If you're anything like the average person, trips to the dentist might be at the top of your list of fears. Especially when it comes to procedures like tooth extraction.
The fear of the extraction itself is one thing, but there’s also the fear of the bill after the procedure is over. But don’t worry; in 2023, advancements in technology and techniques have made these procedures safe and painless and have made dental extraction costs more affordable than ever before.
If you’re getting ready for a procedure like this but aren’t sure what to expect, this article will cover the things you need to know. We'll cover everything about the different types of extractions and how much they cost, and we will put your mind at ease about the entire process.
So, if you're feeling anxious about an upcoming tooth extraction, keep reading!
When Do You Need A Tooth Extraction?
While nobody wants to hear that they need a tooth extracted, there are several main reasons why a tooth may need to be removed. Here are some of the most common reasons:
- Severe decay: If a tooth has extensive decay that cannot be repaired with a filling or crown, the tooth may need to be extracted to prevent further damage to surrounding teeth.
- Impacted teeth: When a tooth fails to emerge or emerge fully, it can cause pain, infection, or damage to surrounding teeth. In these cases, a surgical extraction may be necessary.
- Crowding: In some cases, teeth may need to be removed to make room for orthodontic treatment, like braces, to align the remaining teeth properly.
- Gum disease: Advanced gum disease can cause teeth to loosen, making them unstable and prone to falling out. In some cases, extraction may be the best option to prevent further damage to surrounding teeth and gums.
- Trauma: If a tooth is damaged beyond repair due to injury or trauma, extraction may be necessary to prevent infection and further complications.
It's important to note that a tooth extraction should always be performed by a qualified dental professional. Attempting to extract a tooth at home or by an untrained individual can lead to further damage or infection. Even though it may seem simple, always leave it in the hands of a professional.
Is It Cheaper To Get A Tooth Pulled Or Filled?
If you have a tooth that is decayed or damaged, you may be wondering if it's cheaper to get the tooth pulled or filled. The answer to this question depends on a few factors.
In general, getting a filling is usually less expensive than getting a tooth extraction.
A filling involves removing the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth and filling the cavity with a material such as composite resin, amalgam, or porcelain. The cost of a filling varies depending on the type of material used, the size and location of the cavity, and the dentist's fees.
On the other hand, a tooth extraction involves removing the entire tooth, including the root. The tooth extraction cost can vary depending on the type of extraction, as well as the dentist's fees and location.
While a filling is typically less expensive than a tooth extraction, in some cases, a tooth may be too damaged or decayed to be effectively treated with a filling. In these instances, a tooth extraction is necessary to prevent further damage or infection.
What Is the Average Cost For Tooth Extractions?
Tooth extraction cost can vary depending on a number of factors, including the location of the tooth, the complexity of the extraction, and the dentist performing the procedure.
There are several common types of extractions, and they each have different costs associated with them.
A simple extraction is typically performed on a tooth that has already fully emerged from the gums and has a single root. This type of extraction is usually straightforward and can often be completed in just a few minutes.
Local anesthesia is typically used to numb the area around the tooth before the procedure, and the tooth is carefully loosened and removed with forceps.
The average price for tooth extraction in 2023 for these cases ranges from $75 to $300.
A surgical extraction is more complex and is typically performed on a tooth that has not fully emerged or has multiple roots. This type of extraction may also be necessary if the tooth is impacted or has a particularly challenging shape or location.
Surgical extractions may require general anesthesia or sedation to ensure patient comfort and safety. The tooth may need to be sectioned or removed in pieces to ensure a successful procedure.
The average surgical tooth extraction cost in 2023 ranges from $225 to $600.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that typically emerge in the late teenage years or early twenties. Many people do not have enough room in their mouths to accommodate these teeth, leading to pain, infection, and other complications.
Wisdom tooth extraction is a common dental procedure that involves removing one or more wisdom teeth.
Wisdom tooth extraction is usually considered a type of surgical extraction due to the location and complexity of the procedure. The wisdom tooth extraction price can vary depending on the number of teeth being removed, the type of anesthesia used, and the individual dentist's fees.
In 2023, the average cost of wisdom tooth extraction ranges from $225 to $600 per tooth.
So, a tooth extraction cost without insurance is going to be about $200.
Does Insurance Cover Tooth Extractions?
It's important to note that a part, or all, of the tooth extraction cost, may be covered by dental insurance, depending on the individual plan. Before scheduling the procedure, it's recommended to check with your insurance provider to determine your coverage and any out-of-pocket costs.
If you do not have dental insurance, some dentists may offer financing options or payment plans to make the procedure more affordable. Additionally, some dental schools or community health clinics may offer discounted or free dental services to those in need.
Other Costs Associated With A Tooth Extraction
Although tooth extraction is a relatively straightforward process, there can be other costs associated with it, depending on the case. For example, before the extraction, your dentist may need to perform some diagnostic tests to determine the best course of treatment.
It’s important to be aware of the potential other costs so that you can budget accordingly. Again, some dental insurance plans may cover part or all of the cost of these additional procedures, so it's important to check with your provider before scheduling your appointment.
Before scheduling a tooth extraction, it's important to have a consultation with your dentist to discuss the best course of treatment for your specific needs.
During this consultation, your dentist will perform a comprehensive examination, perform some diagnostic tests, and discuss your medical history as well as any medications you may be taking.
This consultation is important to ensure that you are a good candidate for a tooth extraction and to determine the most appropriate type of extraction for you. Your dentist may recommend a simple extraction if the tooth is fully visible and easy to remove or a surgical extraction if the tooth is impacted or otherwise difficult to remove.
Additionally, during the consultation, your dentist will discuss the tooth extraction cost as well as any associated costs, such as diagnostic tests, pain medication, or follow-up appointments. This is a good time to ask any questions you may have and to discuss any concerns you may have about the procedure or the cost.
The cost of the consultation itself can vary depending on your location and the specific dentist, but on average can range from $50 to $200.
X-rays or other diagnostic tests are often necessary before a tooth extraction to help your dentist determine the best course of treatment. The cost of these tests can vary depending on the specific tests required, but on average, can range from $25 to $250.
Your dentist may recommend a panoramic X-ray to get a comprehensive view of all of your teeth and their roots, or a periapical X-ray to focus on a specific tooth or area of concern. In some cases, a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan may be necessary for more detailed images.
Depending on the type of tooth extraction you are undergoing and your personal preferences, your dentist may recommend a type of anesthesia. The cost of anesthesia can vary widely depending on which type is used and the length of the procedure.
It's important to note that while general anesthesia may seem like the best option for avoiding pain and anxiety during the procedure, it does come with risks and is typically reserved for more complex cases.
Your dentist will discuss the pros and cons of each anesthesia option with you and help you make an informed decision based on your individual needs and preferences.
There are three types of anesthesia, they all affect the body differently, and they all have different costs.
- Local anesthesia: This numbs only the area around the tooth being extracted, and is the least expensive option. It typically costs between $90 to $150 per tooth.
- Sedation: This can help you relax during the procedure, and it is the mid-priced option. It can range from $150 to $500, depending on the type of sedation used and the length of the procedure.
- General anesthesia: This puts you to sleep for the duration of the procedure, and is the most expensive option. It can cost between $500 to $1,500 or more, depending on the length of the procedure and the expertise of the anesthesiologist.
After a tooth extraction, your dentist may prescribe medication to manage pain and prevent infection. The cost of these medications can vary depending on the type of medication prescribed, the length of the prescription, and your insurance coverage.
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen are typically recommended for the first few days after a simple extraction and can cost between $5 to $15 per bottle.
Prescription pain medications, such as opioids, may be prescribed for more complex extractions and can cost between $10 to $50 or more depending on the type and length of the prescription.
Antibiotics may also be prescribed to prevent infection after the procedure and can cost between $10 to $50 or more depending on the type and length of the prescription.
After a tooth extraction, your dentist will typically schedule a follow-up appointment to ensure that your mouth is healing properly and to remove any stitches if necessary. The cost of this appointment can vary depending on the dentist and the extent of the procedure.
For a simple extraction, the follow-up appointment is usually included in the initial cost of the extraction.
However, for a more complex extraction, you may be required to pay an additional fee for the follow-up appointment. These fees can range from $50 to $200 or more, depending on the dentist and the services provided.
What Affects Tooth Extraction Price The Most?
When it comes to the cost of a tooth extraction, there are several factors that can affect the final price. The type of extraction and the anesthesia used are the two most important factors that affect the tooth extraction cost.
Two other factors also have a big impact on the overall cost.
One factor that can affect the cost is the location of the tooth being extracted. Teeth located in the back of the mouth may be more difficult to access and require more time and effort to extract. For example, wisdom and molar extraction costs are typically higher than front teeth.
Another factor is the condition of the tooth being extracted. Teeth that are severely decayed or damaged may require additional steps to be taken during the extraction process, such as breaking the tooth into pieces before it can be removed. This can add to the cost of the procedure.
Other Ways To Pay For Treatment
If you're concerned about your tooth extraction cost and you don’t have adequate insurance coverage, don’t worry because there are several options available to help make these services more affordable.
- Payment Plans: Some dental offices may offer payment plans to help patients pay for treatments over time. These plans may require a down payment or may charge interest, so be sure to ask about the terms and conditions.
- Dental Savings Plans: Dental savings plans are similar to insurance plans, but they typically offer lower premiums and no deductibles. Members pay an annual fee to receive discounted rates on dental treatments.
- Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs): These accounts allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for medical and dental expenses. Check with your employer to see if they offer these accounts and how to enroll.
- Government Assistance Programs: Some state and local government programs offer assistance with dental care for low-income individuals and families. Check with your local health department or social services agency to see what programs are available in your area.
By exploring these options, you may be able to find a way to make dental treatments, including tooth extractions, more affordable and accessible. Don't let cost be a barrier to maintaining your oral health.
The Cheapest Ways To Get A Tooth Extraction
On top of finding a different way to pay for your treatment, there are a few great alternatives when it comes to finding the cheapest tooth extraction cost.
While these options may not provide the same level of convenience as a private practice, they offer affordable solutions for those in need of dental care, including tooth extractions.
By exploring these choices, you can find access to the dental care that you need without the added financial burden.
Community Health Clinics
Community health clinics offer affordable dental services to those who cannot afford private dental care. These clinics are staffed by licensed dental professionals and often provide a wide range of services, including tooth extractions.
Fees at community health clinics are usually based on a sliding scale, with fees adjusted based on income. So cost is usually never a factor at these clinics.
Dental schools are another option for affordable dental care. Dental schools offer services at a reduced cost, as they are training new dentists who are supervised by licensed dental professionals.
While the services may take longer than a private practice, dental schools provide a cost-effective option for those in need of tooth extractions, and rest assured, the service is still top quality.
How Long Does A Tooth Extraction Take?
If you're getting ready for a tooth extraction, you might be wondering how long the procedure will take. Dentists can be intimidating enough, and you need to be able to prepare if you are going to be in the chair for a long time.
The good news is, most tooth extraction durations are short.
Simple extractions typically take only a few minutes to complete. After numbing the area with a local anesthetic, the dentist will use forceps to gently loosen and remove the tooth from its socket.
Surgical extractions, on the other hand, are more complex and can take longer. The dentist may need to make incisions in the gums and remove bone tissue to access the tooth. Depending on the complexity of the extraction and the number of teeth being removed, the procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2-3 hours.
Wisdom tooth extractions are also considered surgical extractions and can take longer than simple extractions. Depending on the number of wisdom teeth being removed and their location, the procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2-3 hours.
How Much Does A Tooth Extraction Hurt?
Tooth extraction pain is a common concern among patients. While some discomfort is normal during and after the procedure, the level of pain experienced is typically quite low.
During the extraction, your dentist or oral surgeon will administer local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth. You may feel some pressure or a slight ‘bite’ that lasts about a second during the procedure, but other than this, you should not feel any pain.
After the procedure, you may experience some pain and swelling in the area for several days. Applying ice to the affected area and avoiding hard or crunchy foods can also help reduce swelling and discomfort.
If you experience severe or prolonged pain after the extraction, you should contact your dentist right away as this could be a sign of a complication such as a dry socket.
Now you can see that tooth extractions are common dental procedures, and aren’t to be feared. There are several main reasons they are necessary including severe decay, impacted teeth, crowding, gum disease, and trauma.
Tooth extraction costs can vary depending on the type of extraction, location of the tooth, complexity of the procedure, and the dentist performing the procedure.
Simple extractions are usually less expensive than surgical extractions, so catching a tooth that needs extraction early is important. The type of anesthesia used is another big factor in the total cost of the extraction, so be sure to take that into consideration.
If you need cheaper treatment, check out some dental schools or community health clinics that may offer discounted or free dental services to those in need.
Advancements in technology and techniques have made tooth extractions safer, faster, and more affordable than ever before.
So, if you're feeling anxious about an upcoming tooth extraction, don’t worry. You are in good hands with a qualified dental professional.