Many people choose to put off important dental work, like root canals, because of cost, however we strongly recommend not doing this. While the cost may seem high, it simply reflects the time, care and skill needed to complete the procedure safely and effectively in order to ensure that there aren’t any further complications. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at what exactly a root canal is and why you might need one, so you can understand what that price really is and how you’re actually getting excellent value!
What Are Root Canals & Why You May Need One?
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a root canal treatment is done to repair the damaged inside of the tooth. It is done by drilling a hole into the tooth and removing the soft centre, which is otherwise known as the dental pulp. The dental pulp is made up of connective tissue, nerves and blood supply, and extends down into the roots of the tooth. Once the pulp is removed, the remaining space is filled and sealed. In certain cases, the crown of your tooth can also be replaced.
A root canal can help in cases where a tooth is severely damaged due to infection by decay, repeated dental work, wear and tear, gum disease, cracked fillings or an injury to the tooth.
Some key signs that you may need a root canal include:
- severe toothache when biting or chewing
- sensitivity to hot or cold that lasts for prolonged periods of time
- darkening of the tooth
- swollen and tender gums
- pus around an infected tooth
- swelling of the face or neck
- a loose tooth
Why Do Root Canals Cost So Much?
Now that we have an idea of what these treatments do, let us take a closer look at some of the factors that affect how much a root canal costs.
Location of Tooth
One of the main factors that affects how much a root canal costs is the location of the tooth that needs to be fixed. If the cavity is situated on one of your front teeth, the cost will be relatively lesser since front teeth only contain one root. However, molars can have up to three roots and can be more complicated to work with. This means that the cost will be higher for teeth that have more than a single root.
Complexity of Procedure
Sometimes, you may find that a tooth that has already had a root canal may become reinfected, and require additional treatment. As the tooth has already been worked on, it becomes more complicated for your dentist to treat it again, as they may need to undo some of the existing dental work. As a result, your root canal treatment may cost more.
When You Come In
Time is of the essence here. If you visit the dentist as soon as you notice sensitivity, the infection will not have time to become severe. But if you put it off, what could have been a quick and cheap root canal treatment may be more extensive and costly. This can then accelerate if the infection is so severe that the tooth needs to be removed and implants need to be investigated.
So How Much Does a Root Canal Cost Usually?
Considering all these factors, roughly how much does a root canal cost? The average cost of a root canal procedure in Australia can be anywhere between $900 and $3400 without a dental crown. As discussed above, the final cost will of course be dependent on your individual requirements.
Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Root Canal Treatment?
When you think of the cost, it can be tempting to avoid the dentist and forget about getting your root canal altogether. However, this is a very bad idea as you could potentially cause a lot more problems by avoiding the treatment.
The Problem Won’t Go Away On Its Own
No matter how hard you ignore it, the toothache will not subside by itself. In cases where the pain does go away and inflammation subsides, it is possible that the pulp tissues and nerves inside the tooth are all dead. This may cause further infection which can lead to several other oral and dental issues.
Can Cause Major Health Issues
Left untreated, bacteria from the infected tooth pulp can travel through the roots of the tooth and seep into the tissue of the gums and jaw. As a result, you may develop a painful, pus-filled abscess which will require urgent treatment. This may lead to tooth loss as well as jawbone issues. In some extreme cases, it may lead to an increasing systemic inflammation that affects your whole body. This can potentially put you at risk for more serious conditions, like heart disease and stroke.
Root Canals Alleviate Pain & Save The Tooth
When you get your root canal done, you’re making sure that your tooth will no longer hurt, and helping to maintain your oral health. Being able to save your existing teeth is important for future oral health, and can save you money in the long run as you won’t need to get implants or other replacement options.
How Can You Save Money On Root Canal Treatments?
While you most certainly will need to spend money on getting a root canal, there are still some ways in which you can save on this treatment.
The first is through Afterpay. With Afterpay, you need not spend a big chunk of money in one go. Your payments are made in installments over the course of 6 weeks. This way, you will be able to get your treatment when you need it, and you won’t be out of money all at once. Just be sure to check your dentist offers this payment method.
The next cost-saving method is dental insurance. Dental insurance can be purchased as medical extras if you wish. Since root canals are considered a major procedure, your insurance will typically cover about 80% of the costs. However, keep in mind that most policies also have waiting limits. An individual will need to own the policy for anywhere from 6 months to a year before coverage will be authorised. Since this wait period can be quite long, it may not be helpful if you need a root canal immediately. However, if you are someone who regularly has a lot of dental work done and would like to plan ahead, dental insurance may be worth your while.
Finally, as we all know, prevention is the best cure. So, the best way to save on root canals is to take great care of your teeth and avoid creating the need for root canals. Follow proper oral hygiene by brushing your teeth at least twice per day and flossing regularly. Avoid food that can get stuck between your teeth and steer clear of acidic food, sugary drinks and sweets that can cause pesky cavities too. Last but not least, make sure you follow up with your dentist for regular check-ups to stay on top of things at all times.
How Abbotsford Dental Can Help?
If you’re looking for a dentist servicing Richmond, Kew and the surrounding suburbs, look no further than Abbotsford Dental. Whether you have a cosmetic concern or other general dental needs, you can rest assured that at Abbotsford Dental Clinic you will be provided with the highest standard of dental care. Our highly trained staff go above and beyond to create a comfortable and relaxed environment for you to take care of your oral health.
So if you think you may need a root canal treatment, we will be happy to assist you in preparing a treatment plan tailored to you, including handling payment. Send us an enquiry at [email protected] or call us on 03 9410 1077 to book a consultation today!