Does Insurance Cover Root Canal? The Truth May Surprise You

Root canal is a dental procedure that involves removing the infected or inflamed pulp from inside a tooth, cleaning and shaping the root canals, and filling and sealing them with a rubber-like material.

Root canal can save a tooth from extraction and relieve pain and discomfort.

But how much does root canal cost, and does insurance cover it?

In this article, we will answer these questions and more, and help you find the best dental insurance for root canal.

Does insurance cover root canal? Find out how much root canal costs with and without insurance, and how to save money.
Does insurance cover root canal? Find out how much root canal costs with and without insurance, and how to save money.

Root Canal Cost Without Insurance

The cost of root canal without insurance depends on several factors, such as:

The location and type of the tooth. Front teeth have one root canal, while molars have three or four. Therefore, root canal for molars is more complex and expensive than for front teeth.
– The severity of the infection or damage. The more extensive the damage, the more time and materials are needed to treat it.
The dentist or endodontist who performs the procedure. An endodontist is a specialist who has more training and experience in root canal than a general dentist. However, an endodontist may charge more than a dentist for the same procedure.
The geographic area where you live. The cost of living and the demand for dental services may affect the price of root canal in different regions.

According to the American Dental Association, the average cost of root canal without insurance in 2020 was:

– $826 for a front tooth
– $957 for a bicuspid tooth
– $1,185 for a molar tooth

These prices do not include the cost of the dental crown or filling that is usually needed after the root canal to restore the tooth’s function and appearance.

A dental crown can cost anywhere from $500 to $3,000, depending on the material, size, and quality.

A dental filling can cost from $50 to $300, depending on the type and extent of the filling.

Root Canal Cost With Insurance

The cost of root canal with insurance depends on the type and level of coverage that you have.

Dental insurance plans vary widely in terms of what they cover and how much they pay for different procedures.

However, there are some common features that most dental insurance plans have, such as:

Deductible: This is the amount of money that you have to pay out of your own pocket before your insurance starts to pay for your dental expenses. The deductible can range from $0 to $500 or more, depending on your plan.
Co-payment: This is the percentage of the cost that you have to pay after your deductible is met. The co-payment can vary from 0% to 50% or more, depending on your plan and the type of procedure. For example, some plans may cover 100% of preventive care, 80% of basic care, and 50% of major care, such as root canal.
Annual maximum: This is the maximum amount of money that your insurance will pay for your dental expenses in a year. The annual maximum can range from $500 to $5,000 or more, depending on your plan. Once you reach your annual maximum, you have to pay for the rest of your dental expenses out of your own pocket.

How to Save Money on Root Canal

Root canal is a dental procedure that can save your tooth and relieve your pain. But it can also be expensive, especially without insurance. Here are some tips to save money on root canal:

– Prevent it: The best way to save money on root canal is to avoid it. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist regularly. Also, avoid chewing hard objects, grinding your teeth, or smoking.
– Shop around: The cost of root canal can vary a lot from one provider to another. Compare prices and reviews online or by phone. Ask your dentist for a referral to a cheap and good endodontist.
– Negotiate: You can try to lower the price of root canal with your provider, especially if you pay cash or have a high deductible or co-payment. Ask for a discount, a payment plan, or a cash option. Also, ask for a written estimate and check it for errors or extras.
– Use a discount plan: A discount plan is not insurance, but a membership that gives you access to dentists who charge less. You pay a fee to join the plan, and then pay the dentist at the time of service. You can save up to 60% on root canal and other procedures with a discount plan. But check the terms and conditions carefully, and make sure the plan covers your procedure and provider.
– Apply for assistance: If you have low income or no insurance, you may get help from various sources, such as:

– Government programs: You may qualify for Medicaid, Medicare, or CHIP, which provide health and dental coverage for low-income people. Check your eligibility and apply online at [HealthCare.gov] or call 1-800-318-2596.
– Nonprofit organizations: You may get free or low-cost root canal and other dental care from nonprofits, such as:

– Dental Lifeline Network: This network provides free dental care to people with disabilities, elderly, or medically fragile. Apply online at [DentalLifeline.org] or call 1-888-471-6334.
– America’s Dentists Care Foundation: This organization organizes volunteer dental clinics where people can get free dental care, including root canal. Find a clinic near you at [ADCF.net] or call 1-316-252-8670.
– Donated Dental Services: This program connects people with special needs, such as veterans, domestic violence survivors, or homeless, with dentists who donate their services, including root canal. Find a program in your state at [ADAFoundation.org] or call 1-312-440-2547.

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Conclusion

Root canal is a dental procedure that can save a tooth from extraction and relieve pain and discomfort. However, root canal can be expensive, especially without insurance.

The cost of root canal depends on many factors, such as the tooth’s location and type, the severity of the damage, the dentist or endodontist who performs the procedure, and the geographic area where you live.

You can save money on root canal by preventing the need for it, shopping around, negotiating, using a dental discount plan, or applying for financial assistance.

Root canal is not a pleasant procedure, but it can be a worthwhile investment for your oral health and well-being.

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