Ballpark Estimate: $150 to $300 per tooth
Words Of Wisdom
Most dentists don’t pull any punches when it comes to your dental health. Therefore, if yours say that you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, you’ll want to take the diagnosis seriously and schedule an appointment to see an oral surgeon.
You probably don’t think about your wisdom teeth when they aren’t bothering you, but when they grow in incorrectly or become irritated, it can be hard to think about anything else.
Timing Is Everything
Wisdom teeth are the final set of three sets of molars that most people get sometime in their late teen years or even 20s. When the alignment of your wisdom teeth is off, perhaps growing at an angle, too crowded in your mouth, or else not coming all of the way through the gum, they can cause more harm than good.
Some of the problems that misaligned wisdom teeth can cause include damage to your other teeth, nerves or jaw, trapping plaque and debris, or allowing bacteria to enter around the wisdom tooth and cause an infection.
In some cases if your dentist believes that your wisdom teeth aren’t growing in correctly, he may suggest having them removed even before they become a problem. This can make sense because the earlier you have your wisdom teeth removed, the easier the process may be and the quicker the recovery time.
Wisdom teeth removal is a surgical procedure and as such, while your dentist may be able to handle the job, you may prefer to be in the hands of a skilled oral surgeon. What’s involved in the wisdom teeth removal will depend on the position of your wisdom teeth and exactly what needs to be done, since your personal circumstances can affect the cost. It’s usually easier to remove a wisdom tooth that has fully matured rather than one that’s embedded underneath the gums. In most cases, the surgeon will do an exam to determine what’s involved and to give you a cost estimate before you undergo the procedure. This initial exam, along with x-rays, may be a separate cost in addition to the wisdom teeth removal, so always find this out up front. Some people need to have all four wisdom teeth removed, while others may not need them done all at once.
In addition to the costs of having your wisdom teeth removed themselves, you’ll also need to factor in what’s involved on the anesthesia front. Depending on your situation, you may need local anesthesia, sedation or general anesthesia.
What to Expect
When you get your wisdom teeth pulled, you’ll need to plan ahead for the recovery process. This can take up to a week, depending on what the extraction process involves. If your wisdom teeth are impacted and have to be removed from your gums, you’ll also probably need stitches to close up the gap. Some stitches will dissolve on their own, while others may need to be taken out after the healing process is done.
Following the wisdom teeth extraction, you will probably experience some dramatic swelling in your face, especially around the cheeks. This will resolve on its own over time but using an ice pack can help to ease some of the soreness and make it look better. Some people will be able to manage the discomfort that accompanies the procedure with over-the-counter pain relievers. In many cases, a stronger prescription pain reliever may also be needed for the first day or two.
Ideally, your wisdom tooth removal will be trouble-free and before you know it, the procedure will be a distant memory. However, occasionally you may experience complications from your wisdom tooth removal. One of most common problems is to have something called “dry socket.” This occurs when your wisdom tooth’s socket doesn’t heal properly and becomes infected. The risk of having this problem is much more likely with lower wisdom tooth extraction rather than with upper. If you experience increasing discomfort or pain during the healing process, you should always check with your dentist because a dry socket needs to be treated.
Another problem can be paresthesia–damage that occurs to the nerves during the wisdom teeth extraction. This is more common in older people than teens and young adults, which is why some dentists recommend removing troublesome wisdom teeth when patients are still young.
How to Find an Oral Surgeon
Your dentist will likely refer you to a good oral surgeon practicing in your area. But if you prefer to shop around and find out your options, you can look in your yellow pages for oral surgeon listings, ask friends and colleagues for recommendations or look at some of the many dental resources you can find online that offer searchable directories that make it easy to find local specialists. These include 1800Dentist and HealthGrades. You can visit the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons to browse the listing of oral surgeons in your area. You can also compare prices online through Doctoroogle.
Cost for Wisdom Teeth Removal
When it comes to undergoing serious procedure like wisdom teeth removal, you certainly don’t want to shop based on price alone. You’ll also want to make sure you select an oral surgeon who brings real expertise to the job, even if this means that you’ll end up paying a little more.
When comparing wisdom teeth removal prices, you’ll need to find out what’s included in the cost. Some oral surgeons may have the initial consultation, imaging and anesthesia figured in, while others may add this separately.
Here are some wisdom tooth removal costs to help you to plan ahead:
- The initial doctor visit can cost between $100 and $500, often including imaging.
- The anesthesia price starts at about $50 and can go up to $500 or more.
- The wisdom tooth removal price itself per tooth can be from $100 to $500. On the low end of the scale, this will usually be a very simple wisdom tooth extraction that doesn’t require surgery. If the procedure is more involved, though, the price will reflect that.
So you can expect it to cost between $100 and $500 for each wisdom tooth removed, plus any extras that your situation requires.
If you have dental or health insurance, some plans will cover a portion of your wisdom teeth removal cost. Some insurance policies will pay for all four wisdom teeth being removed but will not pay for a single wisdom tooth extraction. Therefore, you’ll want to give your insurance information to your dentist or oral surgeon and have the office check on your policy to find out what type of benefits you have to help offset the price of wisdom tooth removal.