root canal costs Raleigh

Can I Afford a Root Canal?

Root canal treatments repair the inner nerve chamber that runs the length of each tooth. Unlike fillings in the crown (top portion) of teeth, root canals run from the top to the tip of the root tip. As you might guess, they’re a bit more complex treatment than a routine dental filling. As such, they also cost more.


Worrying about if you can afford a root canal might get in the way of you and a healthy smile. Understanding what impacts the price of root canals in Raleigh can help you feel more confident about your treatment choices and put your mind at ease.



How Much do Root Canals Cost?


The national average for the price of a root canal tends to run somewhere between $750-$1200, give or take, depending on which tooth is being treated. That’s before any insurance benefits are applied. Keep in mind that there are certain factors that will cause a root canal to cost more or less, such as where you live, the difficulty of the tooth being treated, and where the tooth is located in your mouth (yes, that matters!)


Unfortunately, most Raleigh dentists won’t be able to give you a price quote for root canals over the phone. Simply because so many factors go into estimating the cost of treatment. It simply isn’t a flat fee “once and done” charge per tooth. Multiple variables impact what your insurance covers as well as the total price of the procedure. That’s why a pressure-free, in-person visit is always required for root canal pricing. Anything else is just a guess.



Factors that Influence the Price of a Root Canal


Multiple factors will impact the cost of a root canal in Raleigh. First, fees will differ from the national average based on where you live. Since the cost of living is higher and lower in certain parts of the country, those factors also impact dental fees and lab expenses.


Most importantly, however, is which tooth is being treated. Some teeth only have one root. Others have two or three. In some cases, there are extra canals or roots that also need to be treated. The total number of roots that a tooth has will directly impact the cost of your endodontic treatment.


One of the ways to reduce treatment costs is to have your root canal treated with our Raleigh dentist. It’s common for area dentists to refer their patients to endodontic specialists, which actually adds to the cost of treatment rather than keep it to a minimum. Our team of experienced dental providers can complete your endodontic therapy right here in our Raleigh practice, with few to no outside referrals.




Root Canal “Hidden Costs”


Is it possible for there to be hidden fees tucked into your root canal costs? At Raleigh Dental Arts we’re always forthcoming about your financial investments when it comes to your smile. However, flat pricing from dentists may be a bit misleading. Here are just a few examples of additional factors that can add to your total root canal costs:


Dental Sedation—Are you planning to “sleep” through your root canal appointment? No problem! Dental sedation is available to help you relax through any procedure. But keep in mind that choosing sedation will also involve an additional cost on top of the root canal fee. Depending on the level of sedation you choose, the difference may be minimal or quite significant.


Dental Crown—Almost every root canal-treated tooth will also need a dental crown. When you’re so focused on going through with your root canal treatment, the second stage of crown placement may completely slip your mind. But without a crown, your treated tooth won’t be able to hold up to biting and chewing on a long-term basis. Specifically, because it’s technically not “alive” anymore, making it more brittle. You will need a protective crown placed on top of your tooth within the days immediately after your endodontic procedure.


Buildup—How much of your tooth is there left to work with? If significant breakage or erosion has occurred, there may not be quite enough tooth to anchor a dental crown. In that case, we’ll need to build the tooth up to create a base that supports the crown on top of it. Sometimes a post is also involved, adding additional reinforcement. This step is integrated with your crown prep, at an additional fee.


Exam and X-rays—You’ll need a comprehensive examination and X-ray performed on your infected tooth before a root canal can begin. Even if you’re convinced that you need a root canal, we cannot book you for an endodontic appointment without first evaluating your tooth and the situation at hand. So, if you haven’t already seen a dentist, don’t forget about any applicable exam fees.



Will My Dental Insurance Cover a Root Canal?


Your dental insurance benefits are set at specific tiers of coverage. Those tiers are percentages, based on the type of dental treatment you’re receiving. What a lot of people don’t realize is that their employer (who they usually have their insurance through) is who negotiates the type of plan they’re enrolled in. That is unless you purchased private dental insurance. Theoretically, you could have a wide range of coverage amounts from one insurance company alone, depending on the type of policy you’re enrolled in. One company may not automatically be better than another.


All of that being said, root canal treatment tends to fall under a reduced tier of coverage than preventative treatments, which are generally covered at 100%. Depending on your policy, your insurance may cover somewhere around 50% of a root canal fee. Others may cover more. Keep in mind that the amount covered won’t include any deductible that’s required, which you’ll need to meet before your insurance benefits kick in.


Our Raleigh dentist office will work closely with your insurance carrier to help you maximize your benefits to reduce out-of-pocket costs. During your treatment plan consultation, we’ll review all of the applicable fees and estimated coverage, so that you have a good idea of what the total cost of your root canal should be.




Financing and Payment Plans for Root Canals


Maybe you don’t have dental insurance. Or if you do, maybe your benefits don’t cover as much of your root canal costs as you hoped that they would. If that’s the case, you can easily finance any remaining amounts through an affordable payment plan.


Most dental payment plans allow you to start on your treatment as quickly as the same day. Depending on the terms you select, you can typically get low-interest or completely 0% interest financing on the total cost of root canal treatment. Yes, financing can also be combined with your estimated insurance portion. Depending on your preferences, you can usually space out payments over 6-12 months or more. Longer terms tend to have a small interest rate attached to them, whereas shorter terms are more likely to be interest-free.


The great thing about dental financing is that it allows you to afford your root canal treatment right when you need it. Rather than waiting longer and risking expensive complications, infections, or dental pain.



Why You Can’t Afford NOT to Get a Root Canal


Endodontic treatment is—technically—the last option available to preserve a damaged tooth. No other type of dental restoration can save a tooth that has an abscessed or dying nerve inside of it.


Without a root canal, the only option is eventually having your tooth extracted. And that’s assuming that any infections don’t spread to adjacent teeth, adding to your oral health concerns.


Investing in a root canal allows you to preserve your natural smile, eliminate any source of infection or pain, and prevent potential damage to neighboring teeth.


Skipping a root canal would be like avoiding a dental filling or crown if you had a large cavity. Eventually, the decay would spread so much that there’s nothing left for you to repair. Since our goal is to help you retain as many natural teeth as possible, root canal therapy makes up an essential part of our restorative treatment options.


And finally, if you’re concerned about the cost of a root canal, avoiding one may wind up costing you even more. After an extraction and tooth replacement (such as an implant or bridge) you’ll find that you ultimately spend more money on that area than had you gotten a root canal from day one. Especially when it comes to the long-term health of your smile in the years ahead.



Gentle Root Canals in Raleigh


At Raleigh Dental Arts, we incorporate advanced training, experience, and state-of-the-art technology into every procedure we perform. Including root canal therapy. Here, your endodontic procedure is performed in a relaxing atmosphere where we put your comfort first. Our team is committed to treating you like family, so you won’t have to worry about the anxiety of the unknowns.


If you need a root canal or want a second opinion, contact Raleigh Dental Arts today to request an appointment.

Tarun Agarwal

Dr. Tarun Agarwal, DDS is considered one of the top dentists in the country. He is a recognized speaker, author, and dental leader. He has been featured on CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and News 14 Carolina. Dr. Agarwal has been awarded '40 under 40' Business Leaders by the Triangle Business Journal. He is regularly invited to teach other dentists around the world and recently built a training center within the practice dedicated to sharing his expertise. Most importantly he is a loving husband and dedicated father of three wonderful children. His biggest accolade was being voted 'Best Dad in the World' by 2 of his 3 kids.