December 10, 2018
Oral infections can really do damage to your teeth and surrounding oral structures. Thankfully, dentists are fully equipped to perform root canal treatments that save and restore teeth. In fact, the American Association of Endodontists notes that approximately 15 million root canal treatments are performed every year.
But what exactly is a root canal? How do you pay for a root canal if you have dental insurance? How will this affect your overall cost? Today, a dentist is prepared to answer these questions exactly and more!
What is a Root Canal?
Root canals are restorative dental treatments designed to remove infections from the inside areas of teeth. These infections can appear as a result of plaque breaking down enamel and allowing bacteria to infect the vulnerable pulp. Alternatively, these infections can also appear after severe trauma breaks a tooth, exposing it to oral bacteria. Regardless of the circumstance, root canals work to break down infections and remove infected tissue, effectively saving the tooth.
In order to access the inner tooth, dentists need to create a small access hole in the crown portion. This means that a dental crown will be needed to seal the tooth and prevent future infections from occurring. After diseased pulp is removed, the dentist will fill it with a biocompatible substance known as gutta percha. This rubber-like material is meant to replace the infected pulp and reduce the risk of the infection reappearing.
How Does Dental Insurance Come Into Play?
The amount of coverage you receive depends on the provider and plan you have, but for the most part dental insurance covers a significant portion of the costs associated with root canal therapy. This is because root canals are seen as a necessary treatment to restore the function of your tooth as well as treat pain.
By having dental insurance, your cost for a root canal will be substantially lower. Most plans cover anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of the cost, depending on the plan. This includes the costs of creating and placing a dental crown as it is necessary for fully restoring the tooth.
Keep in mind that you’ll likely need to pay a deductible before coverage kicks in, but dental insurance plans typically have lower thresholds to meet.
Why You Shouldn’t Put Off Treatment
Regardless of the amount you pay, dentists cannot stress enough the importance of having your root canal performed if you need one. It’s not like a dental filling or crown, which many patients will tend to put off because they don’t see a distinct urgency for needing one. If you’re told that you need a root canal, it’s because there is an infection present inside your tooth, and infections can easily spread to other teeth, oral structures and even the brain if not promptly treated.
If you’re experiencing severe tooth pain or notice other symptoms related to an oral infection, don’t hesitate to contact a dentist to get scheduled today!
About the Author
Dr. William Olafson earned his DMD degree at Nova Southeastern University. During his residency, he received advanced training in oral surgery and root canal therapy. This training, along with his many years of treating patients with complex dental problems, proves he carries the expertise necessary to save and restore your teeth suffering from infection. To learn more about his practice, you can contact him through his website.
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