Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost 2024 (With & Without Insurance)
Matt Hannan, DDS
Updated: January 13, 2024
Are you worried about the cost of wisdom teeth removal?
Wisdom teeth surgery is considered a major dental procedure and necessary for most 15 to 25-year-olds.
Expect to spend between $200 and $1,100 per tooth!
On top of that, you might have to pay another $100-$300 for anesthesia and antibiotics. Consider dental insurance or discount plans to make wisdom teeth extractions more affordable.Recommended Reading: Wisdom Teeth | The Ultimate Guide
How Much Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost WITH insurance?
Calculating the exact cost of wisdom teeth removal relies on many factors.
First, verify your dental insurance payment terms. For example, 100/80/50 means they will pay 100% for the preventive procedures, 80% for basic procedures and 50% for major procedures.
If your wisdom teeth have erupted, it would be considered a basic procedure, and you’d likely need to pay 20% of the cost (insurance will pay the remaining 80%). However, if they’re impacted, your insurer probably classifies the procedure as a “major,” and you’d be responsible for paying half the bill.
The cost for erupted teeth can range from $100 – $350 a tooth, and the cost for impacted teeth can range from $175 to $550 a tooth.
A dental exam is required to evaluate and diagnose the teeth accurately. Often, dental exams are fully covered along with yearly x-rays. Full mouth x-rays are often covered every 1-3 years, and panoramic x-rays every 3-5 years.
If a CBCT (cone beam connective tissue) image is required, expect to pay $150 and $750 as most insurances will not cover this procedure.
Cone beam CT images are necessary if wisdom teeth are near vital structures. For example, if lower wisdom teeth are near or within the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN), it’s critical to know how invasive the extraction will be.
Proper treatment will prevent damaging the IAN leading to temporary or permanent paresthesia.
In addition, if deep sedation is required, expect to pay $50 to $225 depending on the length and type of anesthesia. Sedation fees are calculated in 15-minute intervals.Recommended Reading: Wisdom Teeth Removal (What’s Involved?)
Dental Insurance Plan Considerations
Most dental insurance plans don’t cover the total cost of tooth extractions and other major procedures.
Instead, you’ll typically pay a portion of the total price, with the insurance plan picking up the rest.
With so many insurance plans available, it’s essential to understand the significant differences between them.Recommended Reading: Sedation Options for Wisdom Teeth Removal (Read this FIRST)
How Much Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost WITHOUT Insurance?
The cost for erupted teeth can range from $200 to $700 a tooth, and the cost for impacted teeth can range from $350 to $1,100 a tooth.
In addition, the dentist may need to perform an exam, take a panoramic x-ray, other x-rays, or even a cone beam CT (3D imaging). Most dental exams cost $50 to $200 for the dentist to thoroughly review your wisdom teeth removal needs.
In addition, panoramic x-rays cost $100 to $250, periapical x-rays cost $25 and $50 and cone beam CTs cost $150 and $750.
If general anesthesia is required, expect to pay $100 to $450 depending on the length and type of anesthesia. Sedation fees are calculated in 15-minute intervals.
Factors that Affect How Much You’ll Pay
- Removing partial or fully impacted wisdom teeth will be more expensive than a surgical extraction. Impacted wisdom teeth are more invasive to remove. In addition, they require more resources, time, and skill, which increases the cost.
Number of Teeth
- Dental extractions are priced per tooth. If only one wisdom tooth is extracted, expect to pay less than having all four removed. From a dentist’s perspective, I recommend removing as many troublesome wisdom teeth at once so you don’t have to return for multiple procedures.
Type of Anesthesia
- During the procedure, dentists typically use local anesthesia to numb the area. Your extraction costs include local anesthesia, so you won’t be charged extra. However, if general anesthesia or IV sedation is required (most patients and clinicians prefer this), expect to pay more for the procedure.
- Dental practices closer to a city or coastline are more expensive for dental treatment. For example, patients living along the California coast expect to pay more for their dental treatment than those in Nevada. In addition, state dental boards review and dictate the cost of services each year.
- Expect to pay more if you’re being treated by a clinician with more experience. They commonly charge more for their services because of their expertise. In addition, some clinicians won’t take any insurance and run a fee-for-service dental practice.
How to Lower the Cost of Wisdom Tooth Removal?
The costs of wisdom tooth removal can be high. However, aside from finding an in-network provider, there are other ways to save on wisdom teeth removal.
- Dental School: Dental students, under expert supervision, offer affordable services. Ideal if you’re near a dental school and not in urgent pain.
- Discount Dental Programs: Some clinics offer these programs for cost reduction. They’re different from insurance but can lower expenses with monthly payments.
- Third-Party Payment Plans: Options like Care Credit let you finance dental procedures. They work like credit cards with a maximum limit and require regular payments. Late payments might incur high penalties.
Potential Complications (Extra Cost)
- Bone Graft: Necessary when wisdom teeth removal leads to significant bone loss. It supports adjacent teeth and is crucial if they become weak.
- Alveoloplasty: This procedure smooths and shapes the bone after tooth extraction, especially important for those with dentures to avoid discomfort from sharp edges.
- Operculectomy: For partially impacted wisdom teeth, additional costs may arise if extensive gum tissue removal is needed, potentially adding $50 to $300 per tooth.
- Dry Socket: A common post-extraction issue where the blood clot dislodges, leaving exposed bone. Prevent it by avoiding smoking and using straws. Treatment for dry socket may cost $50 to $100.
- Infection: If infection occurs, antibiotics are prescribed. An emergency dental visit for this might cost $50 or more.
Best Dental Insurance Plans
Dental plans with no waiting periods are valuable because they allow patients to immediately get coverage for preventive, basic, and major services—and sometimes even orthodontics.
These plans are ideal for patients who cannot purchase insurance due to cost or who need to undergo a major dental procedure.
The best dental plans with no waiting period have low monthly premiums, high annual coverage limits, and a comprehensive network of in-network dentists.
Humana has no waiting periods for four of its seven dental insurance policies. In addition, the choices and benefits offered by these policies are among the best in the industry, including a PPO policy, an HMO policy, and a dental discount policy with some of the lowest premium costs. Humana’s Preventive Value Individual and Dental Loyalty Plus plan provide PPO coverage.
Preventive Value Individual is best for those who need only preventive and basic services, while Dental Loyalty Plus adds major service coverage.
In addition, both plans pay for 100% of preventive services.
Humana’s Dental Value HMO plan has no deductible or annual maximum. Humana also offers a Dental Savings Plus discount plan that costs $6.99 monthly.
This plan provides 20% to 40% discounts when you visit one of the 160,000 in-network dentists. In addition, this plan includes a 20% discount on orthodontics.
UnitedHealthcare is an excellent choice if you want insurance to cover preventive and basic services and don’t want to wait six months to a year for the policy to take effect.
Seven of the provider’s ten dental plans have no waiting period for preventive and basic services. But, unfortunately, most cover major services after a six-month wait.
MetLife is a global insurance provider offering insurance in many lines and has been doing business since 1868.
MetLife requires waiting periods for most of its policies.
The standard plan has a $50 deductible, and annual maximums range from $1,000 to $3,500, depending on the plan. For in-network dentists, the plans cover 100% of preventive care, 50% to 70% of basic services, and 30% to 50% of major services.
Delta Dental is a significant provider of dental services, serving more than 80 million Americans and maintaining a wide range of dental insurance options. By focusing exclusively on providing dental care, Delta Dental can provide its clients lower prices than most competing companies.
Delta Dental offers no waiting periods and a low monthly premium; the HMO plan is named DeltaCare USA.
Copays are listed by procedure and are relatively reasonable; you’ll pay only $20 out of pocket for cleanings and exams. X-rays are free of charge, fillings cost $25 to $120, and root canals cost $240 to $400. There are no deductibles or annual maximums.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
My Experience & Expertise
Understanding the cost of wisdom teeth removal will help alleviate anxiety.
Although the procedure is a significant expense, removing third molars is essential before they become problematic.
Need a second opinion? We can help! Learn more. Knowledge is power when cultivating healthy dental habits. The more informed you are, the better positioned you’ll be to prevent avoidable and potentially costly dental procedures for you and your family. Watch for future blog posts, where we’ll continue sharing important information, product reviews and practical advice!
- Song F. The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of prophylactic removal of wisdom teeth. Health Technol Assess. 2000
- Bernardi L. Best Dental Insurance Plans With No Waiting Period Investopedia, 2022.
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Hannan, also known as “Dr. Advocate,” is a board-certified dentist on a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He attended Baylor University before completing dental school at UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry. He now lives in Arizona with his beautiful wife and 4 kids. Dr. Hannan believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.
Connect with Dr. Hannan!
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