Root canals are one of the most dreaded dental care procedures—not just because of the discomfort but also because of the high price tag.
The price of a root canal can vary dramatically depending on where you live, which tooth requires the procedure, the condition of the tooth, and your insurance policy. Although dental insurance companies often provide some coverage, chances are good that you’ll need to pay at least some of the root canal treatment cost out of pocket.
This guide will help you to figure out how to finance root canal procedures, and even how to get a cheap root canal without compromising your oral health.
In this guide:
- How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
- How Much Does a Root Canal Cost With Insurance?
- Where Can I Find a Cheap Root Canal?
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
The average cost of a root canal can be very high. In fact, according to Aspen Dental:
- An anterior root canal costs run between $566 and $1,199
- A molar root canal can cost between $832 and $1,625
You may also incur other dental care expenses, including:
- X-rays: The x-rays necessary for determining if you require a dental procedure are often billed as a separate expense.
- Medication provided before the root canal: Some dentists prescribe sedatives or anti-anxiety medications prior to the procedure.
- Antibiotics provided after the root canal: Antibiotics may be necessary if you are at high risk of infection, gum disease, or tooth decay.
- Additional treatments necessary: Sometimes other dental procedures, including extraction, become necessary after a root canal.
- Follow-up visits: Your dentist may need you to come for root canal therapy after the procedure to make sure everything is healing properly.
Many people are not able to afford these costs out-of-pocket and end up charging their dental services to their credit card, obtain a personal loan, or use a service such as CareCredit that finances dental expenses at a low interest rate over time.
>> Read More: Medical Loans: Financing for Healthcare Expenses
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost With Insurance?
If you have a good dental insurance policy, you may have some or all of your root canal costs covered. The financial assistance that your insurer provides is going to vary depending upon the type of policy you have and whether you visit an in- or out-of-network dentist.
Root canals are considered “major services.” As a result, many dental insurance policies will limit the number of root canals covered, or it will limit reimbursement to a percentage of the procedure cost.
It is common for dental insurance policies to cover 50% or less of the costs of a root canal, minus any deductible that you have on your policy.
Dental insurers may also put a waiting period on when a root canal will be covered. For example, you may not be ineligible for reimbursement for a root canal or other major service until your dental plan has been in effect for at least 90 days.
Where Can I Find a Cheap Root Canal?
Root canals are often necessary to prevent more expensive procedures down the line—including tooth extraction—so you don’t want to settle for just anybody who claims to be a dental health provider.
However, there are still ways to save money on a root canal if you discover that your dental insurance plan provides limited coverage. Some of the options you should consider include:
- Signing up for a dental savings plan: These plans are not insurance. Instead, you pay a fee to gain access to a network of member dentists that provide dental services at a discount. You may be able to save several hundred dollars on the cost of a root canal if you sign up for a dental savings plan. And you can often find plans that provide immediate savings with no waiting period and with no annual limits on the amount of coverage you are able to receive.
- Getting the procedure done at a dental school: If there is a dental school near you, it’s often possible to get root canals and other procedures done by students at a discounted rate. Procedures conducted at dental school clinics are performed under the guidance of licensed dentists, so you can be confident you’ll receive appropriate care.
- Asking your dentist about a payment plan: Some dentists will offer cash discounts if you do not have insurance, or they will give you the opportunity to pay for your root canal over time.
- Paying with pre-tax dollars: If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA), you can usually use it to pay for your dental procedures. The IRS allows you to make tax-deductible contributions to these accounts, so you effectively receive a discount on your dental services.
Borrowing with a personal loan can also be a cost-effective way to pay for a root canal because you can stretch out payments over several months or even several years. You will want to compare rates from the best personal loan lenders to find a good rate.
Bottom Line: Root Canals are Expensive, But You Have Options
Root canals can undoubtedly come with a big price tag, but delaying dental work can make your problem even worse and more expensive down the road. Instead of delaying care, you should look into all of the root canal financing options available to you, including paying with insurance, taking out a personal loan, paying from an HSA or FSA, or getting your procedure done at a dental school for a discount.
>> Read More: Dental financing