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AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW ARTICLE

Read Jacquie Hayes, of the AFR, interview Dr Kia Pajouhesh on dental costs "The Crowning Glory - 8 September 2012"

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Dental Costs - Root Canal

Root canal treatment, re-treatment and surgery can be provided by either a general dentist or a registered specialist endodontist (commonly known as a root canal specialist).

  • A general dentist has education and training of 4 to 5 years.
  • A specialist endodontist has education and training of 4 to 5 years of general dentistry PLUS a further 3 to 4 years of specialisation.

Root canal cost-related issues

  1. The average cost of root canal treatment varies according to the complexity of your case.
  2. Re-treatment may cost 20–30% more than first-time treatment. Molar back teeth with multiple internal root canals may cost 20–30% more than single-canal front teeth
  3. Two treatments are never the same; cases can vary from fairly simple to extremely complex, depending on calcification of canals, curvature of canals, canal obstructions and access difficulties, and root canal microsurgery, to name but a few. Costs can therefore vary accordingly, but they should be quoted within a price range by the treating practitioner before the start of treatment.

  • When tossing up between an extraction plus implant versus saving the tooth with root canal therapy, costs to include in the equation are:
 
EXTRACTION PLUS IMPLANT
EXTRACTION
$200 to $400
REPLACEMENT DENTURE OR BRIDGE
as interim while implant is being prepared
$150 to $350
IMPLANT
carried out by board-registered dental specialists
$5500 to $6500
 
SAVING THE TOOTH
SPECIALIST ASSESSMENT
$100 to $150
ROOT CANAL PROCEDURE
by endodontist
$1700 to $2700
FILLING OF THE TOOTH*
after root canal complete
$200 to $450
 


* Note that a filling will often not suffice and the tooth may require further treatment by way of a core filling ($200-$450) and a full coverage crown ($1400-$2200).
Various aspects of the treatments mentioned above will vary from practitioner to practitioner depending on a series of factors discussed on our dental costs main site


Root Canal vs Tooth Extraction & Implant
 
Qualifications and training to become a specialist endodontist

In Australia, only dentists who have completed the additional three years minimum full-time study can become a Dental Board–registered specialist endodontist. Typically they will have needed first to graduate with honours in dentistry and have completed fellowship examinations through the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons.

During the additional three years of study graduates undertake original research and build their practical skills in the management of difficult and complex root canal treatments. They are then eligible to apply for registration with the Dental Board of Australia as a specialist endodontist.

When you are seen by an endodontist you can be assured that they are experienced in managing difficult treatments, re-treatment of previously unsuccessful root canals and endodontic surgery.

It is common for an endodontist to be able to save a tooth that may have been otherwise deemed too difficult to treat or to have a poor prognosis.

Never assume that a practitioner is a specialist endodontist. Check on the Dental Board of Australia AHPRA website.

View Dental Specialists in Australia Video
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