Root canal treatment: what the health insurance company pays, tooth costs

The essentials in brief:

  • The root canal treatment is cash benefit with restrictions
  • Dentists often offer additional services that are billed privately.
  • As a last resort remains the root tip resection ?? a surgical procedure in which the root tip is separated.

Mikel Wohlschlegel /

When is root canal treatment cash benefit?

Root canal treatment is a cash benefit only with restrictions. The costs are borne if the tooth is classified as worth preserving. The dental treatment guideline states: In principle, the root canals must be able to be prepared and filled up to or close to the root tip. For the posterior posterior teeth (molars), root canal treatment is usually cash benefit if

  • so that a closed row of teeth can be obtained, i.e. that all teeth must be present from the tooth to be treated to the middle of the jaw or that the corresponding gaps have already been restored with dentures (including implants).
  • the treatment prevents the row of teeth from being shortened backwards on one side,
  • existing dentures can be preserved through the treatment.

What to pay yourself?

If a cash benefit is possible, a dentist can also offer private services. Most of all electrophysical-chemical methods for the Cleaning and disinfection of the channels and the Electrometric length determination of the channels. This is billed according to the private fee schedule for dentists (GOZ), the length determination in one session a maximum of twice per channel. According to the corresponding GOZ numbers 2400 and 2420, this costs between nine and almost 14 euros per channel, depending on the increase factor. The use of a surgical microscope is not a benefit of the statutory health insurance and must be paid for privately by the patient.

The health insurance company pays a new root canal treatment?

According to the guideline, renewed root canal filling on a tooth that has already been treated is only indicated as cash benefit for non-marginal or leaky root canal fillings that can be seen in the X-ray image, and only then if so

  • a closed row of teeth can be obtained,
  • a one-sided free end situation is avoided,
  • the maintenance of functional dentures becomes possible.

If the x-ray shows a pathological change at the root tip, the teeth are filled according to the guidelines "primarily surgical measures are indicated", is more of a root canal resection.

More on the subject:

Revision of root canal treatment; Scientific opinion of the German Society for Dental, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery


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Christina Cherry
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