How Much Does Wisdom Tooth Extraction Cost Without Insurance?

wisdom tooth extraction cost without insurance
Image source: Consumer guide to dentistry

At some point in your life, you will have to have your wisdom teeth extracted. This could often be as a result of your mouth being too small to accommodate it, resulting in excruciating pain thereafter. Having established this, the next point of concern is the cost of wisdom tooth extraction, especially if you don’t have insurance. 

Wisdom teeth can cause complications by:

  • Causing other teeth to crowd or become crooked
  • Causing damage to neighboring teeth
  • Developing cysts in the mouth, which can cause jaw damage
  • Inflammation and cavity formation

But just because wisdom teeth extraction is widespread doesn’t mean it’s cheap. Wisdom tooth extraction fees can quickly mount up, especially if your teeth are impacted.

How Much Does Wisdom Tooth Extraction Cost Without Insurance?

Undergoing wisdom tooth extraction without insurance can cost quite a lot. The average cost of wisdom tooth extraction without insurance varies depending on the patient’s specific condition. It is broken down as follows:

  • Simple extraction costs $75-$200 per tooth, or $300-$1000 for all four teeth.
  • Impacted extraction costs $225-600 per tooth, or a total of $1000-$3000 for all four teeth.
  • Additional charges (panoramic x-ray of teeth, exam fees, sedation) range from $50 to $900.

It’s worth noting that these extra expenses vary, and some dentists include them in the overall cost. Furthermore, many dentists or oral surgeons provide a discount (or “package deal”) for having all four teeth pulled at the same time. It is advisable to conduct some research in order to locate a dentist who accepts uninsured patients. Check with the dentist or oral surgeon ahead of time to see what is included in the cost.

What Factors Influence the Cost Of Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Your out-of-pocket expenses for wisdom tooth extraction are determined by a variety of factors, including:

#1. The condition of your tooth

Teeth that have fully emerged from the gums are referred to as erupted teeth. Because the dentist or oral surgeon has easy access, they are easier to remove.

Impacted teeth, on the other hand, are partially or totally embedded under the gum or in the jawbone. Your surgeon will not be able to simply numb the area and extract your tooth. Instead, they may need to sedate you before making an incision in your gum tissue to reach the tooth. Removing impacted teeth necessitates additional resources, effort, and talent, all of which add up to a larger cost.

#2. Number of teeth that must be extracted

Extractions are charged per tooth, as previously stated. So, if only one of your wisdom teeth is bothering you, it will cost less than having all four out. Your dentist will tell you which teeth must be extracted and which are elective.

#3. Kind of Anesthesia 

Dentists often use a local anesthetic to numb the region around your bothersome teeth during the operation. Local anesthetic is normally included in the cost of your extraction, so you should not be charged extra for it.

Local anesthetic, however, is not your only option. Sedation can also be achieved using drugs, an IV line, or a mask (such as nitrous oxide, aka laughing gas). Sedation can assist you in being calm and comfortable throughout the operation. It is occasionally used in conjunction with local anesthesia.

If you have numerous impacted wisdom teeth, your dentist may opt to extract them while you’re unconscious. This implies that you will be given IV medicine to keep you unconscious.

#4. Patient’s age

Wisdom tooth extraction costs more as you become older. Because older people’s bones are denser, surgery can be more challenging. And the more complicated the surgery, the more expensive it will be. When you’re a teen or young adult, the bones in your mouth are softer, which makes surgery easier.

#5. Where you live

When compared to other locations, wisdom tooth removal in large cities is frequently more expensive. Consult Delta Dental’s cost estimator to receive a ballpark figure for wisdom tooth extraction in your location.

Will Insurance Cover The Entire Cost of Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Typically, dental insurance does not cover the entire cost of your wisdom tooth extraction. In most circumstances, you will be responsible for a portion of the bill, with the insurance company covering the remainder.

The amount you pay is determined by the specifics of your dental insurance coverage. If your plan contains terms of 100/80/50, for example, your insurance will cover 100% of preventative care, 80% of basic procedures, and 50% of major operations.

Even so, your financial contribution may be in doubt. If your wisdom teeth have erupted, you will most likely be required to pay 20% of the total cost. However, if they are, your insurer will most likely classify the treatment as major. In that instance, you would be responsible for half of the bill.

It should be noted that most dental insurance policies include an annual maximum. So, if you have all four teeth out, the expense may exceed that limit. You would then be accountable for paying 100% of any amount that exceeded your maximum.

Why Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

Wisdom teeth typically appear between the ages of 17 and 24. Typically, a dentist will notice this at a visit and advise on whether or not they need to be extracted.

The main reason people require wisdom teeth extraction is that human jaws have gotten too tiny to accommodate this final set of teeth. They can crowd the neighboring teeth, making them crooked and forcing them out of alignment if they don’t have enough room to grow in properly.

If the teeth can partially erupt through the gums, they can establish a pathway for bacteria, increasing the likelihood of gum disease and oral infections.

When the time comes for the wisdom teeth to be extracted, the dentist will usually send the patient to an oral surgeon.

Is It Really Necessary To Get All Four Teeth Extracted?

Because having not one, but four teeth extracted is a large expenditure, many patients may be tempted to have only one or two teeth extracted or to forego the procedure entirely. Ignoring early signals of discomfort or crowding may appear to be harmless at first, but it can often lead to more serious dental problems later on.

Here are some of the consequences of not having wisdom teeth removed when they should be:

  • Pain in the back of the mouth that is sporadic or chronic
  • Gums that are swollen, painful, or bleeding
  • Chronic sinus problems, such as sinus pain, headaches, pressure, or congestion
  • Teeth shifting
  • Cysts, infections, or cavities that reoccur
  • Stinking breath
  • Earaches or headaches caused by jaw pain
  • Jaw stiffness, discomfort, or edema

Although patients can always choose to keep part of their wisdom teeth, it is recommended to follow the dentist’s recommendations. If one tooth is uncomfortable or sick, they will usually propose extracting all four teeth.

Some dentists propose removing wisdom teeth even if they haven’t emerged (called impacted wisdom teeth). Making an incision in the gum and sometimes shattering the tooth to remove it is required. Dentists frequently believe that removing wisdom teeth at a younger age, even if they are impacted, is preferable. Because the roots and bones are not fully formed, they are easier to remove and recover from. This is the reason some young folks have wisdom teeth pulled before they start creating difficulties.

What Are the Consequences of Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

The notion of having a tooth extracted can be frightening but be assured that the process is normal and the risks are small. The following are some of the things that can be expected:

  • Gum inflammation and pain
  • Jaw opening difficulty
  • 24 hours of light to moderate bleeding
  • Some widespread unease

Patients usually recover in three to four days after having their wisdom teeth out. However, because the wound may not heal for several months, there is still a risk of infection. The dentist will advise you on how to care for your mouth following wisdom teeth removal.

There are potentially more serious hazards associated with wisdom tooth extraction, but they are uncommon. They are as follows:

  • Bacterial infection or stuck food particles
  • A dry socket is a disorder that develops when a blood clot does not form after the removal of an adult tooth, exposing the bone and nerves.
  • Damage to teeth, nerves, jawbone, or nearby sinuses 

Serious complications are exceedingly unlikely. Most people heal quickly and with little difficulty after having their wisdom teeth extracted.

What Should You Expect to Pay Out of Pocket For Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

You will be charged for the total payment if you do not have dental coverage. This price includes the cost of tooth extraction as well as various other charges, such as:

  • The first exam: Before the oral surgeon removes your teeth, you’ll require this checkup as well as a series of X-rays. You should anticipate paying roughly $100 for the test and $100 to $250 for the X-rays.
  • Sedatives range in price from $50 to $200 per hour or even every 15-minute increment. Authority Dental predicts that the initial cost of general anesthesia will be $250, with further 15-minute intervals costing $200 each.
  • Pain relievers: Most dentists recommend alternating between Tylenol and ibuprofen. These are relatively inexpensive medications that you may already have at home. People who are in more discomfort following the extraction may require stronger medication. Your dentist may decide to prescribe an opioid such as generic oxycodone, which retails for around $60. Other types of pain medication may be less expensive. Remember that your dental insurance will not cover prescription prescriptions, although your medical insurance may.
  • Follow-up visits: You must pay for these if they are not included in the cost of your surgery.

Complications That May Incur additional costs

Everyone wants their dental procedures to go as smoothly as possible. While the majority do, difficulties do occur on occasion. If this happens to you, you will require extra therapy, which will be more expensive.

  • Operculectomy: Your dentist will totally remove a piece of gum tissue during this operation. When the wisdom tooth is buried beneath both the gum and the bone, this procedure may be required. It can add $50 to $300 to the cost of your operation.
  • One of the most common problems of wisdom tooth removal is dry sockets. It happens when the blood clot that forms in your socket during surgery dislodges too soon. If you have a dry socket, you will most likely need to see the dentist again. They’ll use a specific zinc oxide paste that costs the provider no more than $50.
  • Infection: If your wisdom teeth are infected, your dentist may recommend medications like amoxicillin or clindamycin. With a GoodRx coupon, generic versions of these medications each cost less than $15.

Should You Think About Getting Supplemental Insurance for Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

If you don’t already have dental insurance, you may be able to purchase a supplemental policy to lower your out-of-pocket expenses. However, you should always read the fine print of any policy you purchase. These plans typically have a waiting period, which means you’d have to buy coverage 6 to 12 months before having your teeth extracted.

How Can You Cut The Expense of Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

The costs of wisdom tooth extraction can be ridiculously expensive. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce the cost:

  • Inquire about a bundle deal for removing all four wisdom teeth at once.
  • If your dentist agrees, use local anesthetic instead of general anesthesia.
  • Locate a dental school in your area. You might be able to get high-quality dental care for a lot less money.
  • Participate in a dental discount program. These services, while not the same as dental insurance, can help you save money. Consult your dentist for suggestions.
  • Choose a dentist who bills you only for the amount of anesthetic needed, rather than the maximum amount permitted by your insurer.

In Conclusion,

Wisdom teeth extraction without insurance can cost a lot of money, with the impacted teeth being more expensive because they are more difficult to remove. However, even though the expense is significant, you should not postpone the surgery if your dentist recommends it. The operation becomes more challenging — and pricey — as you get older. And when the wisdom teeth are extracted, the anxiety linked with the dangers and costs is gone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you wait too long to get wisdom teeth out?

Patients who have gone too long without treatment have reported facial edema, muscle spasms in the jaw, and enlarged lymph nodes. If the wisdom teeth are not removed, they can return even after treatment by a dentist.

How long can an infected wisdom tooth go untreated?

If the infection is not treated, it may take several weeks or months for it to spread to other tissues and create consequences.

Can I live with impacted wisdom teeth?

It is not necessary to extract all impacted wisdom teeth. If the impacted wisdom tooth is creating issues, it will almost certainly need to be extracted; otherwise, it will not.

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