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In this blog we will be outlining all you need to know regarding how much you should expect to pay for a root canal, including whether to choose the NHS or private treatment, the costs of private treatment, and additional factors that we recommend you consider.

NHS or private root canal treatment?

The first decision that will impact how much you pay for a root canal is whether you choose NHS or private treatment. A common misconception is that an NHS root canal treatment is free because there is usually a charge. Within the NHS, root canal treatment is deemed a Band 2 treatment, which means the cost is a minimum of £65.20.The exact cost of the treatment will vary based on your level of need for example, the cost is usually higher if you’re having back teeth (molars) treated because they will probably require crowns. Root canal treatment for Molars falls under Band 3 which is £282.80. Due to the NHS charges constantly rising, many people are choosing private treatment, and there are many reasons for this choice.

A key reason for choosing private treatment is that the quality of treatment is likely to be significantly better. This is simply down to economics. As the fee paid to an NHS dentist, for the complex procedure of root canal treatment is extremely low, the quality is not likely to be as good. The dentist will need to pay for a nurse and wider team members like a receptionist, as well as consumables (which often are at least £40), and expensive equipment like chairs, drills and X-ray machines. After all those costs are accounted for, the dentist will actually be making a loss. To make it fairer, the dentist will often try to perform the procedure in a time efficient way in order not to lose further money, which is likely to result in a less than ideal outcome.

If you now compare this to a private dentist, who is able to set a fair fee, the situation is the reverse. The private dentist is now much happier providing this complex procedure and will invest in better equipment, consumable and probably look to further their skills so they can provide the best treatment which has the best outcome. They will also spend more time on the procedure which leads to better success rates.

Additionally, private practices usually have more available appointment times and are more conveniently located, allowing you to better fit your appointment in with a potentially busy schedule. The private sector also possesses more experienced and specialised dentists that can usually offer a superior level of dental treatment, although this is not to say that the NHS does not have some great dentists also.

Private root canal treatment costs

Assuming that you choose private treatment then there are many different factors which influence the exact cost of the root canal. This includes the area you live in, your specific requirements and the chosen dental practice. Perhaps the most important factor that dictates the cost of root canal treatment is the area you live in.

Private root canal treatment, for a molar tooth, normally ranges from £350 – £750 per tooth although specialised treatment may be more costly. However, if your case is complex then it is definitely worth the extra outlay for a specialised dentist as this will minimise potential errors. Any errors made during a root canal treatment can have significant consequences and may in turn lead to additional costly treatment which negates any potential savings you may have initially made.

Additional Factors affecting root canal treatment costs

When comparing different root canal treatment options, it is essential to look at more than just price. Although choosing a treatment plan that is affordable for you is essential, you must look beyond this. This involves reading reviews and learning in depth about the quality of dental services before undertaking any treatment. This can also include asking family or friends for recommendations and getting a well-rounded understanding of what a dentist is capable of.

As mentioned beforehand, there is also the possibility for errors or potential complications when undertaking a root canal treatment. This will result in further appointments and expenses to cover the treatments required to solve these issues.  In this scenario it may be best to find a more specialised dentist, as fixing a root canal complication can require more expertise then performing an initial root canal procedure. Although the financial costs of specialised dental treatment will likely be high, they will likely be worth it in the long term to fix a major issue.