Knowing you need a root canal can be stressful, not only because you might be worried about the pain but because of the unknown cost.
Many people put off going to the dentist for cleanings, but there is no putting it off when it comes to a root canal. If left unaddressed, the infection can lead to an abscess and more significant dental issues. It is necessary to complete a root canal no matter the cost, but it is also important to do some research to get an idea of what to expect in terms of price.
In the end, getting a root canal and taking proper care of your teeth can save you money. The better you care for your teeth today, the fewer issues you will have down the road.
If your dentist has mentioned that you’ll need a root canal soon, here’s what to expect in terms of a root canal costs in Ontario—and Canada as a whole—as well as an answer to other questions you may have.
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What Exactly is a Root Canal?
If you’re not familiar with the procedure, your first question is likely, what is a root canal?
The primary purpose of a root canal is to relieve pain by removing the infected or damaged root. However, it also can be done to prevent the need for an implant if the tooth root is dead. Here’s how the procedure works:
First, the dentist drills a small hole in the back of the tooth, and surgically removes the infected or dead pulp. The resulting cavity is carefully cleaned to ensure bacteria isn’t trapped inside. Then, a temporary filling is applied, and the tooth is sealed. The appointment takes approximately 90 minutes.
A root canal generally requires two appointments, the first to remove the dead pulp and a second to remove the temporary filling and place a crown.
Signs that You may Need a Root Canal Treatment
If you are experiencing tooth pain and are unsure if you should make an appointment, there are a few signs that often indicate an infection or problem with the tooth root, including:
- Tooth sensitivity to temperature
- Gum tenderness and swelling
- Severe pressure on a tooth
- General tooth pain
- Pain while chewing
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The Different Cost Factors of a Root Canal
There is no one size fits all answer when it comes to pricing for root canals. Several factors determine how much a root canal will cost. Generally speaking, in Canada, you can expect to pay anywhere between $300 to $2,000.
Cost Factor 1: Which Tooth Needs Repair
The cost of a root canal varies depending on which tooth is infected.
- Front teeth: The front teeth generally cost less because they only have one root. The cost is usually around $700 to $800.
- Bicuspids: The cost of bicuspid root canals is generally more than front teeth and less than molars. The cost is usually around $800 to $900.
- Molars: Molar root canals cost more because these teeth have three roots. The cost is around $1,000 to $1,200.
What the cost includes:
- The procedure itself
- Medications used during the procedure
Cost Factor 2: Severity of Decay
The severity of tooth decay can play a role in cost. The more severely decayed a tooth is, the more expensive the root canal will be. In some cases, once the dentist accesses the tooth pulp, they may even determine that extraction is a better option.
Cost Factor 3: Crown or Filling
There are two appointments associated with a root canal. If you are lucky, your root canal will only need a filling, which often costs around $300. If not, a crown may be in order, which can cost anywhere from $500 to $3,000.
Cost Factor 4: Recurrence
Taking care of your teeth is especially important when cutting costs. If a previous root canal has to be redone, it can run anywhere from 20 to 40% more expensive than the original. The likelihood of needing a crown also goes up. Crowns cost a fair amount more than fillings.
Cost Factor 5: Dentist Experience
Your dentist’s experience level can also play a role in the cost of your root canal. For example, an endodontist specializing in root canal treatment can charge up to 40% more than the average dentist. It is also possible that your dentist does not have the proper materials to perform a root canal and will refer you to an endodontist.
How to Reduce the Cost of a Root Canal in Canada
Today’s root canal may have been unavoidable, but there are steps that you can take to reduce the price tag attached.
- Take good care of your teeth. Eating a healthy diet, drinking lots of water, and brushing twice a day can improve your oral hygiene. Likewise, don’t skip those dental cleanings!
- Be sure to shop around. The first dentist you visit does not have to be your dentist for life. Ask friends and family what dentist they recommend or currently see, as well as the general costs you can expect.
- Get dental health insurance. The modest price of dental health insurance may become a lifesaver when an unexpected root canal becomes necessary.
- Consider a dental payment plan. Payment plans can also help ease the financial burden of a root canal. Be sure to ask your dentist if they offer payment plans and the terms of those plans.
Group Insurance: An Affordable Way to Reduce Root Canal Cost
Are you a small business owner concerned about providing dental care to your employees, or an employee wondering how your employer can help?
In either case, you’re not alone. Many employers are on the lookout for affordable ways to provide quality dental care for their workers, and many employees have come to expect their employers to offer such benefits. That’s where Group Enroll comes in.
If you’re a business owner, you can find a cost-effective insurance provider via Group Enroll to ensure your employees will be covered if they need general dentistry. Not only will you attract higher quality applicants—a comprehensive benefits package is vital to talent recruitment and retention—but proper dental care improves employee health, which means fewer sick days.
If you’re an employee, talk to your employer’s HR department about adding dental coverage if they don’t already have a program. While not all employers are open to such suggestions, you could be the catalyst to better employee benefits at your organization.
At Group Enroll, we work with Canada’s top group dental insurance providers. When you work with us, you’re sure to get the lowest rate on comprehensive dental coverage. Get in touch with our team today and get multiple group insurance quotes without the effort.
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