Average Cost of Wisdom Teeth Removal

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Almost everyone knows that a person’s first set of teeth will be replaced with permanent adult teeth. By the time an individual reaches his or her teen years, all of those first baby teeth will be gone. Sometimes, however, a third set of molars will begin to develop at the location where these adult teeth end on each upper and lower side of the mouth. This usually occurs between the ages of 17 and 25 years. These extra teeth (up to four of them) are called wisdom teeth.

In a relatively small number of cases, these extra wisdom teeth will present no problems and can actually be beneficial, but in the majority of instances, they are instead regarded as a nuisance. Wisdom teeth can come in at an awkward angle and thus force adjoining normal teeth into a crooked position. They can also become pushed up against a regular tooth and promote bacterial decay. In the worst cases, which are also unfortunately very common, wisdom teeth fail to grow all the way out from the jawbone and become trapped either partially or completely beneath the gum line. When this occurs, wisdom teeth are said to be impacted. In such settings, the surrounding areas can become very prone to bacterial invasion. Cysts capable of damaging the jawbone, surrounding tissue, and even the roots of nearby teeth can develop.

Since wisdom teeth typically carry the potential to cause more harm than good, your dentist will almost always recommend that they be removed, or extracted. He or she will generally refer you to an oral or maxillofacial surgeon to perform this procedure. So how much is this going to cost?

If you happen to have an excellent dental insurance plan, it may cost next to nothing. On the other hand, if you have no insurance or a plan that does not cover this type of work, it will depend on just how involved the procedure is. For example, extraction of a fully-erupted wisdom tooth will be less expensive than a job that requires digging it out from underneath the gum. In any case, be prepared to shell out a significant amount of cash. Typical costs are as follows:

  1. If the teeth are fully erupted without crooked roots presenting additional problems, it will run around $75-$200 per tooth. This includes a local anesthetic.
  2. If the teeth are impacted (oftentimes the case), this adds a bit more. You’re now looking at $350-$600 per tooth plus another $250-$500 for a general anesthetic (the kind that puts you to sleep, or makes you say goofy things, or both). Sometimes, such a surgeon will offer a “bulk rate” for all four wisdom teeth , and this will depend on where you live. In low-cost areas, this could be about $1000-$1650, and in expensive locations; $2500-$3000, especially if the job is complex. With that established, the average cost of such a “package deal” in middle class areas is about $1500-$2300.
  3. In addition, there can be extra costs such as the initial consultation and X-rays. If you’re lucky, this will be included in the prices listed above, but if this isn’t the case, this can add another $250-$300 to that balance.

How to Save Your Cost

As one can plainly see by reading these figures, removal of wisdom teeth is not a cheap proposition. Unless you happen to be in a position of wealth, a good dental insurance plan is highly recommended. Since most extractions of this nature are performed with the intent of good oral health as opposed to simply being labeled as a cosmetic procedure, a decent insurance company will acknowledge this and thus cover most of the associated expenses.

Patients with low incomes and/or those who cannot afford such insurance may also wish to look into dental schools for discounted rates. A website called Dentalsite.com provides locations. Individual state dental societies may also provide financial assistance.

Additional Information on Savings

The removal of wisdom teeth can be very expensive as the procedure is time consuming and requires some specialists to do the task. There can be a dental surgeon, anaesthesiologist and possibly a nurse involved in the operation. Despite the pricey cost, you can still make a few savings as long as you know what you really want. Do not shop for the price alone and chose a cheap doctor who uses outdated method. Make sure that the surgeon is skilled and experienced.

There are other doctors who will give discounts to the wisdom teeth cost to selected patients. But not all specialists are the same. There are others who cater exclusively to wealthy patients. However, a competent doctor who can provide quality service can be very affordable. The procedures involved vary as there are others who are not good and some who are as good as those that cost much. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct research online to find the best surgeon who can provide you with all your needs at prices that your pocket can allow. Read some of the reviews and ratings made by patients then investigate for qualifications. This task can be time consuming but it will be worth an investment in the end.

Learn More About the Surgery

Before making up your mind to have your wisdom tooth removed and know how much it will cost, consider understanding how the procedure is exactly done. The surgery can be done in the doctor’s office but if there is a higher risk of complications, a hospital would be necessary. You will be injected with anaesthetic to make your jaw numb during the operation. For this reason, you can’t eat nor drink on the day of the operation. The doctor will open the gums and remove the bone that is covering it. The process can be painful afterwards but your doctor will provide medications to ease the pain. Stitches will be necessary in which it can either be self dissolving or need to remove. Wisdom tooth removal is necessary to prevent the pain in your jaw from coming back every now and then as your teeth move their way into the gums.

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