You feel the first signs of discomfort and try to ignore them. Then there are the first signs of pain even though you take care of your teeth, and as the symptoms get worse putting off a visit to the dentist just isn’t an option anymore. Some people have issues with wisdom teeth in their late teens and early twenties, for others the major issues don’t come until even a full decade later but at some point you’re going to be facing the need to remove them and the wisdom tooth extraction cost can prove to be a pretty daunting number depending on where you are and what types of providers are actually in the area. However, no matter how high that cost may seem, it’s a far better alternative than dealing with impacted molars, shifting teeth, and the other negative health issues that come with not treating the damaging wisdom teeth.
There are four main components which directly help determine what the normal cost of wisdom tooth extraction will be for individual people. Those four determining factors are: location, anesthesia, type of dental service, and degree of difficulty. Depending on these factors, the wisdom tooth extraction cost between two different patients can vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Issue #1: Location. Location plays a huge role in determining how much a dental procedure is going to cost. Ritzy or high income areas will naturally charge much higher prices than smaller towns or cities in cheaper areas of the country. Removing a wisdom tooth in the Midwest will generally cost a lot less than having to do the same in Connecticut. In cases like this the average cost will be hundreds of dollars of difference.
Issue #2: Type of Dental Service. The specific type of dental service also has a major determining factor towards how much wisdom tooth extraction will cost. The most expensive will be private specialists and private practice dentists. Going to them might offer the benefit of expertise and familiarity, but the procedures will also cost more. The most inexpensive option will normally be to check out a local dental school and save on the procedure in exchange for allowing residents to gain more experience performing these procedures. The type of service makes a huge difference in cost, sometimes in the thousands of dollars.
Issue #3: Anesthesia Used. The type of anesthesia used in these dental procedures makes a big difference. Localized anesthesia is pretty standard, but if you end up needing to use IV anesthesia then the cost will often go up several hundred dollars.
Issue #4: Degree of Difficulty. The difficulties between removing one wisdom tooth from one patient as opposed to another can be huge. Because of this what costs one patient only $300 might cost over $1,000 for someone else. The shape and depth of the wisdom teeth roots, any cavities or tooth decay, and a patient’s gag reflex can all make a huge difference in how difficult the procedure is, whether IV anesthesia is needed, and those two factors make a huge difference in how much wisdom tooth extraction costs.
Kandasamy S, Rinchuse DJ, Rinchuse DJ. The wisdom behind third molar extractions. Aust Dent J. 2009; 54:284-292. doi: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.2009.01152.x.