Dental health is important for not only appearance, but your overall well-being. Extraction of a wisdom tooth is a common but often painful ordeal. It can be expensive, too. So what exactly does the removal of wisdom teeth cost? Here are some basic guidelines, along with ways to help ease the budget burden.
Extraction of Wisdom Teeth Cost Per Tooth
10 million wisdom teeth are pulled each year, totaling $11 billion in costs for consumers. The cost broken down by patient, however, can be minimal. Depending on how many teeth you need removed at a time, it can be an in-office procedure done by your dentist for as little as $200. This cost usually includes localized anesthetic and any follow-up care. A hard-to-reach (or “impacted”) tooth can cost as much as $500, and having more than one tooth done can dramatically raise prices.
The extractions of multiple wisdom teeth cost more, usually because of the process involved. Having all four teeth taken out will require more than just a little surface numbing; most of the time, something this involved will require an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in a surgical center setting. You may be given twilight sleep, IV drip, or enough anesthetic to be fully asleep. The high end of all four teeth being removed with maximum sedation can cost as much as $1400 or more.
You’ll probably not be able to go to work right away after the procedure, although experiences differ per person. If you might be taking time off of work, think about how this may impact your budget. If you can schedule the procedure over a holiday weekend or when you have paid time off, the cost for having work done will be less.
Saving Money on Wisdom Teeth Cost
Problems with your wisdom teeth are important to correct, but not all adults will have to have this procedure done. Most signs and symptoms of pain, infection, or crowding can be detected at a young age. Teens and young adults should be working with their dentist to identify problems so that removal can be done when the roots of the teeth aren’t fully developed and the tooth is easier to extract. An earlier extraction can be less painful and require less sedation; the cost, therefore can be cheaper.
Working with your health and dental insurance to make sure your visit is covered is also important. Be aware of your plan requirements to get the best value for your premiums. Some dental insurers only cover wisdom teeth removal cost if it’s done one year or more after you get a new policy. Others will only cover the most basic of sedation (localized but not full IV.) Know what your responsibility is before you schedule your procedure so that you know how much of your extraction may not be covered.
After you’ve figured out your personal cost for the dental work, speak with the billing office of your dentist or surgical center to work out payment arrangements. You can get a very generous offer of prepaid discounts from many clinics. Just ask! Others will gladly give a percentage off if you can pay with cash versus charging on a credit card or making payment arrangements. Inquire about what they can do to help bring the bill down. You might get financing options available in limited situations, as well.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction Coupons and Sales
If you thought it wasn’t possible to get a coupon for wisdom teeth extraction – think again! In today’s highly competitive dental landscape, many new dentists are working hard to get the word out about their practice with spectacular savings offers. A quick search on Groupon shows several wisdom teeth extraction deals, many as low as $165 per tooth – including x-rays and follow-up care. You can also find specials on dental extractions for times when the offices may not have as many customers. Ask your office when their slow season is, and see if you can swing a deal!
How Many Teeth Should You Extract?
While you may only have one or two teeth that are troubling you at the time of your surgery, it may be a good idea to talk about removing all wisdom teeth with your dentist. If you are prone to infection, or x-rays show that you will have trouble with your teeth in the future, it may be a good idea to have them all done. While there is a price per tooth for extraction, some services are a flat rate for any number of teeth. (These include anesthesia and facility fees.) Paying these fees just one time is more affordable that coming back for multiple extractions. You’ll cut down on the total number of recovery days. This will save money in the long run.
Ultimately, the final removal of wisdom teeth cost will depend on a variety of factors. There are some you can influence by shopping around and asking for deals. Others, such as the kind of work done or the number of teeth pulled, could depend on your dentists’ professional opinion. If you don’t feel comfortable with the course of action suggested, or you think you are being pressured into getting work done that you don’t need, seek a second (or even third) opinion.