Root Canal Cost from Dentists and Endodontists: $1000 for a Back Tooth

June 05, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
The average root canal cost is $740 for a front tooth and $1,000 for a molar, found a survey of dentists by dental marketing resource The Wealthy Dentist. Three out of four dentists report performing posterior root canals, while the remainder send those cases out. Root canal therapy costs somewhat more from endodontists than from general dentists.

All healthy teeth have root canals; it's only when they become infected that a patient needs root canal therapy. Since back teeth have more root canals, performing a molar root canal is more difficult (and therefore more expensive) than on a front tooth. Declared a New Jersey dentist, "I don't do upper molars."

Some general dentists simplify their lives by referring all root canal patients out to an endodontist. "I've been a DDS full time for 25 years and I have not done a root canal in over 14 years," declared a Utah dentist. "I have never been happier since a dental consultant asked me, 'What would you rather do on a Saturday morning, play golf or do a root canal?'"

Some advise that root canals can lead to big dentist profits. "Root canals are the most predictable and profitable procedure in dentistry. Dentists who do not do endo lose on the average $90,000," declared a Virginia dentist. "Root canal therapy is a big money maker," agreed a California dentist. "It's a great way to beef up the bottom line."

Endodontists treat the toughest cases. "I'll do them if they are easy to moderate difficulty," said a California dentist. "Otherwise, they're not worth my time. I can be making more money doing other things than difficult molars."

Some general dentists enjoy root canal treatment. "I've probably only sent out two root canals in the last 6-8 years," said a Mississippi dentist. My patients really appreciate that their needs will be taken care of immediately and will not have to wait to get an appointment. I probably do 6-8 RC's a week."

The cost of root canal therapy varies significantly by dentist. "Your fee should represent what it would cost to replace the tooth if it were lost," opined a Maryland dentist. "It would be ridiculous to charge less than a specialist for a given procedure, as the standard of care is the same," said a New York dentist.

An endodontist from West Virginia explained the value of root canal treatment. "Natural teeth are better than fake ones (dentures or implants)."

"Root canals are one of the most-dreaded dental procedures," said dental management expert Jim Du Molin. "But compared to losing a tooth, a root canal really isn't so bad - or so expensive!"