How much does it cost to remove wisdom teeth?
A single wisdom tooth removal costs range from $193 to $597, depending on how impacted the tooth is. However, the total wisdom teeth removal cost depends on 3 factors:
- Number of wisdom teeth being removed
- The position of the wisdom teeth in the jaw determines the extent of surgery needed to get the wisdom teeth pulled out
- Will you have wisdom teeth surgery while awake, with sedation, or asleep? There is an additional cost for sedation and sleep dentistry. The higher the level of sedation, the higher the price.
Most commonly, wisdom teeth surgery costs about $2,300; it involves extracting 4 wisdom teeth while asleep.
WARNING: Do NOT Remove your Wisdom Teeth!
You should not remove your wisdom teeth because experts now say not to remove your wisdom teeth:
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence set guidelines to discontinue wisdom teeth removal
- American Public Health Association: Opposes Removal of Wisdom Teeth
- National Institute of Health: Experts NOW Say NOT to Remove your Wisdom Teeth
Unnecessary wisdom teeth removal is only one of many commonly done unneeded dental treatments.
Why do experts now say not to remove your wisdom teeth?
For most people, the benefits of wisdom teeth removal are out-weighted by the costs/ disadvantages of wisdom teeth removal. As such, the expert recommendation is not to remove your wisdom teeth.
The shocking truth is that more than half the people who end up getting their wisdom teeth removed did NOT need to have them pulled in the first place.
IF YOU CONSIDER ALL THE WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL COSTS/ DISADVANTAGES, YOU WILL COME TO THE SAME CONCLUSION:
- wisdom teeth aftermath: pain, swelling, bruising, malaise, limited jaw opening (trismus)
- wisdom teeth recovery: missed days at school/ work
- wisdom teeth complications: dry socket, infection
- other less likely but possible wisdom teeth complications:
- wisdom teeth numbness (paresthesia): numbness in lips, tongue and cheek
- damage to gum, teeth, bone, jaw joint
- sinus exposure and infection
- opioid addiction
CHANCES ARE YOU DO NOT NEED YOUR WISDOM TEETH OUT!!!?
Wouldn't it be great if you could keep your wisdom teeth without any negative health consequences? That would mean your wisdom teeth removal cost would be ZERO! :)
How is it possible that wisdom teeth removal is so commonly done and, in most cases, unnecessary?
Wisdom teeth removal costs about 4 billion dollars yearly in The United States. In Canada, patients spend about four hundred million dollars, $400,000,000, every year on wisdom teeth removal! BIG BUSINESS!
As with all big business, part of that money feeds misinformation, such as myths about wisdom teeth. Look at wisdom teeth dentist websites; almost all promote the removal of wisdom teeth. You have been convinced that you need wisdom teeth pulled by the truth effect on your psychology: lies appear to be true when the lie is repeated over and over again.
Most people who live in Canada or United States will end up with a recommendation to have their wisdom teeth removed. Most people who live in Europe will end up with a recommendation NOT to have their wisdom teeth removed. So all you need to do is to move to Europe, and your wisdom teeth surgery cost will be ZERO! :)
So how do you make sense of all this conflicting information and decide what is right for you?
The 4 most common reasons why wisdom teeth removal is recommended are NOT TRUE:
1) You have wisdom teeth pain, jaw pain, headache, gum pain or ear pain, so you are motivated to get the wisdom teeth out and get rid of the pain
- The TRUTH is that when the wisdom teeth grow ( age 16 to 21), it is often painful, similar to a baby's pain when teething. However, the wisdom teeth pain will disappear once the wisdom teeth stop growing.
2) you are going to have problems with your wisdom teeth in the future
3) early removal is less traumatic
- The TRUTH is that allowing the wisdom teeth to grow in, as much as they will, means:
- a less extensive surgery because they will be closer to the surface
- quicker recovery
- fewer complications
- lower wisdom teeth removal cost
4) wisdom teeth crowding front teeth
When is it ok to leave your wisdom teeth in?
- When your wisdom teeth are FULLY impacted, they are completely covered and sealed off by the gum tissue. Food and bacteria can NOT get to the wisdom teeth; as such, you are extremely unlikely ( about 2%) chance of ever having ANY problems.
- When food and bacteria can get to the wisdom teeth, BUT you keep the wisdom teeth clean.
- You are over 30 and have never had problems with your wisdom teeth.
90% of the problems with wisdom teeth involve food and bacteria getting to the wisdom teeth, which causes cavities and gum/ bone problems.
When should I have my wisdom teeth removed?
- tooth decay a.k.a. dental cavity a.k.a. dental caries a.k.a. A HOLE in your tooth
- infection; especially if you had cellulitis or recurrent pericoronitis
- the wisdom tooth has a cyst
- you are unable to keep the wisdom teeth clean
WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL COST: ALL THE $ DETAILS
The cost of your wisdom teeth surgery depends on 3 factors:
1) Number of wisdom teeth being removed.
2) Extent of surgery needed to get the wisdom tooth pulled out; dentists use a Fee Guide for billing, which specifies the cost for a specific extent of surgery:
Typically the upper wisdom teeth tend to be easy and lower wisdom teeth tend to be medium or hard because the lower jaw bone is 10 times harder than the top jaw bone.
- $193 for Simple
- $276 for Easy: requiring the manipulation of the gum tissue
- $415 for Medium: requires the manipulation of gum AND bone OR sectioning of the tooth
- $554 Hard: requires the manipulation of gum AND Bone AND sectioning of the tooth
- $597 Very Hard: requires the manipulation of gum AND Bone AND/OR sectioning of tooth AND/OR presents unusual difficulties and circumstances
3) Type and length of sedation:
- Most people chose to have sedation to maximize their comfort during the surgery; the more extensive the surgery the more beneficial for you to have a higher level of sedation
- Sedation cost is based on time and type; it is a service in addition to the cost of the extractions; the more profound the sedation, the higher the price:
- No sedation: 0 additional costs, but make sure the dentist is compassionate.
- Laughing Gas: 1 hour: $155, 1.5 hours: $205
- Oral Sedation: 1 hour: $155, 1.5 hours: $205
- Laughing Gas with Oral Sedation: 1 hour: $203, 1.5 hours: $279
- Deep I.V. Sedation: 1 hour: $370, 1.5 hours: $506
- General Anaesthesia: 1 hour: $645, 1.5 hours: $985
To summarize, the most common wisdom teeth surgery cost in TOTAL is around $2,300 because those who get the surgery done usually get all 4 wisdom teeth out and do it asleep.
STEPS YOU Should take to MINIMIZE
ALL the wisdom teeth removal costs!!!
(Minimize financial costs and the burden of recovery and potential complications)
1) Realize that it is likely that you do NOT need your wisdom teeth out, even if you have been told that you need your wisdom teeth removed, even if you have pain. Wisdom teeth removal cost: $0, no recovery, no complications.
2) Find a wisdom tooth dentist that will consider ALL the wisdom teeth removal costs and carefully weigh these costs against the benefits of the surgery.
- A wisdom tooth dentist that overestimates the benefits of wisdom teeth removal and downplays the costs is not acting in your best interests.
- A dentist that is not taking into consideration your overall well-being is not acting in your best interest.
- A dentist that is not taking into consideration your well-being over your lifetime is not acting in your best interests.
- A dentist whose livelihood depends on wisdom teeth removal is biased and is likely to recommend the surgery.
3) At your wisdom teeth consultation, ask the dentist if food can get to your wisdom teeth. If food can NOT get to your wisdom teeth, you should NOT do the surgery.
4)If you decide to have wisdom teeth surgery, wait until the wisdom teeth have come in as far as they will ever come in, this will reduce:
- Your recovery time
- The chances of complications
- Wisdom teeth removal costs
A dentist who tells you that you need your wisdom teeth out ASAP is not acting in your best interests. Wisdom teeth removal “can wait”, unless you have a huge cavity or have a significant infection.
FAQs about WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL COSTS
1) How much does pericoronitis treatment cost?
Pericoronitis is a swelling of the gum tissue covering the wisdom tooth. A dentist who tells you that you need your wisdom tooth out ASAP is not acting in your best interests. In most instances, cleaning the area between the gum and wisdom tooth will allow your body to heal the pericoronitis. If there is an infection, an antibiotic rinse is helpful to support your healing.If the infection extends beyond the wisdom tooth area, antibiotic pills may be needed.
2) Is wisdom teeth removal covered by OHIP?
In rare circumstances and with prior approval by OHIP, OHIP will cover wisdom teeth removal. However, there would need to be a severe medical or dental condition that would necessitate the surgery in a hospital.
3) Does my insurance cover wisdom teeth removal?
Ask your dentist to send a "pre-determination" to your insurance company; it specifies what will be done and how much the wisdom teeth removal will cost. The insurance company will inform you in writing if they cover wisdom teeth removal and how much will be covered. To avoid a huge surprise with your wisdom teeth surgery cost, do not rely on reading the insurance booklet or calling the insurance company to figure this out. Instead, GET IT IN WRITING FROM THE INSURANCE COMPANY DIRECTLY!
In the best interest of your health and well-being,
Dr. Joanne Baldos and Dr. Adam Szymczak