One of the most common types of tooth extractions performed by dentists and oral surgeons is wisdom tooth removal. Some people develop a third set of molars that erupt directly in back of their adult molars. These additional molars are called “wisdom teeth,” and they normally begin to appear in a person’s late teens or early twenties. If you have enough room in your mouth to accommodate this extra set of molars, then chances are that you won’t have any issues. But for people who don’t have enough room in their mouths, wisdom teeth can cause a variety of problems that can only be resolved by extracting the teeth. For those patients, we’ve compiled this article that addresses wisdom tooth removal, including price and more information.
Why Wisdom Tooth Extraction is Necessary
Wisdom teeth seldom come in the way other adult molars do. In fact, most people who have wisdom teeth have at least one that is “impacted,” meaning a tooth that is unable to erupt through the gum tissue because there’s not enough room for the tooth. When this happens, the hole that forms in the gum tissue can collect bacteria that is very hard to remove. That bacteria can make the gums swell and feel painful, and can even lead to gum disease and infection.
But that’s not the only problem that can be caused by wisdom teeth. Even if one of these molars does break completely through the surface of the gum tissue, it often erupts at an angle, pressing and “crowding” other existing molars. This can lead to some very serious dental problems.
What You Should Know about the Extraction Procedure
One thing to keep in mind with regard to wisdom tooth removal is that the procedure is considered to be oral surgery. The specific steps involved vary somewhat depending on whether the teeth are impacted, how far and at what angle the teeth have erupted through the gum surface, and/or how fully the roots of the tooth have developed.
From the patient’s point of view, the important thing to remember is that the molars are typically removed with very little or no pain at all. Most people are given local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the procedure.
Cost of Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Just as the specifics of the procedure will vary from one patient to the next, the cost will vary as well. Generally speaking, most wisdom tooth extractions will range between $75 and $250 per tooth. But impacted teeth usually cost more – often between $200 and $600 per tooth. Those costs don’t include sedation or anesthesia, which can often add an additional few hundred dollars to the procedure.
Keep in mind that these figures are very general. There are several factors that will impact the cost of the procedure, including the following:
- The dentist/oral surgeon – The fee charged by dentists and oral surgeons varies depending on their training and experience. Oral surgeons typically charge higher fees than dentists. Although the services of an oral surgeon may be required in certain instances, dentists that offer wisdom tooth extraction usually have a vast amount of experience in performing the procedure at a relatively reasonable fee.
- Diagnostic costs – Remember that the procedure itself is only a portion of the full cost for having your wisdom teeth removed. You should also include the fee charged for an oral exam to diagnose your condition, as well as screenings such as X-rays.
- Post-procedure costs – In most instances, the dentist or oral surgeon will prescribe pain medication after the surgery is complete. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of other things you may need during your recovery, such as gauze, ice packs, and/or heating pads, for example.
While there’s no doubt that having your wisdom teeth removed is a relatively costly procedure, it’s a much better option than choosing to not have the teeth removed. If your dentist recommends that you have your wisdom teeth removed because it’s obvious that they will cause problems, heed that advice. If you don’t, it’s entirely probable that you’ll end up with dental issues that will be much more expensive to resolve than the cost of extracting your wisdom teeth. Also keep in mind that dental insurance will often pay for at least a portion of the costs, and most dentists/oral surgeons are happy to work out a payment plan that will make it easier for their patients to pay for the procedure.
To learn more about wisdom tooth removal price and other related information, schedule an appointment with your dentist today. Remember that not everyone who gets wisdom teeth will need to have them removed. But for those who do, the extraction process will leave them in much better oral health and will help to ensure that they continue to enjoy the benefits of healthy teeth and gums for years to come.