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This survey found the average root canal fee is $740 for a front tooth and $1,000 for a molar, with three out of four dentists saying they perform posterior root canals.
"Root canals are the most predictable and profitable procedure in dentistry," said one.
Root canal therapy costs somewhat more from endodontists than from general dentists.
Of course, an endodontist is will perform a difficult root canal, while a general dentist might refer out that endodontic procedure.
How much a root canal costs depends on where you live; dentists in the Pacific states reported charging the most.
In fact, a simple root canal on a front tooth may cost more in the Pacific than a more difficult molar root canal in many other areas, including the Northeast.
Send out all root canals
- “I’ve been a DDS full time for 25 years and I have not done a root canal in over 14 years. This procedure has the highest liability associated with it. I let the specialist handle ALL of my endo and he sends to me ALL of his patients who seek his services without being referred by a dentist AND MANY
TIMES by those who are unhappy with the dentist that referred them to the endodontist !!!! I have never been happier than since I was told by a
dental consultant: what would you rather do on a Saturday morning, play golf or do a root canal?” (Utah dentist)
Send out the tough cases
- “I refer most out. Do some anteriors.” (New York dentist)
- “I'll do them if they are easy to moderate difficulty. Otherwise, they're not worth my time.
I can be making more money doing other things than difficult molars.” (California dentist)
- “If they look complicated, then I refer them out.” (New Mexico dentist)
- “I don't do upper molars.” (New Jersey dentist)
Send out few cases
- “I do 90% myself, including re-treats. I pick and choose the ones that I know are questionable and refer those out.” (Michigan dentist)
- “I have taken several of Cliff Ruddle's courses. I've probably only sent out 2 RC's in the last 6-8 years. My patients really appreciate that they don't have to travel to another office, and they know if there's a problem they will be seen immediately. They especially like 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.” (Mississippi dentist)
GP fees vs. specialist fees
- “It would be ridiculous to charge less than a specialist for a given procedure, as the standard of care is the same.” (New York dentist)
- “I should charge more than the specialist since it takes me longer!” (Florida dentist)
General dentists can do endo
- “More GPs should do their own endo.” (Florida dentist)
- “Most endo is a routine general practice procedure with today's mechanization and techniques.” (New York dentist)
There's profit in root canals
- “Root canal therapy is a big money maker. It's a great way to beef up the bottom line.” (California dentist)
- “Root canals are the most predictable and profitable procedure in dentistry. Dentists who do not do endo lose on the average $90,000.” (Virginia dentist)
Root canal fees
- “Your fee should represent what it would cost to replace the tooth if it were lost.” (Maryland dentist)
- “We should charge more.” (Florida dentist)
- “I can't believe the price increases that I'm seeing in other dental offices on an annual basis…” (New York dentist)
- “Why is there any discrepancy in anterior or posterior fees? Is one tooth more valuable than another?” (Connecticut dentist)
Thoughts on endodontics
- “I have in-house endo people, but sometimes I have to do them myself.” (General dentist)
- “I have traditionally used hand instrumentation. Now I am transitioning to the Ultradent system.” (Texas dentist)
- “Natural teeth are better than fake ones (dentures or implants).” (West Virginia endodontist)
Note: Survey sample included 214 respondents.