How much does wisdom teeth removal cost without insurance?

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Wisdom teeth removal is common these days to prevent damage to nearby teeth, decrease the risk of inflammation and oral disease, and prevent oral cysts or tumors.   

If your dentist recommends removing your wisdom teeth, you probably want to know how much it’ll cost you, especially if you don’t have insurance.

How Much Does Wisdom Tooth Removal Cost Without Insurance?

Your dentist may recommend wisdom teeth removal if your wisdom teeth are causing you mouth pain, bite problems, jaw damage, sinus issues, and crowding of other teeth.

The cost of a wisdom tooth removal may range from $75 to $600 per tooth, depending on the complexity of the tooth extraction.

How much will the procedure cost if you don’t have insurance?

Simple Extraction

A simple extraction costs between $75 and $200 per tooth. It’s the most common type of tooth extraction, which involves loosening the tooth using a dental tool called an elevator. Your dentist then grabs and removes the tooth using dental forceps.

Surgical Extractions (Soft Tissue Impaction)

Sometimes, wisdom teeth may be impacted or stuck below your gum’s surface.

When the impacted wisdom tooth has grown above your jawbone’s upper border but is still covered by gum tissue, the condition is called soft tissue impaction.  

The cost of getting a surgical extraction for soft tissue impaction ranges from $225 to $600 per tooth.

Surgical Extraction (Bony Impaction)

Bony impaction happens when your wisdom tooth is completely submerged in your jawbone. The surgical extraction for bony wisdom tooth extraction costs $250 to $500 per tooth.

What Are The Other Costs Associated With Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Aside from the cost of the actual extraction procedure, there are other fees that will affect the final price.

  • Exam fees range from $50 to $200
  • Costs of panoramic X-rays range from $100 to $250
  • Sedation fees range from $100 to $500
  • Follow up dental visits following extraction may range from $140 to $288

Will Your Insurance Company Pay For Your Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Most insurance companies cover wisdom tooth removal. How much the procedure costs with insurance will depend on the type of coverage you have and the type of extraction needed.

Insurance benefits for wisdom tooth extractions typically range from 50% to 80% of the oral surgeon’s or dentist’s fees per year.

Cigna, for instance, covers 50% for major procedures, including wisdom tooth extraction per year, but it’s also subject to annual deductible and coinsurance.  

Should You Have All Four Of Your Wisdom Teeth Removed At The Same Time?

The medical basis for removing all four at once will depend on your dentist’s recommendation. Things are a bit different from a financial perspective though. 

Let’s break things down below.

Removing all four wisdom tooth costs between $300 and $2,500 without insurance. In addition, the cost varies even more by the type of extraction.

  • Simple extraction – $300 to $1,000
  • Surgical Extractions (Soft Tissue Impaction) – $800 to $1,800
  • Surgical Extraction (Bony Impaction) – $1,000 to $2,300

While some oral surgeons offer discounts when all four wisdom teeth are removed in a single appointment, having all four of your wisdom teeth removed at the same time can still be costly especially if you don’t have insurance. 

That’s why we don’t recommend getting them all removed at once if you don’t desperately need them gone. 

If only one is painful or has a problem, you may want to ask your dentist to remove only the problematic wisdom tooth. 

Be honest with your dentist about your capacity to pay so they can help you find a way to get an affordable wisdom tooth extraction.

What Are The Other Options To Get Your Wisdom Tooth Removed Affordably?

Not everyone has dental insurance, so wisdom tooth extraction can be expensive. But there are affordable ways to get wisdom tooth extraction without insurance.

In-House Payment Plans

Ask your oral surgeon or dentist if they offer payment plans for your wisdom teeth removal. They may allow you to pay off a part of the costs of your oral surgery over a few months. 

It’s a great option if you don’t have enough cash to pay for the procedure in full upfront.

Dental Savings Plans

Dental saving plans or dental discount plans offer discounts ranging from 10% to 60% off on services from oral surgeons or dentists on the plan’s network. You’ll pay a yearly fee, usually less than $150 for a family.

Dental savings plans have no deductible, which means you don’t have to pay a certain amount first before you can enjoy the discount. It’s a good option if you don’t have dental insurance or if the dental service you need costs more than your coverage.

A dental savings plan may be offered as part of your employee benefits package. Some major insurance companies, such as Humana, also offer this option.

Dental Schools

Dental schools run clinics where dental students provide dental services at reduced prices. Check the Commission on Dental Accreditation for dental schools in your state. 

Your appointment will take longer than usual since licensed dental practitioners will check every step that the dental student performs.

Public Dental Clinics

Look for public dental clinics in your local or state health departments or community health centers in your area that offer low-cost health services, including dental care. 

They charge affordable dental services, such as dental exams, cleanings, X-rays, and surgical tooth extractions.  

Free Dental Clinics

Charities and professional dental organizations offer free dental clinics to people with no insurance, low income, or who can’t afford dental care.

Look for dental professionals in your area who take a few cases for free every year. You may also check if national charities like America’s Dentists Care Foundation’s Mission of Mercy and Dental Lifeline offer free dental care in your area.

Clinical Trials

The National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) sometimes conducts clinical trials.

They look for volunteers who are willing to participate in their research studies. In return, you’ll be provided with limited free or low-cost dental treatment for a certain dental condition that they’re studying.

Visit NIDCR Studies Seeking Patients for any NIDCR clinical trials or ClinicalTrials.gov for a complete list of federally-funded clinical trials that you may qualify for.

Government Dental Coverage

If you belong to a low-income family or are currently unemployed, check if you can get government dental coverage, such as Medicaid, Medicare, or CHIP.

Medicaid offers medical benefits and, in some cases, dental services to eligible individuals. Medicare offers limited dental coverage to people who are at least 65 years old or those with disabilities.

Meanwhile, CHIP helps uninsured kids up to 19 years old. The dental services covered by this program vary between states.  

FHA and HSA

You may also use the money from your flexible spending accounts (FHA), which is an option that many employers offer as part of their employee benefits package. 

Another option is to use the money you have on your health savings account (HSA), which is a government-regulated savings account, for your dental needs.

Small Loans

You can apply for a small loan to cover the costs of your wisdom tooth extraction. It’s an unsecured loan with an annual percentage rate ranging from 3.99% to 35.99% and a repayment term of at least 24 months depending on the loan provider. The amount you can borrow depends on the lender.   

Can You Apply For Insurance Now To Get Your Wisdom Teeth Extraction Covered?

You can apply for insurance and get your wisdom teeth extraction covered. Most insurance policies have annual limits, typically around $1,500 per year, on how much dental costs they’ll cover.

Wisdom teeth are considered a pre-existing condition, which means, there’s a waiting period before a wisdom teeth extraction can be covered.

If you recently enrolled in a dental insurance policy, verify the waiting period first before scheduling your wisdom teeth extraction.

How long you have to wait varies between insurance companies.

In general, insurance companies cover preventive services immediately. But some insurers require new members to wait for 3 to 6 months for basic dental services or 6 months to 1 year for major services to be covered.

Humana, for example, offers dental insurance plans where new members can get coverage in about 5 days only after signing up. Other insurance companies offering dental insurance plans with no waiting period include Spirit Dental and Ameritas.

Is It Worth It To Enroll In Dental Insurance Plans?

Having dental insurance coverage is beneficial if the plan that you have matches your dental needs.

Wisdom teeth extraction can be expensive, especially if you need all four to be taken out. Having insurance coverage will help you with the costs.

But if you only use your insurance coverage for standard or preventive services and its total cost per year is less than the insurance premium you pay for annually, then your insurance plan may not be worth it.

Let’s say you pay $600 annually for your dental insurance premium. If you only spend $400 per year for standard cleaning, exam, and X-rays, then you’re losing $200 in unused dental coverage.  

Conclusion

A wisdom tooth extraction, especially when it’s impacted, costs a lot. But you don’t have to worry about the price tag if you’re insured.

However, if you’re uninsured, there are ways to get wisdom tooth extraction affordably. You just need to know where to look. Some of your options include dental schools, in-house payments, small loans, or clinical trials.

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