How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?

A root canal, also known as endodontics, is a dental procedure that is used to treat an infection in the root system at the center of a tooth. This infection is caused by bacteria found in the mouth that have invaded a damaged space in the tooth caused by trauma, tooth decay or a filling leak. The cost of a root canal depends on the teeth being treated and the place where the procedure is carried out. You also need to know when you need a root canal and what happens during the procedure.

How Much does a Root Canal Cost?

The cost of a root canal will vary based on which tooth is being treated and whether it is being treated by an endodontist or general dentist. Molars have more canals which will need to be filled, so this procedure will cost more. Endodontists will charge more for procedures because they have additional training.

The cost of a single rooted tooth such as the canine or incisor can range from $400-1000. Multi-rooted teeth such as molars or premolars can cost $500-1400 to repair. Dental insurance plans typically cover root canal treatments. Those that have undergone a root canal previously suggest that the cost of the procedure may be cut in half, so a root canal that originally cost $800 may cost $400 with some additional fees. The fees will include whatever is charged to as a co-pay on your insurance.

If you want to know more costs for other dental procedures you can refer to: http://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/costs_and_financing/Dental_Fee_Info.html

What If I Don’t Have Insurance?

Those that do not have insurance can use other methods to lower the cost of a root canal. Dental schools charge around 50 percent less than dentists on the market. Like the example above, root canal performed at a dental school would cost $400 when it would otherwise cost $800. Students performing these procedures are training to become dentists and will be supervised by a professional so there is little worry that this procedure is unsafe.

How Is a Root Canal Treatment Performed?

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Process

Description

Preparation

Before your root canal, X-rays will be taken of the tooth to determine the extent of the damage. This will help to determine how the procedure will be performed.

Anesthetic

Local anesthetic will be performed, but if the tooth is no longer sensitive this might not be necessary. If anaesthetizing the tooth is difficult, special anesthetic techniques can be used to reduce the risk of pain.

Removing the Pulp

A sheet of rubber called a dam will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and to prevent the patient from swallowing any chemicals used during the procedure. The tooth will be opened at the crown at the top so the pulp inside is exposed. Any infected pulp or liquid from an abscess will be removed.

Cleaning and Filling the Root Canal

Once the pulp is removed the root canal will be enlarged so it can be filled. Files will be used to enlarge the canals, which can take several hours to perform. If it is necessary to perform this step over several visits, medication will be placed in the canal to remove any remaining bacteria. If you experience signs of an infection such as swelling or fever, antibiotics will be administered as well.

Sealing and Fixing the Tooth

Any medication will be removed and a filling will be placed in the root canal. This will be sealed carefully to prevent any further infection. Filled teeth are more likely to break, so it may be necessary to place a crown over the tooth for extra protection. Filled teeth may also look darker, but discoloration chemicals are available to reverse this.

Crowns

Crowns are caps that completely cover the original tooth. These can be made from powdered glass, porcelain, metal or ceramic materials. The tooth will need to be reduced inside and then a crown will be created from a mold of your tooth to ensure that it is the right shape. Crown glue will then be used to hold this cap in place.

When do You Need a Root Canal?

Pain

A root canal may be necessary if you are experiencing a great deal of pain. Specifically, if you are experiencing significant pain when the tooth is exposed to hot or cold or spontaneous pain when the patient is not eating or using the tooth is a sign that the nerve has been damaged. If the tooth is dead then any pressure on the tooth will cause pain.

Abscess

An abscess or condition where the tooth pulp has died, causing a pocket around the root where bacteria can grow will also require a root canal. If left untreated an abscess can impact the surrounding tissues and bone. Antibiotics can prevent the tissue from spreading, but a root canal treatment will be necessary to clean away the bacteria and dead tissue in the root canal and pulp chamber.

Deep Cavity

Deep cavities that reach into the pulp of the tooth can become infected, causing the area to develop pain and inflammation that can kill off the tissue. There may not be pain, but your dentist can note the decay and require a root canal to be performed.

Trauma

If a tooth experiences trauma it can cause the root to sever inside and eventually die. This might occur right after the tooth is hit or a few years later.

Fracture

If a tooth is fractured from the root canal and this break extends into the pulp it can cause the toot to have a minimal amount of structure remaining above the gum line. A crown or other type of restoration may be necessary in this case, but a root canal will be required beforehand to insert a post that can be used to hold this repair in place.

Repeated Dental Procedure

Repeated dental procedures can put a great deal of stress on your tooth, causing the pulp to become inflamed. The tooth will then need to be tested by your dentist to determine if this inflammation is reversible.

 
 
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