Demystifying Dental Costs: How Much Is A Root Canal With Insurance? 

Unlocking the smile of your dreams without breaking the bank – dive into the world of root canals with insurance as we reveal the cost-saving magic that lies ahead!

The prospect of needing a root canal can send shivers down anyone’s spine, not just because of the potential discomfort but also because of the looming financial burden. Fortunately, dental insurance can be your trusty ally in this journey towards a healthier and happier smile.

The journey begins with exploring the fascinating interplay between dental procedures and insurance plans. We’ll delve into the intricacies of coverage, shedding light on the procedures typically included in most dental plans and those requiring additional considerations.

In this comprehensive guide, we will navigate the often perplexing world of root canals and insurance, bringing you the clarity and confidence you need to make informed decisions about your dental health. From understanding what dental insurance typically covers to unraveling the complexities of treatment costs, we’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re in the early stages of researching root canals or you’re about to schedule one, this guide will serve as your primary reference for managing the financial aspects of this important dental procedure.

How much is a root canal with insurance?

A root canal is a dental procedure that fixes a damaged or infected tooth. It’s like giving your tooth a second chance to stay in your mouth. Dental insurance is like a helping hand for your teeth. It can cover some of the costs of dental treatments, including root canals.

So, how much does a root canal cost with insurance? Well, that depends on a few things. Let’s break it down step by step.

  • Step 1: Understand dental insurance
  • Step 2: Consider your insurance plan
  • Step 3: Understand copayments
  • Step 4: Know about deductibles
  • Step 5: Be aware of annual maximums
  • Step 6: Consider in-network vs. out-of-network
  • Step 7: Understand pre-authorization
  • Step 8: Negotiating with Insurance
  • Step 9: Shop around 
  • Step 10: Don’t skip regular check-ups
  • Step 11: Explore payment plans
  • Step 12: Check government programs
  • Step 13: Consider dental discount plans
  • Step 14: Don’t delay treatment
  • Step 15: Keep detailed records

Step 1: Understanding dental insurance

Dental insurance isn’t like regular health insurance. It works more like a discount card. You pay a monthly fee called a premium to have the insurance.

Step 2: Your insurance plan matters

Different insurance plans cover different things. Some plans are basic, while others are fancy. The fancier your plan, the more it covers.

Step 3: Understand copayments

When you have a dental procedure like a root canal, you usually have to pay a part of the bill yourself. This is called a copayment.

Step 4: Know about deductibles

Before your insurance starts helping, you might have to pay a certain amount out of your pocket. This is called a deductible. Once you meet it, your insurance kicks in.

Step 5: Be aware of annual maximums

Insurance plans often have a yearly limit on how much they will pay. It’s called the annual maximum. Once you reach this limit, you have to pay for the rest.

Step 6: Consider in-network vs. out-of-network

Dental insurance usually works better when you go to a dentist in their network. If you go out of network, your insurance might cover less.

Step 7:Understand pre-authorization

Sometimes, your dentist has to get approval from your insurance company before doing a root canal. This is called pre-authorization. It’s like asking for permission.

Step 8: Negotiating with insurance

Sometimes, the cost your dentist charges might be higher than what your insurance is willing to pay. In this case, your dentist and insurance company negotiate, and you might have to pay the difference.

Step 9: Shop around

Different dentists charge different prices. It’s a good idea to shop around and find a dentist who can do a quality root canal at a price you’re comfortable with.

Step 10: Don’t skip regular check-ups

Prevention is key. Regular dental check-ups can help you catch problems early, potentially saving you from needing a root canal in the first place.

Step 11: Explore payment plans

If the cost of a root canal with insurance is still too much for you, some dentists offer payment plans. This allows you to pay in smaller chunks over time.

Step 12:Check government programs

In some cases, government programs like Medicaid might help cover the cost of a root canal if you qualify.

Step 13: Consider dental discount plans

These are different from insurance, but they can also help you save on dental procedures, including root canals. You pay a fee to join the plan, and then you get discounts at participating dentists.

Step 14: Don’t delay treatment

If you need a root canal, it is important not to delay the treatment. The problem can worsen, and if you wait too long, the costs can also increase.

Step 15: Keep detailed records

Keep track of all your dental records and bills. This can help you when dealing with insurance or tax-related matters.

Breaking down the cost of root canal and crown

Here’s a side-by-side comparison table of the costs for a root canal and a crown:

Cost component Root canal Crown
Root canal procedure $500 – $1,500 or more N/A (Included in root canal cost)
Crown procedure (If needed) $1,000 – $3,000 or more $1,000 – $3,000 or more
Total cost (Root canal + crown) $1,500 – $4,500 or more $1,000 – $3,000 or more

What happens if I can’t afford a root canal: Exploring your options

A root canal is a dental procedure to fix a seriously damaged or infected tooth. Dentists clean out the inside of the tooth, remove the bad elements, and seal it up. It saves the tooth and stops pain.

Our teeth play a vital role in our lives, aiding in eating, speech, and our smiles. However, when a tooth becomes severely unhealthy and isn’t treated, the issues can worsen and even lead to tooth loss. This can make eating difficult and impact the appearance of our smile.

How much does it cost?

Getting a root canal can be expensive. The price changes depending on where you live and which tooth needs the procedure. Sometimes, it can cost a lot of money because it takes special skills and tools.

What to do if you can’t pay?

If you can’t afford a root canal, don’t worry! There are ways to get help:

  • Check if your family’s dental insurance covers root canals. Some do!
  • Some dental offices let you pay a bit at a time, making your family’s budget easier.
  • Dental schools can be a good option. They have students learning to be dentists who can help you at a lower cost.
  • Nonprofit clinics help people who can’t pay a lot for dental care. Some even base the cost on your income.
  • Sometimes, dentists can give you a discount if you explain your financial situation.

Keeping your teeth healthy

To avoid big tooth problems in the future:

  • Clean your teeth two times daily and use dental floss. This helps keep away cavities.
  • Visit the dentist regularly. They can catch problems early and save you money.
  • Don’t eat too many sugary snacks and drinks. They can damage your teeth.

In a nutshell

So, remember, a root canal is like a tooth doctor’s visit to save a sick tooth. If you can’t pay for it, there are ways to get help. Check your insurance, ask for payment plans, or try dental schools and nonprofit clinics. Also, take good care of your teeth to prevent problems down the road. Your smile and teeth are important, and there are ways to keep them healthy even if you’re on a tight budget.

How much is a root canal out-of-pocket? Estimating your expenses

A root canal is a dental treatment for severely damaged or infected teeth. Its cost varies due to several factors and can sometimes be partially covered by dental insurance.

  • Typically, the out-of-pocket expense for a root canal ranges from $500 to $1,500 or more. However, this is just an estimate, as actual costs depend on various factors.
  • One key factor affecting the cost is the tooth’s location. Front teeth are usually less costly to treat than molars at the back, which are more complex to access due to multiple roots.
  • The dentist’s expertise matters too. An endodontist, a specialist in root canals, may charge more than a general dentist but can be preferable for complex cases.
  • The severity of tooth damage or infection also plays a vital role. Extensive damage may require more time and materials, increasing the cost.
  • Geographic location matters; urban areas often have higher dental care costs than rural ones.
  • Dental insurance can help cover some expenses, typically 50% to 80%, depending on the plan. It’s essential to check your coverage with your provider.
  • If you lack dental insurance or it doesn’t cover root canals, options like payment plans or financing may be available from dental offices.

In summary, root canal costs range from $500 to $1,500 or more. Factors include tooth location, damage severity, dentist expertise, and location. Dental insurance can help, and payment options may exist. Consult with your dentist and insurer to understand your specific situation and costs.

Is it cheaper to get a root canal or extraction?

Let’s simplify the procedures, costs, and considerations for both root canals and extractions.

  • Root canal procedure
  • How much do root canals cost?
  • Tooth extraction procedure
  • How much does tooth extraction cost?
  • Root Canal vs. Extraction: Which is better?

Root canal procedure

A root canal is a dental procedure aimed at saving a damaged or infected tooth rather than removing it. Here’s how it works:

  1. Your dentist will check your tooth and might use special pictures (X-rays) to see how bad it is. If the inside part of your tooth, called the pulp, is infected, your dentist might recommend a root canal.
  2. Before the dentist begins, they will make the area around your problem tooth numb by using local anesthesia. This way, you won’t feel any pain while they work on your tooth.
  3. The dentist makes a tiny hole at the top of your tooth to get to the infected or damaged part inside.
  4. Special tools are used to remove the infected pulp, clean the inside of the tooth, and shape the root canals to prepare them for filling.
  5. The cleaned and shaped canals are filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha to seal the tooth’s interior and prevent further infection.
  6. After the root canal, your tooth may need a crown to strengthen and protect it. This typically requires another appointment and additional costs.

How much do root canals cost?

The cost of a root canal can vary widely, depending on several factors:

Tooth location

Teeth at the back of your mouth (molars) are typically more expensive to treat than front teeth due to their complexity.

Tooth complexity 

If the tooth has multiple roots or complex anatomy, it may require more time and effort, increasing the cost.

Dentist expertise

A general dentist may charge less than a specialized endodontist who focuses on root canals.

Geographic location

Dental care costs vary by region, with urban areas often being more expensive.

Additional procedures 

If a crown is needed after the root canal, this will add to the overall cost.

On average, the out-of-pocket cost for a root canal falls between $500 and $1,500 or more.

Tooth extraction procedure 

Tooth extraction involves removing a damaged or infected tooth completely from the mouth. Here’s an overview of the extraction process:

  1. Your dentist will assess the tooth’s condition and determine if extraction is the best course of action. If the tooth is severely damaged or infected beyond repair, extraction may be recommended.
  2. When you have a root canal, the dentist will use something to numb the area around your tooth. This stops you from feeling pain while they work on it.
  3. Using specialized instruments, the dentist loosens the tooth in its socket and gently removes it. In some cases, a more complicated surgical extraction may be necessary, which can be more expensive.
  4. After a tooth is taken out, a little blood clot usually forms in the space left behind.

The dentist may place a gauze pad over the extraction site to help control bleeding. Over time, the area heals, and the gums fill in.

How much does tooth extraction cost?

The cost of a tooth extraction can also vary based on several factors:

Simple extractions

Such as removing a visible tooth are generally less expensive than surgical extractions, which involve more complex procedures.

Tooth Location: 

As with root canals, the location of the tooth in your mouth can impact the cost. Molars or impacted teeth may cost more to remove.

Dentist Expertise: 

The cost may vary depending on whether a general dentist or an oral surgeon performs the extraction.

Geographic Location

 As mentioned earlier, dental care costs can differ significantly by region.

On average, the out-of-pocket cost for a simple tooth extraction ranges from $75 to $450, while surgical extractions can be more expensive, typically ranging from $225 to $600 or more.

Root Canal vs. Extraction: Which is better?

Choosing between a root canal and extraction depends on various factors:

Tooth preservation

A root canal aims to save your natural tooth, which is generally preferable for maintaining oral function and appearance. If the tooth can be saved, it’s often the better choice.


Root canals tend to be more expensive than extractions initially, but the long-term cost of replacing a missing tooth with an implant, bridge, or denture may surpass the cost of a root canal.

Time and comfort

A root canal typically involves less pain and discomfort during recovery compared to tooth extraction. You can continue using your natural tooth immediately after a root canal.


Keeping your natural tooth preserves your smile’s appearance and prevents gaps that can occur with extractions.

Health of adjacent teeth

Extracting a tooth can affect neighboring teeth and may lead to shifting or misalignment over time.


Q1: How much does a root canal cost with dental insurance?

A1: The cost of a root canal with dental insurance varies. Usually, insurance pays some, and you pay the rest. How much you pay depends on your insurance, like who’s in your network and your plan.

Q2: What’s the usual insurance help for a root canal?

A2: Dental insurance typically pays a part of the root canal cost, often 50% to 80%. But it can change based on your plan. There might be yearly limits and waiting times.

Q3: Will I still pay extra for a root canal with insurance?

A3: Yes, even with insurance, you’ll pay some extra money. This includes copays, deductibles, and if your costs go over what your plan covers. Check your plan and talk to your dentist about this.

Q4: What if my dentist isn’t in my insurance network?

A4: If your dentist isn’t in your insurance group, you might pay more. You should ask if there are in-network dentists or ways to lower your costs. Sometimes, insurance can still help a bit for out-of-network care.


Having dental insurance can make a root canal procedure more affordable. Insurance usually covers a large portion of the cost, reducing the financial burden. So, to take full advantage of it, it’s important to fully understand your insurance policy and choose a dentist within your plan’s network. This way, you can address your dental needs without excessive concern about the expenses. It helps reduce financial stress and ensures you receive necessary dental care without straining your budget, ultimately supporting your oral health.

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Charles Bains

Charles Bains

Charles Bains started his insurance career as a marketing intern before pounding the pavement as a commercial lines agent in Orlando, FL. As an industry journalist, his articles have appeared in a variety of trade publications. His insurance television career, short-lived but glorious, once saw him serve as the expert adviser on an insurance-themed infomercial (yes, you read that correctly). Having recently worked for various organizations, coupled with his broader insurance knowledge, Charles is able to understand our client’s needs and guide them accordingly. He is a gem for Insurance Noon as his wide area of expertise and experience have been beneficial in conducting further researches to come up with solutions and writing them in a manner which is easy for everyone including beginners to comprehend.

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