Updated on April 23, 2024
7 min read

Root Canal Cost (With and Without Insurance)

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How Much Does a Root Canal Cost With Insurance?

Dental insurance plans typically cover the cost of a root canal. This can significantly lessen the overall cost, making the price range 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 cost you a lot of money and keep you in pain if you have a toothache.

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How Much Does a Root Canal Cost Without Insurance?

The cost of a root canal without insurance varies depending on the procedure. Overall, you can expect the price to range between:

  • 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 to treat. They have more complex internal anatomy, meaning they’ll cost the most. 

Front teeth are typically the least expensive. Bicuspid (mid-mouth) teeth, also called premolars, cost somewhere in between.

The Difficulty of the Root Canal

Generally, the more difficult the procedure, the higher the cost. The cost may also increase depending on the condition of your teeth, such as:

  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Infected teeth
  • Swollen gums

This is because the dentist will have to treat the other conditions first before starting the root canal procedure. Severe infections can also increase the number of sessions you need to complete the procedure.

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. 

Endodontists have advanced training and equipment to perform more complicated root canal procedures. Because of their experience and expertise, you can expect better results for the higher cost.

Additional Costs

After the root canal treatment is complete, your tooth may require additional services, such as: 

  • Temporary fillings
  • Core build-up procedure
  • Dental crown 
  • Follow-up treatments

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.

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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 to 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). Dentist networks offer reduced oral healthcare prices to cardholders. Once you purchase a dental savings card, you can access reduced prices for dental care.

Government-Assisted Programs

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

  • Medicaid, which is funded by the federal government and each U.S. state
  • Medicare, which provides health insurance to people 65 years 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 people who cannot afford it. Over 15,000 volunteer dentists and dental labs across the U.S. are under the DDS program.

Discount Treatment at A Dental School

Many dental schools offer discounts on dental procedures. Dental hygiene schools 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 person from receiving substandard care.

FSA/HSA

Health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) allow you to set pre-taxed money aside to pay for health care costs. This can increase the money you have available to cover medical bills. FSAs and HSAs can cover many dental expenses, including root canal treatment. 

What’s Included in Root Canal Costs?

The cost of a root canal usually includes fees for 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.

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Are Root Canals Worth the Cost?

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

Pros

Pros of receiving a root canal include:

  • Removes inflammation and 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 

Cons

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

  • Not guaranteed to eliminate the entire infection in a tooth, causing treatment to fail 
  • Infection can spread to surrounding tissues if it returns or lingers
  • Usually requires two to three 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 to treat tooth pain due to infection. 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 damaging 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.

Summary

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. However, a root canal can be worth the cost because it can save the affected tooth.

There are also alternatives if you’re not a good candidate for a root canal. Talk to your dentist about your options.

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Last updated on April 23, 2024
5 Sources Cited
Last updated on April 23, 2024
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 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 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.
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