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Updated on March 8, 2023
8 min read

Root Canal Cost (With and Without Insurance)

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How Much Does a Root Canal Cost With Insurance?

The average cost of a root canal with insurance coverage ranges from:

  • Front tooth — $200 to $1,100
  • Bicuspid or premolar (mid-mouth) — $200 to $1,250
  • Molar — $300 to $1,472

Many health insurance policies offer full coverage for routine procedures but only cover a percentage of more invasive procedures. It’s common for insurance providers to cover 30 to 50 percent of root canal costs. 

However, insurance plans often have limits, co-pays, deductibles, and waiting periods, which can wind up costing you a lot of money and keep you in pain if you have a toothache.

How Much Does a Root Canal Cost Without Insurance?

According to the ADA Survey of Dental Fees 2020, the average cost of a root canal without insurance ranges from:

  • Front tooth — $620 to $1,100
  • Bicuspid or premolar (mid-mouth) — $705 to $1,250
  • Molar — $870 to $1,472

What Factors Influence the Cost of Root Canals?

The cost of your root canal will depend on several factors, including:

Type and Location of the Tooth

Molars (the teeth in the back of the mouth) are the most difficult teeth to treat. They have more complex internal anatomy, so they will cost the most. Front teeth are typically the least expensive. Bicuspid (mid-mouth) teeth, also called premolars, cost somewhere between.

The Difficulty of the Root Canal

Generally, the more difficult the procedure, the higher the cost. Endodontists have advanced training and equipment to perform more complicated root canal procedures. 

A General Dentist or an Endodontist

Some general dentists perform root canals, while others will refer you to a specialist (endodontist). A root canal at an endodontist’s office will cost more than one at a general dentist’s office.

Additional Costs

After the root canal treatment is complete, your tooth may require additional services, such as a temporary filling, build-up, or crown. These services are separate expenses you must consider before receiving a root canal.

The Region You Live In

The average root canal cost varies by region and individual dental offices. Dentists in big cities tend to charge higher fees than those in rural areas.

For instance, a root canal in Los Angeles costs between $700 and $900. This is around $200 to $400 more than the average cost of a root canal in a smaller town or city.

What's Included in Root Canal Costs?

The cost of a root canal usually includes the fees of the following:

  • Anesthesia
  • X-rays
  • Overhead, including materials 
  • Actual procedure 

Many dentists offer free consultations for treatments like root canals. However, if free consultations aren't available, you may have to pay additional costs.

How to Save Money on a Root Canal

A root canal can be very expensive, especially if you don't have insurance. Luckily, there are ways to save money on root canal treatment. 

Here’s how you can get low-cost dental care:

Dental Discount Plan

Joining a dental discount plan is the easiest way to save money on a root canal (and any other dental work).

Networks of dentists offer reduced oral healthcare prices to cardholders. Once you purchase a dental savings card, you’ll gain access to these reduced prices. 

Government-Assisted Programs

If you qualify for government assistance, you may be able to receive free or discounted dental services. Some examples include:

  • Medicaid, which is funded by the federal government and each U.S. state
  • Medicare, which provides health insurance to people 65 years of age and older and those with specific disabilities
  • Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which offers dental coverage to children under 19 years old

Donated Dental Services (DDS)

Donated Dental Services (DDS) is a program where dentists offer their time and expertise to provide free dental care to patients who cannot afford it. Over 15,000 volunteer dentists and dental labs across America are under the DDS program.

Discount Treatment at Dental Schools

Many dental schools offer discounts on dental procedures. Dental hygiene schools (American Dental Hygienists’ Association) also offer low-cost, supervised dental care.

Dental students perform different treatments and procedures as part of their required hands-on training. Experienced dentists supervise the students as they perform the procedure. This process ensures quality control and saves the patient from receiving substandard care.

Are Root Canals Worth the Cost?

Root canals can be expensive. That's why you should weigh the pros and cons associated with the procedure carefully. This will help you decide whether the treatment is right for you.


Here are some pros of receiving a root canal:

  • Removes inflammation and/or infection from the tooth
  • Prevents further damage to the bone 
  • Saves a tooth that would otherwise need to be removed
  • Keeps the functions of your natural tooth (such as proprioception) 
  • May be more affordable than an implant
  • Does not usually require surgery 


There are also some cons to having a root canal, such as:

  • Not guaranteed to eliminate all the infections in a tooth/treatment can fail 
  • Infection can spread to surrounding tissues if it returns or lingers
  • Usually requires 2 to 3 visits to complete
  • Can weaken the tooth if a crown is not placed soon afterward, especially a back tooth 

Root Canal Procedure

A root canal removes the inner portion of the tooth called the pulp. It's performed to treat teeth damaged by decay, trauma, infection, or inflammation.

During the procedure, a dentist removes the diseased tissue and cleans the remaining cavity. This reduces any problems that might require tooth extraction.

There are several reasons you may need root canal therapy, including: 

If your dentist has recommended a root canal, it is essential to get treatment. The infection from the tooth can spread to other parts of your body when left untreated. 

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Root Canal Alternatives

Root canals are highly recommended for the treatment of tooth pain. Other options exist if you're not a good candidate or don't have the budget for a root canal.

Tooth Extraction

A tooth extraction is when your dentist removes one or more teeth from your mouth. This may be necessary if you have an infected, broken-down tooth that’s causing damage to the surrounding tissues. It could also be required if you have a severe cavity or fracture from previous trauma. 

Pulp Capping

Pulp capping involves using materials like calcium hydroxide or mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) to seal off small exposures of the pulp. However, pulp capping is not always successful but is most effective in younger people.

Dental Implant

Dental implants may be right for you if you need a permanent replacement for a missing tooth. Dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically placed in your jawbone. They act as anchors for artificial teeth that look similar to natural ones.


Root canals are a common dental procedure for teeth damaged due to decay or trauma. They can be expensive treatments, and different factors affect their costs. 

Fortunately, there are various ways to reduce the cost of a root canal. Talk to your dentist about options.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do root canals cost out-of-pocket?

With a general dentist, the cost is between $620 and $1,250 for a root canal on a front or mid-mouth tooth and $870 to $1,472 for a molar. Endodontists may charge up to 50% more.

Is it cheaper to get a root canal or extraction?

An extraction is cheaper than a root canal. However, if you need an implant to fill the gap or other follow-up procedures, it could cost you more in the long run.

What happens if I can't afford a root canal?

Unfortunately, an infected tooth will not heal itself. If left untreated, the infection can spread to your jaw, brain, blood, or entire body. The tooth will need to be treated at some point, or extraction is necessary.

Do root canals hurt a lot?

Before the procedure, your tooth and the surrounding area will be treated with a numbing anesthetic, so there will be little to no pain. There will be some pain and tenderness in the days following the procedure. But overall, root canals will save you from the pain you feel from your affected tooth.

How long do the benefits of root canals last?

Root canals usually provide relief for ten years or more, with proper aftercare. However, this varies depending on how well the root canal was performed. The symptoms could return sooner if the root canal isn’t done properly.

How do you care for a root canal-treated tooth?

After your root canal treatment, you'll need to take extra steps to keep your teeth healthy. Brushing twice daily, flossing regularly, and avoiding sticky foods will all help prevent future problems.

You should also visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings to ensure good dental health.

Can I get a root canal for free?

While it's difficult to get an expensive treatment for free, you might be able to find a way to pay less for one. For example, many insurance plans cover root canals. You may also find dental discount plans, which offer discounts on procedures.

What’s Next?

DentalPlans is the best site for dental savings plans because it compares all the best plans in your area. You know exactly how much every procedure will cost and which dentists are available.

Last updated on March 8, 2023
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on March 8, 2023
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. “Root Canal Treatment.” American Association of Endodontists (AAE), 2020.
  2. Parirokh, M, et al. “Choice of Treatment Plan Based on Root Canal Therapy versus Extraction and Implant Placement: A Mini Review.” Iranian endodontic journal. 2015.
  3. Laukkanen, E, et al. "Impact of type of tooth on outcome of non-surgical root canal treatment." Clinical Oral Investigations, 2019.
  4. Survey of Dental Fees.” American Dental Association. 
  5. "Benefits of Root Canal Treatment." American Association of Endodontists. 
  6. Parirokh M, Zarifian A, Ghoddusi J. "Choice of Treatment Plan Based on Root Canal Therapy versus Extraction and Implant Placement: A Mini Review." Iran Endod J, 2015.
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