How much does a wisdom tooth extraction cost? What impacts the price the most?

Peter March

Written by Peter March DDS, Namrita Harchandani DMD, Matthew Stewart DDS, Henry Hackney DMD, Benjamin Wang DDS, Atom Edenson DMD

It can be hard to avoid crushing fees when you start to feel swelling at the back of your jaw. The removal of a single wisdom tooth might cost you $550.

This is an average price for a fully bony impaction, the most common of cases. But even that might come out to a higher cost if it turns out that there are complications. So what is the total cost of wisdom teeth removal near you?

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Wisdom tooth extraction cost broken down

Partially bony impacted wisdom tooth

Picture by Authority Dental under CC 2.0 license

The state of the wisdom tooth, or “third molar” and its position in the jaw is the most important factor in determining how much the extraction procedure will cost.

WISDOM TEETH TYPEAVERAGE COSTCOST RANGE
Erupted$300$200-$700
Impacted, under soft tissue$350$250-$850
Impacted, partially bony$450$300-$950
Impacted, fully bony$550$350-$1,100

The prices might be higher if you ignore symptoms of a troublesome wisdom tooth. You may even need an emergency dentist appointment to solve the problem as soon as possible.

Associated costs

Laughing gas anesthesia

Picture by Authority Dental under CC 2.0 license

Some of these procedures will be necessary and they will generate additional costs.

PROCEDUREAVERAGE COSTCOST RANGE
Dental exam$100$50-$200
Panoramic X-ray$130$100-$250
Periapical X-ray$35$25-$50
Cone beam CT$330$150-$750
Moderate sedation$250$100-$500
Deep sedation$270$150-$450

Your dentist will make the final decision about which must be performed in your case.

The first fee you will come across is the price for the dental exam. During this appointment the dentist will assess whether your wisdom teeth need to be removed at all. He or she will also determine which type of impaction is relevant.

You should inform the dental professional of any discomfort or pain you are feeling, medication you are taking, and the level of sedation you would like.

The dental exam is the time to ask any questions you may have about the surgery. You will also be informed about what you should and shouldn't do before and after your visit.

You can expect to pay for an X-ray that concentrates on one or two teeth, or on the whole structure of the mouth. Wisdom tooth extraction often involves surgery, and it is vital to know what the internal structures involved look like.

There are different types of dental radiographs, but before an extraction you might have one of the following: a panoramic X-ray, a periapical X-ray, or a cone-beam CT.

You will definitely need some anesthesia when having a tooth extracted. The most common types are: - local anesthetic - included in the price of your procedure, the least invasive form, - nitrous oxide - “laughing gas”, inhaled through a mask, very expensive, - conscious sedation - orally administered before the procedure, also costly, - intravenous sedation - a sedative delivered through a vein throughout the procedure, the cost of which is difficult to determine beforehand, or - general anesthesia - the most expensive type, makes you totally unconscious.

There are several factors that help determine what type of anesthesia will be used. Those include your pain tolerance, how you handle dental surgery, and the level of complexity of the wisdom tooth. The dentist will be making the final decision.

Does insurance cover wisdom tooth removal?

Surgical tooth extraction

Picture by Authority Dental under CC 2.0 license

Wisdom tooth removal without insurance can mean high out-of-pocket costs. Insurance might cover up to 80% of the costs.

Henry Hackney

Henry Hackney, DMD

Almost all dental insurance plans cover third molar removal. If it is determined to be medically necessary (which I could argue it almost always is), simple medical insurance may cover it as well.

You have to remember, though, that insurance policies have annual maximums. This usually means that it won’t cover any more expenses throughout the year. And if you need more than one tooth extracted you will have to drag the process out over several years.

The option we recommend is going with a dental discount plan. Those can be used with insurance after your limit is reached or independently. You have to pay a monthly or yearly fee. In return, you get reductions reaching 10%-60% on all dental procedures.

There are no yearly limits or paperwork that you have to deal with as in the case of insurance. The procedures don’t have to be medically necessary either. Plans cover all types of treatment, including the purely cosmetic kind.

FAQ

The average price for extracting an erupted wisdom tooth in the states is $300. This gives $1,200 for all four. The price may rise considerably if the teeth are in any way impacted, or if you require a deeper form of sedation than a local injection.

The average removal costs from $300 - $550 depending on the state of the wisdom tooth. General anesthesia is often charged in fifteen-minute increments. You may have to add around $250 to your estimate for each quarter of an hour.

Wisdom tooth extractions are often complicated. An erupted one might be removed by a general dentist and that often costs a lot less.

If the tooth is impacted, which is common with this category of teeth, an oral surgeon might have to perform the removal. Such a procedure means a deeper form of sedation, which is charged extra. This drives the price up considerably.

Some dental offices offer to take several teeth out at the same time. This is usually possible if your top and bottom teeth on the same side are both ready for removal.

Such a package deal can help you save on the costs of anesthesia, initial evaluation, X-rays, child and pet care, and the ride home if assisted by someone else. The procedure itself will probably cost as it normally would per tooth.

References

  1. Transcutaneous oxygen monitoring of patients undergoing surgical removal of wisdom teeth - NCBI