The root canal treatment has been unfairly portrayed as some kind of pinnacle of suffering. The truth is that simple root canal procedures are not much more involved than getting a filling. The dentist cleans out the inside of an infected tooth and then seals it to prevent reinfection. Voila!  Your tooth is healthy again.

Average Costs of a Root Canal

The cost of a root canal may range from $600-$1400.  

Front teeth are smaller and easier to access, and thus cheaper to repair. An average price by tooth type is around:

  • Incisor:  $850
  • Bicuspid/ Premolar: $950
  • Molar:   $1200

These prices will vary depending on the type of existing damage to the tooth.  

Your dentist may not be able to perform the procedure. Endodontics is the area of dentistry concerned with the soft tissue inside the tooth, known as the “pulp”. Only 3% of dentists are trained endodontists who can perform a root canal.  

You will probably need to consult with an endodontist to get a more specific estimate for your root canal – especially if it will require more extensive intervention.  

What Will My Dental Insurance Cover?

Dental insurance tends to provide less coverage than standard medical health insurance. Does insurance cover root canals, Root canals, in particular, may not be fully covered by your plan. You might not have to pay anything, or you might have to pay some percentage of the fee, or you might have to pay for the entire procedure out-of-pocket. It depends on your coverage.

If trying to understand your health insurance makes you feel overwhelmed, you are in the same boat as millions of Americans. Health insurance plans can be extremely detailed and intimidating. Here are some tips to make sense of it all.

The Front-Office Staff are Your Best Resource

Some of the best people to demystify your dental insurance are the staff who greet you at your dentist’s office. 

The office manager is the best person to ask for help, but any staff member that deals with all those endless client folders can probably assist you with insurance questions. These brave employees have to process billing for health insurance companies every day, and it’s not unusual for them to know more about dental insurance than your dentist.

Dental insurance is consolidated through a handful of large companies, such as Delta Dental, Cigna, and UnitedHealthOne. The front office staff will be familiar with all of them. There is a very good chance that they will be familiar with your specific coverage plan, and how it covers root canals specifically.

These helpful employees often have a contact at each of these dental insurance companies that they can call directly to clarify your coverage.  This can save you the potential headache of trying to navigate your insurance company’s automated directory. 

If you are looking for a Medford endodontist to perform a root canal, try calling us at Gio Dental at Station Landing at (781) 777-1812 to learn what your insurance will cover. 

Understanding Your Dental Insurance

If you are brave enough to interpret your dental coverage on your own, root canals are typically listed as a specific procedure in your insurance documentation.  If you download a .pdf version of your dental plan, you can search right for the term root canal.

The following terms may all affect the amount that you pay out-of-pocket for a root canal.

Deductible 

  • Refers to the amount that you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance covers dental care
  • Applies to the cumulative costs of your dental services year-to-date
  • This May does not apply to all services (such as routine checkups)

Your deductible is taken out of all of the dental services you have received year-to-date. If you paid out-of-pocket earlier in the year for some fillings, you may have already paid all, or part, of your deductible.

Maximum

  • The total amount of dental services that your insurer will pay for over a given year  
  • Should be considered if you have a significant amount of dental work in a given year

Waiting Period 

  • Root canals might not be covered until you have paid your monthly premiums for a certain amount of time (the insurance company does not want people to sign up for coverage just to pay for a root canal)
  • Caution:  a tooth that needs a root canal may deteriorate further if you wait too many months to obtain the treatment

Co-Insurance/Co-Pay

  • This is the percentage of your root canal cost with insurance that your insurance company will pay for
  1. After the annual Deductible is paid
  2. If it does not exceed your annual maximum, and
  3. If you are not currently in a root canal Waiting Period (in which case you would not be covered)

Get More Information on Root Canal Treatment

A root canal is a time-sensitive procedure. You should only have to do it once for a given tooth, but you don’t want to wait too long. GIO Dental is a Medford dentist that can answer all of your questions about using your insurance to pay for a root canal. Call us at (781) 777-1812 to learn more.