How much does a root canal cost?
The cost of a root canal varies and depends on a number of factors, most notably whether the procedure is performed by a general dentist or an endodontist. With their specialist experience and knowledge, a root canal with an endodontist tends to cost more than with a general dentist. If the procedure is judged to be particularly complex, the skills of an endodontist are usually required. Root canal prices also vary according to which tooth needs to be treated, with molar root canals costing more than teeth at the front. This is due to the molars being multi-rooted and requiring more extensive treatment.
Additional costs could include pulp tests and capping, which are not always included in overall estimates. These will cost around $45-60 each. Prices are also only given for the root canal procedure itself: the additional cost of restorations such as crowns, posts, and implants are not included.
Root canal in the United States
The cost of a root canal in the United States varies from state to state and depends heavily upon the type of dental insurance coverage the patient has. For those without insurance, the average cost of a front tooth root canal is about $700, whilst a molar root canal will cost approximately $900. These are just average prices, however, with some states charging as little as $210 or as much as $2,500 for a front tooth root canal.
Root canal in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, root canal is classed as a 'band 2' procedure, which incurs a charge of £51.30. For those who cannot access NHS treatment, a root canal at a private dental clinic will cost around £450-600. Crowns, post and cores, implants, and other dental restorations are covered by the NHS's 'band 3', however, which has a cost of £222.50 per procedure.
Root canal in Australia
In Australia, a front tooth root canal procedure carried out by an endodontist will cost in the region of $1,700-2,500. With a general dentist, the cost will be about $1,300. Many dental insurances in Australia do not cover root canal treatment.
Root canal cost abroad
Average cost of root canal abroad:
For the past decade, Hungary's reputation as a destination for quality dentistry has grown hugely. Budapest is home to a number of dental clinics offering affordable root canal, whilst clinics in the towns of Buk and Pecs offer alternatives outside the capital city. Root canal in Hungary is considerably more affordable than elsewhere, with prices starting at $54.
Like Hungary, Poland is visited by thousands of patients a year seeking affordable dental care. With clinics in cities such as Krakow, Szczecin, Warsaw and Gdansk offering root canal from as little as $32, Poland is one of Europe's top dental tourism destinations.
Already a popular holiday destination, Turkey is also home to number of dental clinics providing quality root canal. Prices start from $45 and treatment can be found in the coastal resort of Antalya as well as the country's largest city and cultural capital, Istanbul.
The cost of dentistry in the United States has resulted in thousands of patients each year making the journey across the border to Mexico for treatment. The border towns of Tijuana and Los Algodones are particularly popular, though clinics in cities such as Mexico City, Guadalajara, Cancun, and Playa del Carmen also offer root canal from $119.
Malaysia's capital city Kuala Lumpur is home to a range of quality dental clinics, with prices for root canal starting from $135. As one of southeast Asia's most important cultural, economic, and political centers, Kuala Lumpur offers the chance to combine dental care with a vacation.
Thailand is renowned as destination for affordable and quality dentistry, particularly amongst patients traveling from Australia. Whether it be in the capital Bangkok, near the beaches of Phuket or in the ancient city of Chiang Mai, Thailand offers dental clinics around the country, with the cost of root canal beginning at around $100.
As the holiday destination of choice for thousands of Brits for many decades, Spain is now increasingly being recognized for the quality of its dental care. Popular vacation spots such as Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Malaga, and Tenerife are home to clinics offering root canal from as little as $86, whilst treatment can also be found in Madrid and Barcelona.
Much like Spain is popular with patients from across Europe, Costa Rica is often visited by people from the United States who wish to undergo treatment and take a break at the same time. Clinics in Costa Rica offer root canal from $250.
The United Arab Emirates has made a number of investments in its healthcare services in recent years, including in the field of dentistry. Root canal can be found in the UAE from $219, in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
How do I find root canal abroad?
Whilst root canal is an essential procedure once the pulp of the tooth has been infected, many patients find that cost and access to treatment is a huge obstacle. With the cost of root canal abroad significantly lower, many patients from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia are choosing to travel for their treatment. Even factoring in flights, accommodation and other associated costs, large savings can still be made on root canal by traveling abroad.
The time needed for a root canal varies, and the procedure is usually followed with a crown or other dental restoration which requires an additional dental visit. It is therefore hard to predict how long you will need to stay in the country of treatment. If the root canal is completed in one session, a crown can be fitted within a few days. During a dental consultation the dentist can help outline the exact time needed to complete the treatment – some clinics offer consultations by phone or online. Root canal does not require a lengthy recovery time, and most patients are able to resume normal activities within a couple of days, but the dentist may wish to monitor the healing process before you return home.
There are many other things to consider besides cost when traveling for a root canal. A clinic's accreditation is a good indication of its quality, along with the qualifications of its dentists and specialists. If the clinic offers services such as airport transfers, hotel booking, and translation, this suggests they are good at dealing with international patients, whilst the clinic's location is important if you are considering combining treatment with a vacation. Seeking out reviews from former patients can be another good way of judging a clinic, the overall quality of care and their level of patient service.
Root canal is not the only procedure which tends to be cheaper outside of the US, the UK and Australia. Dentistry in general is considerably more affordable, with savings to be found for procedures such as dental implants, crowns and veneers.
Choosing which country to travel to for a root canal is down to the preferences of the individual patient. There is no way of saying that dental care in one country is better or worse than any other, and the cost of treatment in a country is not indicative of the quality of care. It is worth taking into consideration factors such as the need for a visa, particularly for patients traveling either to or from outside the European Union. The standard of accreditation and quality control also differs from country to country, so it is important to look for clinics with internationally-recognized accreditations such as the JCI (Joint Commission International).
Whilst the cost of root canal abroad is cheaper, the quality of treatment is of an equally-high standard. Many dentists and endodontists from countries such as Poland, Hungary, and Thailand choose to study, work, and train in the United States before returning to their home country to spread their expertise. On the other hand, many American and British dentists decide to gain experience around the world. Either way, with thorough research it is possible to find safe, accredited, and affordable clinics for root canal treatment abroad.
How does a root canal work?
Also known as endodontic therapy, root canal treatment is an essential part of many dentistry procedures and is vital in treating common problems such as tooth decay, infection, and gum disease. When the pulp of the tooth has been invaded by bacteria, the subsequent infection can lead to the eventual loss of the tooth. In order prevent the need for a tooth extraction, a root canal is often the last resort and the procedure saves around 20 million teeth each year.
Root canal pain is described as being particularly intense. Cleansing the infected pulp as well as the nerves, blood vessels and surrounding tissue is the only way to permanently ease the discomfort, besides a full extraction of the affected tooth. The severe pain is caused by the disintegration of the pulp due to infection, which initiates the body's natural inflammatory reaction. This combination of infection, inflammation and swelling can be agonizing.
If these symptoms are visible, then a dentist should be consulted as soon as possible: the longer the infection is left to develop, the lower the chances of salvaging the tooth. A root canal is not an emergency procedure, which means you have time to assess your options and find the right dentist and clinic.
Root canal treatments tend to be successful in ridding to tooth of infection, with the tooth remaining healthy following the procedure in 9 out of 10 cases.
A root canal is usually conducted by an endodontist, a dentist who specializes in matters affecting the pulp and tissues that surround the tooth. Although a general dentist is fully-qualified to perform a root canal procedure, if the case is particularly complex or the infection is advanced then an specialized endodontist may be required.
In order to establish whether a root canal is needed, an x-ray will be taken alongside a pulp test to determine the extent of infection and damage. Depending on the stage of infection and the size of the inflammation, the procedure will be conducted in either one or two appointments. If the tooth is being treated for a second time, it is more likely that 2 sessions will be required.
The affected area is numbed using local anesthetic, before a device known as a rubber dam is laid over the teeth to keep out any saliva and bacteria. A small incision is made in the top of the tooth and the infected pulp is then removed, with the canals and chambers rinsed using a disinfectant solution – this step of the procedure is known as a pulpectomy. To ensure that all the infected nerves and tissue are discarded, a selection of filling tools are inserted into the canals, each of a differing size to allow room for the root canal filling to be inserted. A further solution can be used to make sure that the infection has gone.
Once the root canal is completed, the dentist may choose to fit a crown, a post and core, or a dental implant.
Does a root canal hurt?
Root canal is known to be one of the most-feared dental procedures, but the root canal treatment itself does not hurt. All of the pain associated with a root canal comes from the infection of the pulp and tissue; a root canal treatment is carried out in order to eliminate the suffering that a root infection brings. Performed under local anesthesia, the root canal process itself does not hurt. In the days immediately following treatment, you may experience mild discomfort, but the levels of pain caused by the initial infection will be greatly reduced. Some mild swelling is also to be expected as the incisions heal.
On the other hand, many people think that the removal of the infected nerves and roots means that sensation will be lost and it will not be possible to feel pain. This is not true. Whilst sensitivity to hot and cold foods will be reduced, there will still be some degree of sensation.
Complications following a root canal are rare, but may include reinfection, perforation, or the leakage of the filling material.