When it comes to general dental work, a root canal treatment can be one of the more costly procedures. However, there are steps you can take to minimise the cost while still caring for your oral health.
What Is a Root Canal?
Also known as endodontic therapy, root canal treatment (or, colloquially, ‘a root canal’) is a procedure whereby a dentist drills a hole in your tooth to remove infected pulp from its root cavity. Once the dentist has removed the pulp, they will disinfect and clean the emptied area before filling it with gutta-percha: a polymer material or form of natural rubber. If you’re dealing with irreversibly infected tooth pulp, a root canal is typically the best option. Unlike tooth extraction, root canal treatment allows you to retain the tooth’s exterior and avoid the rigmarole of — and further costs associated with — getting a dental crown.
Do I Have to Get Root Canal Treatment?
If your dentist has recommended you undergo root canal treatment, it’s important to follow through with it. Otherwise, your oral health can seriously decline.
If you do not get root canal treatment, you put yourself at risk of:
Infectious spread — Bacterial infections don’t keep to themselves; they love to spread far and wide. Delaying necessary root canal treatment can result in infectious spread to neighbouring teeth, nearby bone tissue and soft tissue throughout the mouth. Sometimes, it can even extend beyond the mouth.
Pain — Pain is part and parcel of dental infections. If you experience localised pain that lingers for longer than an hour, that’s a telltale sign that something is wrong — and the longer you leave it, the worse it will become.
Acute abscess — An abscess is an accumulation of pus at the site of the infection. It can cause fever, pain and swelling — and if it’s localised to the jawbone, it can even obstruct your airway.
Case complication — Of course, the longer you leave something, the more severe it will become. Take action sooner to save procedural complications (and extra dollars).
Tooth loss — Leave the infection too long and it may damage the tooth’s exterior as well as the internal pulp. Get root canal treatment to avoid tooth loss or mandatory extraction.
How Much Is a Root Canal Treatment in Australia?
As is the case with many aspects of general dental work, root canal treatment has no fixed price. Factors such as tooth location, difficulty of access and however many canals require work all factor into the final cost. That said, most procedures will have a ballpark figure — in the case of root canal treatment that number ranges from between $800 to $1,500. If you require the services of a specialist endodontist, please note that you will be paying significantly more than the values specified here due to the complexity of the procedure.
Does Health Insurance Cover Root Canal Treatment?
Private health insurance covers a lot of general dental work, but this does not typically extend to root canal treatment. The routine nature of more general dental treatments, such as check-ups and cleans, renders them a safer investment than more major procedures, which certainly wouldn’t happen on a yearly basis. If you wish to cover root canal treatment in your private health insurance, you’ll need to opt for a high volume of extras cover.
Alternatively, you can always take advantage of a range of flexible payment options at the dentist. At Stanley St Dental, we offer MacCredit, which facilitates payment plans for cosmetic, medical or dental patients. This stress-free option has no up-front fees with a low-interest option to help you repay procedures up to $70,000 (please visit the MacCredit website for further information). Of course, we also accept After pay (where you can split up payments to suit your situation), as well as all HICAPS-affiliated private health funds.
What You Can Do to Save Money?
Oftentimes, patients require root canal treatment as a result of neglecting their regular dental check-ups. Book yourself in for a dental check-up and clean every six months to stay on top of your dental health. In these appointments, dentists can run their expert eyes along your teeth and inside your mouth to find easy-to-miss, early-stage issues. It’s always best to catch these issues early before they progress into something worse — such as a root canal infection.
Don’t Delay; Organise Your Root Canal Treatment Today!
Looking after your oral health is part of caring for your overall well being. Just as you wouldn’t ignore a broken arm, you shouldn’t neglect undergoing root canal treatment if your dentist has deemed it necessary. Using the tips above, you can budget and prepare for the final fee for the treatment, as well as minimise the likelihood of having to get a root canal at all! To learn more about root canal treatment and to organise your procedure, talk to the friendly team at Stanley St Dental today.