Cost of Root Canal
By Arthur Kezian
A Root Canal procedure, or endodontic therapy, is a treatment for the pulp of a tooth which results in the elimination of infection and protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion. Root canals and their associated pulp chamber are the physical hollows within a tooth that are naturally inhabited by nerve tissue, blood vessels and other cellular entities. Endodontic therapy involves the removal of these structures, the subsequent cleaning, shaping, and decontamination of the hollows with tiny files and irrigating solutions, and the obturation (filling) of the decontaminated canals with an inert filling such as gutta percha. Although the procedure is relatively painless when done properly, the root canal remains a stereotypically fearsome dental operation, and, in the United States, a common response to an unpleasant proposal is, "I'd rather have a root canal."
The cost of a root canal differs by doctor, by tooth and by degree of difficulty. Larger teeth and more canals and tend to be more expensive. Root canals go for anywhere from $800 - $1500. You also need to add the cost of a crown in most cases which is an additional $800 -$1200. Typical cost without insurance is $2,000 per tooth for both. There are ways to reduce that cost. The obvious one is through insurance if you already have it. The less known way is through one of the discount dental plans available nationwide. These will save you $30-60% on the root canal procedure. Also, Dental colleges offer reduced rates for services by supervised students or faculty.
What should be included in your root canal procedure:
When the root inside a tooth is infected, the inflamed or damaged tissue is removed and the hollow area filled to keep bacteria out. An X-Ray reveals the shape of the canals and any bone infection. Once the area is numb, a rubber sheet isolates the infected tooth, which is drilled open, cleaned using pin-sized files and suction, filled, sealed and covered. This might require more than one appointment, to let the infection clear before the canal is sealed. The only other option is to extract the tooth and replace it with a bridge, implant or partial denture.