Am I paying too much for Root Canal?
December 4, 2008 2:08 PM   Subscribe

I have Delta Dental and The dental is asking me for 1700 to do 2 root canals. Is that too much

I have Delta Dental Premier.

I haven't been to dentist for a long time and this time i went the dentist said to do two root canals.

they gave me price of 1700.

i postponed till a later date.

is that too much? or is it reasonable.
posted by minsid to Health & Fitness (17 answers total)
Is that how much in out of pocket you will pay, or how much the procedure will cost before your insurance?
posted by ALongDecember at 2:21 PM on December 4, 2008

Is the dentist in or out of network? This would make a huge difference in out of pocket costs.
posted by thejanna at 2:24 PM on December 4, 2008

For what it's worth, I have Delta and it's going to cost me about $600 out of pocket for a single crown with no root canal. That's with an in-network dentist, but the plan I have only covers 50% of that type of work.
posted by thejanna at 2:29 PM on December 4, 2008

Most dentists can (and all should) give you a printout that breaks down what costs are covered, which aren't, and what you'll be due to pay on day of treatment.

You can then contact other dentists in your network and compare rates.
posted by batmonkey at 2:30 PM on December 4, 2008

I got a root canal through a Dental Dental HMO provider (a specialist my primary approved dentist referred me to) at the beginning of this year. The cost was about a grand, but I had an out of pocket of ~$350.

If that's your out of pocket, that seems really high. If he's out of network, and that's the total he's charging, I would look up how much you'll get reimbursed for out of network if you submit it. Or, better yet, get a second opinion from an in-network provider.

(I have the cheapest Dental Dental insurance and I'm in California.)
posted by Gucky at 2:30 PM on December 4, 2008

I'm in Los Angeles, the capital of expensive dentistry, so these numbers may not apply to you. But I can tell you from recent experience that even after insurance kicks in, a root canal runs about $1000 and a crown anywhere from $600-$900 (I've had six of each in the last few years!).

I'm assuming that $1700 is for *both* root canals - which looks like a bargain compared to the $1000 per that I'm used to paying!
posted by chez shoes at 2:57 PM on December 4, 2008

i paid $1500 for a root canal in Seattle 6 years ago.

(the endodontist in question had marble floors and velvet couches... and was recommended by my dentist, who i later left for what i felt were similar excesses)
posted by micawber at 3:19 PM on December 4, 2008

Even if that doesn't include crowns, it's still a bargain. Doubly so if you're getting twilight sedation or the like.
posted by thisjax at 3:23 PM on December 4, 2008

As a root canal veteran, I will say that's on the cheaper side for two root canals.

The insurance will pay for part, as will you. If the dentist is recommending root canals without attendant pain, I'd suggest getting a second opinion.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:23 PM on December 4, 2008

My brother has no dental coverage and had a tough root canal done this afternoon at a specialist and paid $1100 CAD ($860-ish US), without a crown.
posted by jjb at 4:23 PM on December 4, 2008

In the SF Bay Area about a month ago i got a $1800 estimate for 1. Hmm... Seems high now.

But! If you can get a cheap ticket to Bali - I know a guy there who will do it for $150.

seriously - had to get one on my honeymoon in Sept. Found all about medical tourism, (particularly dental) in Bali. The specialist here wants to repack the one done in bali but i'm not yet sold on the need.
posted by bitdamaged at 4:45 PM on December 4, 2008

~$1000 per root canal feels average, so $850 each seems reasonable.

If this is under dental coverage, you might want to rush and do at least one before the end of 2008 so that it goes on this year's allotment and then the second one could be done on 2009 money.
posted by mathowie at 4:46 PM on December 4, 2008

mathowie's suggestion might not make sense if you have a fixed deductible before your percent coverage kicks in.

It definitely makes sense if you are anywhere near your plan's maximum payout, or if you don't have a deductible before coverage.
posted by nat at 5:32 PM on December 4, 2008

I recently paid about $1300 for a single root canal and cap.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:44 PM on December 4, 2008

I've had Delta Dental at various points, and lots and lots of dental work. They only cover up to about $1500 per year even on good plans, so this could well be in the totally normal range, and spreading the costs over two calendar years could significantly ease the pain.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 7:37 PM on December 4, 2008

Prior to treatment, ask your dentist for an itemized breakdown of the fees, then call Delta Dental and find out what will be covered and what you should pay out-of-pocket.

Recently, a relative covered by Delta Dental was overcharged $350 by an in-network dentist. Delta ordered the dentist to refund the $350 but he refused. Eventually, after myriad letters to Delta, the dentist, and various dental boards and regulatory agencies, Delta itself refunded the $350 to my relative.
posted by terranova at 8:29 PM on December 4, 2008

Just had one. About $800 for the root canal. Haven't gotten a crown yet, but that will be about $500. Delta Dental Premiere. The covered about 80 percent of the cost of the root canal, but I think the crown will be all out of pocket.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:28 PM on December 5, 2008

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