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Help average cost for root canal and crown

Started 1279029311.587 in Among Friends | Last reply 1281666341.037 by drizzellla

I have to have a root canal with a crown or have tooth pulled. I have never had any teeth pulled.It will cost $2577.00 I am 63 years old no dental insurance. What would you do . I can afford to pay but it is a big expense for me.

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Melly1231279030097.9132547 PostsRegistered 2/2/2008

I'm sorry for your situation. I had a tooth crowned a few years ago, and it was quite expensive even without the root canal and with dental coverage. I'd maybe look for a second opinion, but don't expect much less...sorry. If it's not a visiblt tooth, maybe consider pulling it. But...if the dentist is trying to save it then it's still a viable tooth somewhere in there and the extraction will be more painful. You've got quite a tough chioce. Good luck.

kittyloo1279030403.563855 PostsRegistered 12/22/2004

for me this is a no brainer. If it is near the back, just pull it. Why jump through hoops and all the expense, if it's a molar. I, until last year had all my teeth, but due to some medical issues, both DH and i had to have several molars pulled. I don't recommend that, but what are you savin' it for?

UConnMom20­081279030552.291072 PostsRegistered 11/7/2007


I'm sorry you are in this position. Dental work sure is expensive, even with insurance. My opinion is that if you can afford it, you should have the work done. If they pull the tooth, are they going to just leave an empty space there? You are too young for that, even if it is a back tooth that is not visible. Your other teeth could start shifting and it may affect the way you chew which could lead to jaw pain. I'm an advocate of saving your natural teeth whenever possible.

Edited to add: Ask your dentist if he will give you a discount of 10-15% if you pay in full in advance. Many will.

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"Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still."
Dale Carnegie

shop08111279030823.157114 PostsRegistered 3/15/2006

Get another opinion. That is extremely high for a root canal and crown.

Usually runs around 600.00 to 800.00 each.

UConnMom20­081279031113.2131072 PostsRegistered 11/7/2007
On 7/13/2010 shop0811 said:

Get another opinion. That is extremely high for a root canal and crown.

Usually runs around 600.00 to 800.00 each.

That would depend on where you live. Around here (CT) a crown routinely costs about $1200 and a root canal - with a post inserted for long term stability - close to $1000. If you are fortunate to have insurance, it ususally covers only half the cost, but it's better than nothing.

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"Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still."
Dale Carnegie

daNurse1279031328.937439 PostsRegistered 1/10/2009

I feel that the quote is extremely high,also. Absolutely would seek a second opinion. Are you located anywhere near a university with a dental school? You can get supervised treatment there at reasonable prices.

Dachsie1279031734.4532607 PostsRegistered 6/4/2006

One thing I have learned recently is that dental work can be a scam and that you have to learn about alternatives, do cost comparisons, and shop around.

I say if the tooth is toward the back, have it pulled, and shop around for cost of extraction with different dentists. Evaluate whether you want a bridge.

I am having what I think is a serious dental problem right now and am going through diagnostics. The dentist said they see one kind of dark area above my tooth on xrays but she can't say for sure whether that is a tooth problem or a allergy/sinus problem. I have to go to an endodontist Friday. My dentist said an endo doc has a test they can do to tell for sure whether the root canals done years ago on either of the suspect tooths have failed. I sure hope the test they do is not like a surgical procedure. I definitely will not have another root canal done.

Root canals are not in my opinion a good idea. I had two or three of them done, as well as an apicoectom about 20 years ago and I have nagging shooting pains from time to time deep high up in my teeth which makes me think they never really go rid of all the infection. I have heard other dentists on the radio say root canals are not good as they never know for sure if they have gotton out all the infection and you go around for years with a low grade infection festering deep in gums and bone.

There are some dental groups that offer financing services where you pay for the dental services over time.

Periodontists typically do procedures (scraping and planing around the root and other procedures) and generally try to "save the tooth." But lately periodontists are more apt to recommend tooth transpants rather than their usual procedures. Recommending extraction and bridges does not seem to be the main thing offered anymore and I find that very curious when often it is the safest, wisest, and least costly way to deal with the problem.

If anybody knows what tests an endodontist does to determine if a root canal has failed, I sure would like to know about it.

gardenman1279031898.0317960 PostsRegistered 6/30/2005Southern New Jersey

My last root canal and crown came in around $1800. I'm not sure if that was before or after the preferred provider discount was applied though. I'd try to negotiate a better price if possible, but many insurance companies won't let docs negotiate a lower price for uninsured patients. If they find where the doc charged less for someone else, then they'll insist on that same price, or remove the doc from their list of providers.

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AnikaBrodie1279032578.2216110 PostsRegistered 1/29/2008The NE state of mountains and valleys

I would advise you to get a second opinion. I had a root canal and crown last year. It was an eye tooth and I think the cost was about half of what you quoted. I know the cost is dependant on the tooth involved but $2577 seems high to me. I'm retired and don't have dental insurance either so the cost hurts the pocketbook big time.

~~~The Silver Fox ~~~
“There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." ~~ Edith Wharton

Allegheny1279033037.3871592 PostsRegistered 7/14/2007PA

The price does seem a rather high. The last time I had to have this type of work done was probably 7 years ago. The root canal was $700 and done by an endodontist. My regular dentist did the crown which was about $800. The more roots the involved tooth has the higher the cost of the procedure. I worked in a dental clinic (hospital setting) and learned over the years that prices do vary drastically dentist to dentist.

One recommendation is check out to see if there is a university near you that has a dental school. The costs are less and residents perform the work under very close supervision.

Dental treatment is so expensive and I find this sad because so many people go without.

PS: If it were me, I would have the work done, but also understand why people elect to have an extraction.

UConnMom20­081279034689.5331072 PostsRegistered 11/7/2007

I do agree that dentists are quick in this day and age to recommend costly procedures. I think in their idealistic world as dentists their ultimate goal is always for patients to have the best teeth that money can buy, but I'm sure that their own wallet or bottom line is a signficant influence, also. The OP does not give any details about her specific problem - but she must be in pain and/or have an infection if the alternative is to pull the tooth. I will say again that saving your own teeth is important, in someone as young as 63, who easily could have 30+ more years to live. I too wonder about these dentists who say they see a little 'spot' on an x-ray and then go ahead and recommend a $2000+ repair procedure, when there are no symptoms of any kind. That is not to say they are scamming someone, but who wants to go through all that discomfort, and cost, when there is not even any certainty that a real problem will ever develop. That happened to my husband a couple years ago. After delaying for a long time, he decided to go ahead and have the work done, because we currently have dental insurance, but likely won't when he retires from his current job, possibly in a little more than a year from now. If something were to happen later, it would cost us more than double, since insurance pays about half, and the overall price will certainly be more in the future.

"Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still."
Dale Carnegie

namealread­ytaken1279034992.468420 PostsRegistered 7/13/2009

It seems along with osteoporosis, we get bad teeth as well. I am undergoing multiple root canals and crowns currently. Please try to see if you can work with the dentist on pricing. Currently I am paying $500 for each root canal and $500 for the crown. My former dentist was $750 for each years ago. I no longer have dental insurance and I begged mercy of the dentist that I am using now. But I might add, even my dental insurance did not cover crowns and root canals, mostly just cleaning, fillings.

TAZZY1279038240.047751 PostsRegistered 12/12/2007

Thank You everyone for your kind informative posts. I have gone ahead and had a root canal and it will be in a 3 stage process. It is infected but it was cleaned out and I was given antibiotics. It is my left molar tooth in the back that affects the last 2 botom teeth on the left. The pain is gone and a play dough substance is in the hole. I will bite the bullet and pay. Thank you again Tazzy

urok1279038809.33366 PostsRegistered 8/16/2009

While I also think the cost is higher than the norm, and much higher than what I paid- I guess it does vary by where you live too. May I suggest tho, that if you are a member of AARP to checkout their website. You can get dental insurance through them. If not a member, you can join. They have a couple of different plans available.

Good luck

Hilo1279039445.3977105 PostsRegistered 8/28/2007

My son just told me the other day he had to get a root canal and it would cost about $650. I thought that was a good price. We live in Md. suburbs. Years ago I had one done in an exclusive area of DC and paid at least that much at that time.

~bunny~1279043707.3479850 PostsRegistered 5/17/2010

We live outside Philly and my husband just paid $3000 for root canal and cap. Good luck and keep plenty of advil around.

bunny can't wait for Spring!

chrystaltr­ee1279043955.1114012 PostsRegistered 5/10/2010

At 63, this would be no brainer for me. With a limited income, if the tooth is in the back, I would have the dentist extract it. I say this because the expensive root canal is often only half the cost. You pay your $2500 for the root canal and THEN th dentist tells you that you need a $2000 crown. Years ago when I was a sahm and money was tight, that happened to me. We used our vacation money and scrimped to pay for my root canal and then I was told that I needed a crown, $2000, because tooth was in the back and subject to a lot of stress. So,we started saving. The dentist told me there was no rush, so I figured I would get the crown in a year, may a little longer. I was very careful with what I ate. A few months after I had the root canal, the tooth fracured into bits and pieces. I went to another dentist to have the pieces removed and to have the root canal posts removed and that dentist told me that I should have been advised to that I needed a root canal AND a crown. And while many dentists do not like the idea of extracting teeth that can be saved, I should have been given a choice. Dentists and used car salesmen, you can't trust either one.

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Cindy Shop­per1279044070.0210677 PostsRegistered 11/14/2007

Last year I spent $1400 on the root canal and $800 on a crown. It is so expensive but by time you need one in an emergency you will gladly hand them the check.

goodstuff1279044329.49717154 PostsRegistered 11/11/2008

Sounds quite high to me. I would certainly get a second opinion about the work you need, and once you're sure about what needs to be done, I'd price the work with several dentists in your area. Ask friends for recommendations for good, reasonably priced dentists. If you have a dental school in your area, you can sometimes get dental work done there for less. And as another poster suggested, if the tooth is far back in your mouth, I'd certainly consider just having it pulled. I did this a few years ago with a back tooth that had gone bad, and I've had no problems since. I'm in your age range, and the dentist I was working with told me, "If I were in my 60's and had a bad tooth in the back of my mouth, I think I'd just pull it and not spend my money for root canals, crowns, or implants." You need to find an old-fashioned, practical dentist like that!

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Allegheny1279046565.1071592 PostsRegistered 7/14/2007PA
On 7/13/2010 Dachsie said:

If anybody knows what tests an endodontist does to determine if a root canal has failed, I sure would like to know about it.

Hi Dachsie, I emailed my former co-worker with your question. He is a friend, my personal dentist, and one of the most knowledgeable people I know. Here is his reply. I hope it helps you prepare for your appointment on Friday.

I wish I could tell you there is a magical test an Endodontist does to determine what she is describing. There is not. (Yes, I am sure)

An Endodontist will look at a periapical radiograph, some progressive Endodontist may take a CT scan. They will all percuss the tooth (tap on it), palpate the tooth (feel around the root surface ), They will isolate other teeth that may be causing referred tooth pain. If not previously endodontically treated they will thermally test the teeth. Some may use an electric pulp test (but few do). The only definitive means of looking at a previously endodontically treated tooth to see if it is failing is to look at the initial film, the time ‘root canal’ was complete, and compare the lesion (dark spot at apex of tooth) to a current radiograph (typically six months apart) to see if the lesion is getting bigger or smaller. Some instances we (dentist) rely on patients symptoms to inform if there is an inflammation process in which case depending on the tests there are different treatment options.

Trix1279046612.254285 PostsRegistered 7/28/2005Chicago, IL
On 7/13/2010 urok said:

While I also think the cost is higher than the norm, and much higher than what I paid- I guess it does vary by where you live too. May I suggest tho, that if you are a member of AARP to checkout their website. You can get dental insurance through them. If not a member, you can join. They have a couple of different plans available.

Good luck

The average costs for dental services are determined by location. What's average in Chicago won't be average in Sioux Falls. The AARP dental plan is not very good if you want to use your own dentist. Claim payments are greatly reduced if you aren't using a dentist in their plan and their list of providers is limited --even in major markets. Furthermore the premiums are so high that if you have a cookie jar where you kept the premium payments money, you could save enough in a year to cover dental emergencies (including a root canal and crown) and pay in full on the day of service.

I advocate saving the tooth at any cost.

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colson1279047262.1037442 PostsRegistered 10/23/2007East Coast

The price is city urban but not uncommon. You might cost it out with other locations. I have had this procedure done, and even with dental insurance it can be costly. You might also ask if you really need the crown and if a regular filling would still work -- it might not, but worth asking. Either way, best to salvage the tooth and not pull it at your young age as the other poster said, it could cause shifting, etc. even with spacers, etc.

Margo Chan­ning1279052260.63313618 PostsRegistered 11/29/2007

I live in Metro NJ and that is about what I paid for each of mine. When I needed a bridge my dentist hooked me up with an organization called "American Dream"--they gave me a no-interest loan to cover the bridge {it was ocer $2,000 AFTER my root canal}. The catch is you have to pay is off in a year. I don't know if this option is still available but you may wan to check it out.

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NO-ONE puts Leisle in the corner

Shirl521279059317.113233 PostsRegistered 4/22/2010

I agree with one of the other posters. If it is in the back and when you smile, you can't see it, just pull it. This happened to me 2 weeks ago. Back tooth, bothering me, another dentist wanted $1200 (this is with dental insurance). He would not hear of pulling it. I left, and checked my insurance for another dentist. $30 later, I am out of pain, and when I smile you can't even see it.

And if you call around, you can get prices from dentists in your area for an extraction.

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Sassenach11279063611.294610 PostsRegistered 12/3/2005

I have had many root canals and crowns. They are expensive. I don't know if your quote is overpriced, but probably not - depends on your area.

One thing to be aware of: a root canal and crown may not be the final solution. It may not work or the area may further deteriorate. You would need an apico-ectomy or if that does not work, the tooth would have to be pulled.

I agree with the others - if the tooth is in the back and money is an issue, have it pulled. Especially if it is a the last tooth in the back.

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