You may be wondering, how much does a root canal cost? According to the 2017 National Dental Fee Survey, a root canal cost ranges between $2000 and $3400 on average without a crown, but several factors influence the total cost.
If you’re experiencing intense discomfort in your tooth, you may require a root canal treatment to eliminate your discomfort and save your tooth from extraction. Do you want to know more about the root canal cost in Sydney and what you can expect during treatment? You’ve come to the right place.
In this post, we’ve set out to educate and inform anyone considering root canal treatment so they can make the right decision and understand the alternative options.
But first, let’s start by explaining what root canal treatment is.
What is root canal treatment?
Also known as root canal therapy, a root canal is an endodontic procedure, meaning a treatment carried out inside the tooth to preserve an infected tooth or a tooth with inflamed pulp. Essentially, it’s a process designed to save a tooth that is dying or is already dead.
This procedure is carried out by an endodontist — a dentist that has undertaken an additional 3 to 4 years of specialist training — or by a general dentist with 4 to 5 years of education and training.
In simple terms, it involves removing the infected or dead pulp from the affected tooth before filling and sealing the cavity to prevent the infection from spreading. Typically root canal treatment involves two dental visits to complete.
What is Dental Pulp?
The pulp is the lifeline of a tooth and serves to nourish the tooth as it develops and grows. It provides both nutrients and oxygen to give a feeling to the tooth.
The pulp chamber — located in the tooth’s centre — contains an intricate system of nerves, blood vessels and soft tissue or pulp. Once it becomes infected, the whole area must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Once a tooth is fully developed, the surrounding tissues provide nourishment, meaning it can function without its pulp and, in many cases, remain in the mouth indefinitely.
When Might You Need Root Canal Treatment?
The build-up of decay beneath a filling, trauma to the tooth and untreated dental decay are all reasons you might need root canal therapy.
The dental pulp can become infected due to deep decay or trauma. Once the pulp is infected or inflamed, this can cause severe discomfort and, in some cases, can lead to an abscess forming. An abscessed tooth can cause serious secondary infections and may lead to tooth loss and jawbone deterioration.
While symptoms from an infected root canal can be quite painful, sometimes there are no symptoms at all. In such cases, a dental x-ray during a routine check-up will determine what’s happening with your tooth.
If you experience tooth pain, we recommend visiting a dentist as quickly as possible. Once a nerve is damaged, it’s usually irreversible, and the only option is root canal treatment to save the tooth or its removal altogether.
What is the Root Canal Procedure?
Before commencing the root canal procedure, our dentist will numb the area of your mouth with a local anaesthetic, and if you prefer, you can also request dental sedation to remove all feelings of anxiety and put you into a relaxed state.
At this point, an x-ray will be taken of your tooth to measure the canal’s depth to ensure it is properly cleaned.
During a root canal procedure, a small opening is made at the top of the crown; then, a tiny file is inserted to remove the infected pulp and clean the canal. This sounds worse than it is, and discomfort is kept to a minimum.
Once the pulp has been flushed out and cleaned with a potent disinfectant, the canal is then shaped and filled with a biocompatible rubber-like substance to give added support and stability to the tooth and prevent bacteria from reentering.
A temporary filling is placed to seal the tooth. At your follow-up appointment, the filling will be removed, and an artificial crown will be placed to restore function and provide additional protection and support. The tooth now continues to function just like your other teeth.
Root Canal Treatment — the Success Rate is High
The success rate of root canal therapy is high when the tooth is treated at the right time and can provide a permanent solution.
Compared to the alternative of tooth extraction and replacing the tooth with a dental implant, there are several advantages:
- The tooth retains its natural appearance and function
- Normal biting and sensation are maintained
- A root canal remains a more affordable procedure
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
The total cost of a root canal treatment includes the initial consultation and x-rays, the preparation of the canal and the canal obturation. The root canal cost depends on several factors, including:
- Who carries out the procedure — An endodontist will charge 20% to 30% more than a general dentist.
- Which tooth is being treated — The complexity of the case and which tooth is being treated determines the root canal cost. Teeth at the front of the arch require less complex surgery than those at the back. For example, a root canal procedure performed on a molar will be more expensive than treatment for an incisor.
- The number of canals — Teeth have varying numbers of canals, with molars having more than front teeth. Molars can have two to four, while cuspids can have one to two, and incisors only one canal. The number of canals in each of your teeth is unique to you. Not all the canals will inflame, so you may only need root canal treatment on a single canal rather than all the canals in a tooth. You should be mindful that a molar will take longer to treat and will, therefore, cost more.
- Whether you need a crown — In more complex root canals, a filling may not be sufficient, and a dental crown will be needed. This additional cost can increase the root canal cost by between $1100 and $2000.
- Type of anaesthesia used — A root canal procedure is usually performed using a local anaesthetic. However, some people may have dental phobias or anxiety concerning root canal treatment. In these situations, dentists often recommend you have a root canal procedure while under sedation. Sedation is a safe and effective way to help you remain calm during treatment.
That said, root canal treatment cost is still less expensive than undergoing an extraction and tooth replacement with a dental implant and is a much faster procedure too.
Is the Root Canal Treatment Cost Covered by Medicare?
Medicare does not typically cover dental treatments unless deemed necessary for the patient’s well-being. Unfortunately, a root canal procedure is not considered an essential treatment and is not covered.
Children may be partially covered for a root canal procedure if they meet specific criteria according to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS). Visit or call your local Medicare office to find out if your child is eligible.
Does my Private Health Insurance Cover the Root Canal Treatment Cost?
Generally speaking, health insurance extras will not cover the root canal cost in Australia. Root canal treatment is considered a major dental procedure that’s usually only covered if you have high extras coverage, including major dental.
If you have coverage for a root canal treatment, check your policy for waiting periods. You should know that health funds base payments on internal fee schedules. This schedule differs from the fees your dentist charges and may not cover the full root canal cost in Australia.
At No Gaps Dental, we are proud to offer HICAPS electronic claiming, which allows you to claim the cost of your root canal treatment on-the-spot using your health care card. This quick and easy process means there is no need to visit your healthcare provider — simply bring your healthcare card, and we will take care of the rest!
Book your Root Canal Treatment at No Gaps Dental Today
There’s no more significant investment than the health of your smile. We understand better than anyone how costly major dental treatment can be. That’s why we prioritise providing customers with affordable payment plans through MacCredit, which offers up to $70000 with payments as low as $30 per week. That way, you can receive a root canal procedure and pay off the root canal cost in your own time with affordable instalments.
To be eligible for MacCredit payments, complete the application form and submit proof of income. Your application will be processed and approved in as little as 24 hours, and the money will be transferred to your nominated account soon after. Get the dental treatment you need easier than ever.
If you think you need root canal treatment, book an appointment with a No Gaps Dentist near you. We manage to keep root canal costs in Sydney to a minimum without compromising quality. Since we have multiple locations, we spread our costs across the board, making our prices more affordable for everyone.
Why not make an appointment for professional diagnosis and treatment by our experienced dentists?