04 Mar Dental Coverage for Retreatment and Apicoectomy After Root Canals
After root canal treatment, ideally, people would not experience any problems. Unfortunately, other patients’ teeth might worsen months or years afterwards due to a variety of reasons—for example, patients may have “[canals] that were too narrow or curved to be treated during the initial procedure,” may not have undergone restoration procedures as soon as they could after root canals, may have experienced a “[new] fracture to the treated tooth,” etc. (“Root Canal Retreatment”). Consequently, patients must have their teeth treated again by a dentist, an endodontist, or an oral surgeon (“Apicoectomy Cost”; “Root Canal Retreatment”). Patients could utilize their dental coverage for retreatment and apicoectomy.
Some patients just need nonsurgical retreatment, which could be covered by their dental plan (“Root Canal Retreatment”). This procedure can cost more than the first root canal because endodontists must take the “restoration and filling material” off the teeth and find and treat any “unusual canal anatomy” (“Root Canal Retreatment”; Staff Dentist 2019). Afterwards, they can finish the retreatment process by “[filling] and [sealing] the canals and [placing] a temporary filling in the tooth” (“Root Canal Retreatment”). Finally, the dentist can then place a crown on the tooth “or use some other method of restoration to restore the tooth to its full function” (“Root Canal Retreatment”). Dental insurance policies may contain different caveats for retreatment procedures. Some policies may only provide coverage for “each tooth to one canal per lifetime,” while “[other] plans may not cover the retreatment of teeth previously covered within a certain time frame. (Two years is not uncommon.)” (Staff Dentist 2019).
If retreatment cannot fix the affected tooth, patients may need endodontic surgery, such as apicoectomy, which dental insurance could cover (Wyatt Jr. 2018, 4). Apicoectomy involves “root-end resection” and can be done by “[a] general dentist with advanced training,” an endodontist, or an oral surgeon (“Apicoectomy Cost”; Wyatt Jr. 2018, 4). These dental providers perform apicoectomy in order to “[relieve] the inflammation or infection in the bony area around the end of [the patient’s] tooth. In this procedure, the gum tissue is opened, the infected tissue is removed, and sometimes the very end of the root is removed. A small filling may be placed to seal the root canal” (Wyatt 2018, 4). While patients usually pay between $900-1,300 for the procedure, they could pay more, “depending on the position and type of tooth, local rates, and the qualifications and training of the endodontist or oral surgeon performing the procedure” (“Apicoectomy Cost”). Patients may have to enroll into a higher-tier dental plan that includes benefits for apicoectomy (“The Cost and Financing of Apicoectomy Root End Surgery”). People may be covered for 0-90% of the cost for apicoectomy and pay between $100-500 in the end (“Apicoectomy Cost”; “The Cost and Financing of Apicoectomy Root End Surgery”).
People may need retreatment or endodontic surgery because they experience some complications after their root canal surgery. Their dental insurance may have some caveats, but it could partly cover the costs of these procedures.