How much would you pay to save a molar tooth 🦷

I’m considering my options for a molar tooth that’s giving me grief. My choices are extraction or root canal which would be paid for privately at the cost of around £800. It’s got me thinking how much is a tooth worth to me. The thing I’m wondering about is will I miss a number 6 molar? Interested to hear from people that have had teeth removed and whether they would have paid extra to have kept the tooth, I hate the thought of paying nearly a grand to have a filling but if I get it extracted it’s gone and there’s no turning back

Is the NHS not an option?


I paid a bit more to have a root canal and porcelain cap done on a first molar quite a few years ago now. The crown fell out at least twice a year and it all failed after about 2 years and had to be removed anyway. I had a £2K implant planned after the removal but I then got an abscess and ended up in hospital for 3 days. At that point I just gave up and have put up with the gap without a second thought.

In my opinion you won’t miss not having the tooth there. The money i suppose is a question only you can answer.


I’m registered with an NHS dentist but they are refusing to do it because it’s a molar and said it would need to be referred. Looking online it seems to be a common thing to do referrals for molar RCT as they claim they don’t have the specialists or equipment to do it although I’m pretty sure it all just comes down to money, in that they don’t get paid enough to perform a RCT on NHS

I don’t know what you mean by “referred”, but I’ve had root canal treatment on a molar on the NHS so they can do it if they want to.

After having problems with three different back teeth for several years I had them extracted last year, and honestly I wish I’d had them out sooner. It’s made a world of difference.

If it’s a back tooth, and nobody would notice a gap, then I’d say you’re better saving yourself the money and just having it out. Of course, if it’s a front tooth that’s different.

As it’s a number 6, it’s two from the back so it won’t be visible (in normal circumstances).

That aside, your dentist is frankly selling you short. I’d consider shopping around. There’s nothing the least bit unusual about a molar needing RCT - I suspect that’s where most RCT is performed. It’s likely that your dentist either just doesn’t want to do it, or isn’t confident doing it.

The referral mentioned will likely be to your local dental hospital. So be it, then.

I was referred recently by my dentist for an extraction which she admitted was beyond her. The job was done expertly at my local dental hospital.


That seems really poor, they should able to treat you fine through normal NHS dentistry. Can you switch dentists maybe?

You’re right there. She did say it was beyond her and not something she would do herself and said I’d have to be referred to a specialist which wouldn’t be covered on the NHS, hence the sum of around £800 but said I could come back for a crown fitting after the RCT.

I’ve had RCT on a molar on the other side of my mouth done by the NHS but that was 20 years ago. So I know they can do them, must be thing with the practice I’m at. I might have to shop around then but that isn’t easy when the practices around here all have waiting lists

I’ve been told the same thing recently though in my case the suggestion was that it would be carried out ‘privately’ by another dentist at that practice though was quoted £4-600 not £800!

Personally, I think it’s just a scam/way for dentists to boost their earnings.

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I’m confused. A qualified dentist is saying a root canal is beyond them?

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Seems weird, doesn’t it, but it reflects in many cases, the relative inexperience of dental practitioners. Mine, for example, is young and effectively just started out having taken over an existing practice.

Others, though, take advantage of a business where cherry-picking has been abused for many years.

The whole market would benefit from review & overhaul, methinks.

Being referred to an NHS dental hospital is a good thing. They’ll do it free of charge, with the most current treatment options, advanced clinicians and up to date equipment.

Being referred for private consultation is going to cost you!

Ask your dentist for clarification. If it is to an NHS dental hospital, I’d jump at the opportunity.

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I wonder if this is corona related? Perhaps they don’t want to do the long and more difficult procedures

Last year I needed a root canal on a back molar. Dentist told me it would be a few visits, expensive and she wasn’t sure it would be successful. So I told her just to pull it out. Much easier and it’s not noticeable

I’m missing three teeth (chewy ones at the back) and the difference is noticeable. I don’t always feel like I’ve chewed my food properly and I’m a slow eater now as a result.

I would personally do everything I could to save the tooth. When I got a root canal my dentist offered me a 0% monthly payment plan as it was tricky.

Edit: Spotted a typo

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Yes, if it’s potentially complex, or in an awkward place (like right at the back of the mouth), dentists do shy away from performing the RCT. I was referred to an Endodontist as they are the specialists. I don’t know if there are any NHS Endodontists. Mine was private and v spendy, unfortunately!

It’s worth bearing in mind that once there’s a gap, the other teeth can move over time - it depends whether that would be an issue for you. I had a brace as a teenager so now my teeth are perfectly aligned I would worry about them moving. Hence I coughed up to have the RCT done by an Endodontist. It won’t definitely happen though.

I would stick a vote in for “have the root canal”.

On the same line of “you don’t know what will happen in the future” - and I’d rather do what I can to keep my mouth full of mouth stones as best I can.

Thanks for all your feedback. I think I’ll go for the RCT, might as well look at increasing my dental cover and going private, as I’m really not happy with the service I’ve received from my local practice. When I asked if they could just remove my tooth when the problem started they refused, saying they wouldn’t take out a tooth that could be saved but to save it would cost me £800… I was scratching my head when I left, trying to figure out what just happened

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So I thought I could save a molar, ended up having it properly removed, before getting an implant. Very expensive but worth it

I am private now for similar reasons. I pay £25 a month and it covers routine work and accidental damage through my contact sport. The only thing I pay in any course of treatment is lab fees. Well worth it when my two crowns would have cost £1000 each!!