During my regular prophylaxis last year, Dr. Mani Mirpourian of Cooper Dental in Ormond Beach discovered a decayed molar after removing its old filling. Though the pulp was not yet inflamed or infected, re-filling it was no longer an option. Fortunately, it was found early on. Hence, it prevented further infection which would surely cause abscess or pain. There were only two options presented to me, either to extract it or to undergo a root canal treatment. Of course, I chose the latter in order to save the affected tooth.
Since it was my very first root canal treatment, I researched online as to what to expect from the process, most especially, the cost. I heard from some friends mentioning, a root canal treatment can cost an arm-and-leg if you have no dental insurance. But then again, it is still considerably expensive since most insurances covers only 50% of the cost. I also learned that, this method of saving a tooth is actually a dual- step process, thus requiring multiple visits to the dentists or endodontist. The actual root canal therapy is just the first step. The second step is to have a dental crown installed to protect and strengthen the tooth.
First Step: The Root Canal Therapy
The dental clinic gave me a brochure of an endodontics clinic in the area. I checked with my dental insurance company if the said endodontist is in their network. Unfortunately, he’s not. I prefer using in-network dentist to save on the cost.
Using the insurance’s website, I was able to find Dr. Howard Pranikoff. I called his clinic to schedule an appointment. The staff was so friendly and accommodating. In less than a month, I had my root canal done. It usually takes two visits to complete this process, but since I was the only one scheduled for that afternoon, Dr. Pranikoff decided, to my delight, to finish it. On top of that, he had to file and fill three canals! He’s awesome!
The total (in-network) discounted cost was $1,034. It would have been more if I used an out-of-network clinic. So my out-of-pocket expense for this visit was $517.
Second Step: The Dental Crown Installation
All that money spent on a root canal therapy would be a waste without undergoing the second (and final) step of the save-a-tooth process. This can be done at the endodontics clinic, but I opted to go to my regular dentist at Cooper Dental. This step required two appointments.
The first appointment involved putting the permanent filling, shaping the tooth, taking its impression including color matching and putting the temporary crown. It was administered by Dr. Sapna Adappa (my favorite). The second appointment was scheduled after two weeks. Around this time, the third-party dental laboratory fabricated the permanent crown. The second visit was the quickest one. The dentist, Dr. Scott Carico, cemented the permanent porcelain-made dental crown and made a minor adjustment to ensure comfort and proper alignment of the new tooth.
The total in-network discounted cost was $801, so my out-of-pocket expense for the 2 visits was $400.50.
The total out of pocket costs for the whole save-a-tooth process was $917.50 (with dental insurance). If you do not have insurance, add another $917 or more. Yes, it was costly, but worth it!
Are you still curious on how the whole procedure looks like? Here is a YouTube video: