection. A filling or a crown can then be placed on the tooth after it has been shaped to size. This will protect any pulp left in the tooth from becoming infected.
If you do not get a root canal, the infection can spread to other parts of the mouth and eventually the body. This can be life-threatening, so a root canal is of the upmost importance if you need one. The infection can cause tooth loss and abscesses, which will also need treatment and the cost can increase without a root canal.
How Much Can It Cost?
Without insurance, a root canal can cost anywhere between $700 - $1800. It is important to bear in mind that this does depend on the tooth that needs a root canal. Front teeth usually cost between $700 - $1,100 as a root canal is not as complex on a front tooth. The middle of the mouth can be more costly, ranging from $800 - $1,200.
If the infection is more severe, the cost will likely be at the higher end as a longer appointment or more than one appointment may be necessary. For the back teeth, which are known as molars, the cost can be between $1,200 - $1,800. The back teeth contain more roots, which makes the procedure longer and more complex, which is why the cost is higher.
Root Canal Cost Factors
There are many things that can influence the cost of your root canal. Your dentist can explain everything and let you know how much your root canal will cost. Some factors that can influence the cost include:
- The location and type of tooth
- Whether you visit a dentist or an endodontist
- Other treatment costs, such as crowns and x-rays
- How severe the infection is
- The area where you live
Is a Root Canal More Expensive Than an Extraction?
Rather than getting a root canal, some patients choose to get the tooth removed. This is a personal preference, but a root canal can be more expensive to pay in one sum. Although a root canal can seem more costly, once you have had your tooth extracted, you will also have to pay for further treatments. This may include a follow-up to ensure the area is healing, or an implant to fill the hole, which aims to prevent infection and improve the look of your teeth.
An extraction is an option if you cannot afford a root canal, but this will depend on whether you are happy to lose a tooth. If this is a front tooth, a root canal is a much better option for appearance, for smiling, and for eating. Losing a tooth can change the shape of the mouth and lead to an uneven bite. You can talk about the pros and cons of each treatment with your dentist.
What if I Can’t Afford a Root Canal?
Even if you cannot pay for your root canal in full, it is essential that you get the treatment done. There are alternatives to paying in full if you do not have dental insurance to cover any costs. Many dentists have their own payment plan schemes, so you can choose to pay your root canal off each month. This will likely incur some kind of interest charges but is the best option for those who cannot afford the treatment outright. You may also want to look into borrowing money or financing your root canal.
Infected teeth need treatment, so if you do not have insurance, you will need to find a different way to pay for your root canal. Speak to your dentist if you have financial worries around a root canal, as they may be able to offer you a payment plan.
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