December 10, 2019
One of the usual warning signs of advanced tooth decay is a painful toothache. This is the result of oral bacteria penetrating beneath the enamel and dentin, and into the sensitive area where the canals and nerves are housed. When this happens, a simple filling won’t suffice to restore your oral health. Instead, you’ll probably need a root canal. Can you count on your dental insurance to cover the procedure? Find out as you continue reading.
What’s the Purpose of a Root Canal?
When a dentist performs a root canal, the purpose is to stop advanced tooth decay from traveling any farther to cause even more damage, like an abscess, complete tooth loss or an infection in other parts of your body. The procedure starts with the dentist numbing the treatment site and then making an incision in the tooth to gain access to the decayed tissue. He or she will then remove the bacteria, thoroughly clean the area and fill the vacated space with a compound called gutta-percha.
The final step is to seal the tooth and take bite impressions that will be used to create an all-ceramic crown. At a second visit, the new crown will be permanently bonded into position to leave your tooth fully restored.
Because there are several steps to a root canal, each phase of the procedure will be itemized to generate a final cost.
Will Dental Insurance Cover a Root Canal?
With most dental insurance plans, coverage is disbursed in the following manner:
- Preventive Care – Most dental insurance holders will cover up to 100% of the cost of dental examinations and cleanings.
- Basic Care – Procedures like fillings and root canals are typically classified as basic care. Most plans will cover up to 80% of the related costs.
- Major Care – More complex treatments like crowns, bridges and dentures are categorized as major care, with up to 50% of the cost covered by dental insurance.
Since all plans are different, you’ll need to check with your dental insurance holder to find out for sure how much of your root canal cost will be covered.
How to Maintain Your Dental Health
After having your tooth restored, the last thing you want is to endure acute decay in the future. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to make dental hygiene a priority. This should include toothbrushing and flossing at least two times a day.
Additionally, you should maintain semi-annual visits to your dentist for cleanings and examinations. Therefore, any new plaque development can be stopped in its tracks before it gets worse. By taking this careful approach, you can enjoy excellent oral health for years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Bita Kamali earned her dental degree from Baylor College of Dentistry, and for nearly two decades, she has been providing precise and compassionate dental care. She makes root canal therapy pleasant for her patients by providing the treatment in a calming and relaxed manner. Dr. Kamali practices at Parkway Vista Dental, and she can be reached for more information through her website.