Navigating the Costs of Root Canals: Is It Covered by Insurance?

Root canal treatment is a common dental procedure that can save a severely damaged or infected tooth from extraction. While the thought of undergoing a root canal might make some people anxious, the truth is that this treatment can alleviate pain and prevent further complications. However, one of the primary concerns for many patients is the cost associated with root canal treatment, and whether their dental insurance will cover it.

Understanding Root Canal Costs

Before we dive into insurance coverage, let’s first explore the factors that influence the cost of a root canal:

  • Tooth Location: The cost varies depending on the specific tooth being treated. Generally, root canals on front teeth are less expensive compared to those on premolars (bicuspids) or molars. This is because front teeth typically have a single root canal, while premolars and molars have multiple roots and canals, making the procedure more complex.

  • Complexity: The complexity of the root canal procedure can affect the cost. Factors such as the presence of curved or calcified canals, as well as the extent of the infection or damage, can increase the difficulty and time required for the treatment.

  • Geographic Location: The cost of dental procedures, including root canals, can vary significantly based on your geographic location and the cost of living in that area.

  • Dentist’s Experience: Endodontists, who are specialists in root canal treatment, may charge higher fees compared to general dentists due to their advanced training and expertise.

To give you an idea of the potential costs, here are some average estimates for root canal treatment without insurance:

  • Front tooth: $600 to $900
  • Premolar (bicuspid): $700 to $1,000
  • Molar: $1,000 to $1,400

It’s important to note that these estimates do not include the cost of a dental crown, which is often recommended after a root canal to restore the tooth’s strength and appearance. The cost of a crown can range from $500 to $3,000, depending on the type of material used.

Is a Root Canal Covered by Dental Insurance?

The good news is that most dental insurance plans cover at least a portion of the cost of root canal treatment. However, the extent of coverage can vary depending on the specifics of your plan.

Typically, insurers classify root canal treatment as either a basic or major service. Here’s how coverage may look:

  • Basic Service Coverage: If your plan considers root canals as a basic service, you can expect coverage ranging from 50% to 80% of the total cost, after meeting your deductible.

  • Major Service Coverage: If root canals fall under major services in your plan, the coverage percentage may be lower, often around 50% of the cost, after meeting your deductible.

It’s essential to review your dental insurance policy or contact your provider to understand how root canals are classified and what your specific coverage entails.

To illustrate with an example, let’s assume you need a root canal treatment that costs $1,200, and your insurer covers 80% of the cost as a basic service:

  • If your insurer covers 80% of the cost, you would be responsible for paying $240 (20% of $1,200).
  • If your insurer covers 50% of the cost as a major service, you would pay $600 (50% of $1,200).

As you can see, the difference in coverage can significantly impact your out-of-pocket costs.

Maximizing Your Insurance Benefits

To make the most of your dental insurance coverage for root canal treatment, consider the following tips:

  • In-Network Providers: Choosing an in-network dentist or endodontist can help you save money, as these providers have agreed to discounted rates negotiated by your insurance company. Out-of-network providers may charge higher fees, leaving you with a larger portion of the bill.

  • Understand Your Policy: Review your dental insurance policy thoroughly to understand the coverage limits, deductibles, and any exclusions or limitations related to root canal treatment. This knowledge can help you plan and budget accordingly.

  • Utilize Cost Estimators: Many dental insurance providers offer online cost estimators that can provide you with an approximate range of costs for root canal treatment based on your specific plan and location. These

Does Insurance Cover Root Canals? | West Seneca Dentist


How much is a root canal in the US with insurance?

Cost of a root canal with insurance. If you have insurance coverage, the average cost of a root canal is between $213 and $640. Most insurance plans typically pay between 40% and 80% of the cost of a root canal. How much you pay will be based on the benefits of your dental insurance plan.

Why does insurance not cover root canal?

Deductible. Most dental insurance plans require you to meet a deductible before the insurance plan covers any of the cost. If your deductible is $1,000 and the dentist quotes you $1,000 for the root canal, the insurance plan technically won’t cover any of the cost of the root canal.

What happens if you need a root canal but can’t afford it?

Fortunately, you have several options for getting a root canal procedure at a discount. A dental school, a public clinic, a government-subsidized health care plan, or a financing option can all be considered to help you pay for the procedure.

How much does a root canal cost on average?

Location of Tooth & Complexity of Procedure While a root canal on a front tooth will cost around $1,000 on average, a root canal on a bicuspid tooth may cost around $1,100. The molars in the back of the mouth are usually most expensive for root canals, with an average cost of $1,300 to $1,600.

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