Dental procedures sometimes burn a hole in our pockets. This is because the equipment, instruments and other dental materials are highly specialized.
Getting a tooth removed is a scary procedure for most people who dread needles and blood. The last thing you need at that time is an added worry about the costs.
The cost of extraction of wisdom teeth may vary between $75-$200. But sometimes, surgical extraction might bump the cost to $800 or even more.
So, here is a comprehensive article about wisdom teeth removal cost and why the cost differs.
Which teeth need an extraction?
Your dentist will advise you to get a tooth removed for many reasons.
- If your tooth is severely decayed, beyond the scope of restorative treatment, then your dentist will advise you to get it extracted.
- If the periodontal condition of a particular tooth makes it loose in the socket or gives you a severe gingival disease, you may have to get it removed. (1)
- Teeth associated with recurrent cysts, abscesses, and tumors are extracted.
- Sometimes, the orthodontist advises extraction to make space and resolve a mal-aligned jaw. Most commonly, premolars are extracted to gain space.
- Over- retained primary teeth are those deciduous teeth that do not shed at their expected time. As a result, they hinder the eruption of the corresponding permanent tooth. Such over-retained teeth need removal.
- As a result of a genetic condition, some syndrome or for idiopathic reasons, you may have an extra tooth. This tooth, called a supernumerary tooth has to be removed if it is causing any problems in the arch.
- Wisdom teeth are commonly impacted. They cause space problems and decay of the adjacent tooth. The only treatment of asymptomatic impacted wisdom tooth is extraction.
Wisdom Teeth – An overview
The third molars are called the wisdom teeth. They are the last permanent teeth to erupt in the mouth, at any age between 17-25.
By the time the wisdom teeth erupt, all the space in the arch is taken up by other teeth. This means that there is insufficient space for the third molar.
As a result, it is angulated or tilted. Sometimes it erupts only partially, with the remainder of it being in the bone. Such teeth are called impacted teeth.
The asymptomatic wisdom tooth can give you many problems. It forces its way out by exerting pressure on your gums and other soft tissues.
This gives you pain and discomfort, which may be accompanied by swelling. Sometimes the pain is so severe that you can barely open your mouth or chew from that side. It may also spread to the ear and forehead, often giving you a headache.
Impacted teeth decrease access to that part of the mouth. You will be unable to brush well in the second molar area. Bacteria and food debris accumulate right there and cause decay of the tooth.
So, the impacted tooth can cause problems to your other teeth as well. (2)
Impacted teeth are also commonly associated with dental cysts, jaw tumors, and periodontal problems. (2) This is why it is best to have them extracted, which will give you relief from all these conditions.
Wisdom teeth removal cost
The extraction cost depends on many variables. Most importantly, it depends on the tooth concerned. Other factors include any pre-extraction medications needed, the type of anesthesia used and even the specialty level of the dentist.
A non-surgical extraction procedure is a simple technique. It can be carried out under local anesthesia and with extraction forceps. This will cost you in the range of $75 to $200.
The cost will vary according to the dentist, and the clinic that you are getting it done at. If you require any pre-operative radiographs, you will be charged separately for that.
So, if your wisdom tooth is not impacted, you will be paying less money to have it removed.
Removing a horizontally or vertically impacted wisdom tooth is a complex procedure, often surgical. The cost is significantly higher because it could require general anesthesia in addition to special instruments.
The bone covering the tooth is drilled out first, and the tooth is fragmented into pieces for better removal. All these extra steps need dental expertise. This is why a specialist called an oral and maxillofacial surgeon does the extraction of a wisdom tooth.
After the surgery, sutures are given to you to promote healing. All these factors contribute to the high cost of removal of an impacted tooth.
A surgical extraction procedure can cost you anywhere between $800 to a whopping $4000. Unfortunately, if you have any complications during or after the surgery, you may have to shell out a few more dollars to resolve them.
You can find solace in the fact that most dental insurance plans cover extraction. Even general medical assurance sometimes covers tooth extraction.
Consult your insurance company before you finalize on the extraction. You can also seek the advice of your dentist on this.
Some tips before you go in for an extraction
An extraction is a scary procedure- especially if it is your first. But remember that running away from it is only going to worsen your dental problems.
Keep your dentist updated about your medical history, past surgeries and details about any medications you are on. You may not think it to be relevant, but medical history is significant during a procedure like a tooth removal.
On the day of the extraction, remain well fed before having your tooth removed. Eat the medications prescribed to you by the dentist and have someone accompany you for the procedure.
The dentist will run you through the procedure to calm you down. Once the local anesthesia has acted, it is unlikely that you will feel any pain. Always inform your dentist right away if you feel dizzy, breathless or uncomfortable after the anesthesia is injected.
Once the dentist finishes the extraction, follow the instructions given by your dentist. Stick to soft foods and liquid. Take antibiotics and pain-killers as prescribed and apply ice if you get swelling. The healing of the area varies in each person and may even take upto a few weeks. (3)
Though complications are rare, they include difficulty in mouth opening, nerve injury, hemorrhage and problems of the TMJ. See your dentist immediately if you experience any such symptoms. (4)
Getting a tooth removed is an uncomfortable experience in itself. Don’t add to your woes by worrying about the costs. (5) Always keep in mind that not having it removed could prove more expensive for you in the future.