Great. You’re laying back in the dental chair after just having a set of x-rays taken, and you hear your dentist say “it looks like that one is going to need a root canal.”
Forget the rumors you’ve heard about whether or not a root canal is painful — your dentist is great at getting you numb, in fact, he even offers sedation — you’re more worried about how much the bill is going to hurt your wallet. The idea alone puts you into a sweat…how are you going to pay for it? Your car needs new tires and the kids are about to head off to camp.
What’s the best way to make sure you save as much money as possible, but still get the treatment your dentist recommends?
Putting a Root Canal Off Could Cost You
“My tooth doesn’t hurt. Why should I go ahead with a root canal if nothing seems wrong?”
Maybe you’ve asked this question before. If so, you’re not the first. Teeth that need root canals don’t always hurt. Unfortunately, putting the treatment off until the tooth is causing pain or is visibly damaged can mean you’ll need more complex therapy to repair it. By that point, it might not even be salvageable. Rather than restoring it with endodontic treatment, you may wind up paying for an extraction, a dental implant, and then a crown by the time it’s all said and done. Getting the root canal sooner would have been the cheapest thing to do.
Cost Difference: Endodontist vs. Dentist
If possible, schedule your root canal with your general dentist. This can help to keep the cost of your treatment down as much as possible. An expert such as an endodontist may be needed if your root canal requires a re-treatment or is on a tooth that is difficult to access (such as one in the back, or a tooth with curved roots.) Fortunately, dental insurance will usually pay toward either procedure, but if you’re really pinching pennies, a family dentist is usually a bit cheaper.
Avoid the Root Canal Altogether
The very best way to pay for a root canal is to prevent the infection from happening. While that isn’t always possible (as in the instances of an accident, or an old, leaky feeling) it can sometimes be done. For instance, seeing your dentist regularly will allow him/her to diagnose cavities when they’re just beginning. At this point, it’s cheaper and less invasive to fill the cavity. Ignoring it and putting your filling off will lead to the decay expanding deeper into your tooth…causing an abscess, and requiring a root canal. Try to keep your dental visits every six months!
Treatment Options Besides Getting a Root Canal
If you’re set against having a root canal, you’re left with one option: extracting the tooth. Pulling infected or abscessed teeth will prevent the infection from spreading to other teeth. An extraction can provide some immediate pain relief, but you’ll need to replace your missing tooth before the rest of your bite starts to shift out of place.
Most dental offices will offer affordable monthly financing or even split your treatment up into two payments…even if you have dental insurance. If you skip eating out for a few weeks in a row, you can pay the root canal off in no time (often without any interest or financing charges!) You may even want to ask your dentist if their office offers a cash discount. Sometimes, paying in full before your treatment or on the day of the appointment can save you 5-8%.
Combining Your Treatment in One Visit
Do you need other dental work in addition to getting a root canal? Ask your dentist about a sedation appointment where you can schedule everything at one time. Doing so will help you prevent the need to take extra time off work. Some offices even offer same-day crowns to restore your treated tooth on the same day as getting your root canal.
Get the Best Dental Insurance Coverage
A great dental discount plan like the ones at AetnaDentalOffers.com will let you save an average of 20% on a root canal treatment, greatly reducing your out of pocket expenses! And dental discount plans activate within 72 hours of purchase, so you can get the treatment that you need almost immediately. Call us today and ask about a dental discount plan to help make your root canal more affordable.
Save 15% to 50%* at the Dentist
With an Aetna Dental Savings Plan.