One of the most common questions patients ask is, “How much does wisdom teeth removal cost?” Before answering this question, it’s essential to understand what wisdom teeth are and why they’re removed.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth, or your third set of molars, are the last four teeth to come through, usually when a person is in their late teens or early twenties. Often there is insufficient room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to form correctly. As a result, common problems include wisdom teeth coming in sideways, only partially emerging, or getting trapped between the gum and bone as they try to grow through.
If your wisdom teeth are causing pain or impacting other teeth, your dentist will likely recommend extraction. More often than not, leaving them alone tends to cause long-lasting and costly dental problems, including infections, cysts, and in severe cases, damaged bones. Regular monitoring and X-rays can also help your dentist determine if your wisdom teeth will likely cause problems, even before they erupt.
So now you know what they are and why they’re removed, let’s get into wisdom teeth removal cost.
Why wisdom teeth removal cost varies
You only have to do a quick Google search to notice the vast differences in wisdom teeth removal costs. If you type in something like “How much does wisdom teeth removal cost?” you see a wide variety in pricing.
Finder.com.au, for instance, states that you should allow between $200 to $400 for a basic wisdom tooth extraction. While Smilecom.au (which itself cites the 2017 National Dental Fees survey as its guide) states that patients should allow anything between $500 and $3000 per wisdom tooth for extraction under general anaesthesia.
So why the vast price differences in wisdom teeth removal costs?
Many variables can affect the cost of extracting single or multiple wisdom teeth. Let’s take a look at some of them:
The complexity of the case
It’s tricky to give an exact cost for wisdom teeth removal because it varies according to each individual. The cost of treatment depends on the complexity of your case. If your case is relatively simple, your dentist can likely extract your wisdom teeth while you’re sitting in the dentist’s chair — making the treatment more affordable.
Generally speaking, the more complex your wisdom tooth extraction, the more you can and should expect to pay.
So, how much does it cost to remove wisdom teeth?
Simple vs complex wisdom teeth removal cases
As a general rule of thumb;
- Basic wisdom teeth removal
For basic wisdom teeth extraction carried out by a general dentist in a chairside setting, you can expect to pay, on average, between $130 to $200 per tooth. So if you have a non-impacted wisdom tooth (a tooth that has emerged through the gums and grown naturally) that is being removed chairside under a local anaesthetic, then it’s possible to pay around $100 to $200.
- Complex wisdom teeth removal
A chairside extraction is likely to cost between $295-$400 per tooth for complex wisdom tooth removal carried out by a specialist. For example, if you have a severely impacted wisdom tooth or teeth (a tooth that grows at an angle underneath or partially above the gum and undermines other teeth), then understandably, wisdom teeth removal cost is likely to be greater. This is because complex procedures such as this often require hospital admission. As a result, wisdom tooth extraction costs are likely to be in the thousands rather than hundreds of dollars.
- Sedatives or general anaesthetic
Should you need sedatives or a general anaesthetic or undergo an extraction in a hospital setting, the costs of a surgical extraction may fall somewhere between $1500 to $3000 per tooth.
Other factors impacting the wisdom teeth removal cost
Several other factors can also affect the wisdom removal cost. These include:
The type of procedure
Typically, an impacted wisdom tooth costs more than a simple extraction. This is because surgery is necessary and may involve a specialist oral surgeon.
Costs also vary according to the location of your chosen dentist. Chances are you will pay more for a dentist based in a large city than you would for a dentist in a rural area. Often, single-location dental practices in and around Sydney incur slightly higher overheads such as staffing costs, premises rental etc. In most cases, these costs are passed on to the patient.
Conversely, Tasmania remains Australia’s most affordable state, so anyone residing in Hobart’s capital can expect to pay considerably less for the same dental treatment.
Dental clinics abroad
The cost of dental treatments such as wisdom teeth removal may be considerably lower in countries such as Thailand, which is why dental tourism has become so popular with Australians. That said, there are also more significant risks involved.
It’s essential to carry out your research thoroughly before booking your flight. Try and speak to people who have had work done at the clinic you’re considering — word of mouth is always the best recommendation, but also, look in reputable online forums to see what is being said.
Once you have narrowed your search, don’t be afraid to ask questions before booking your appointment, and prioritise your well-being over costs! After all, it’s your oral health, and you’re the one who is paying the bill.
With all these factors in mind, how is the cost of wisdom teeth removal calculated?
The procedure is usually split into sections and may include one or more of the following:
A cost for an initial examination and x-rays
The hourly fee is charged by your dentist. Costs are derived from the complexity of the procedure — whether the extraction is carried out chairside or in a hospital setting. The cost of anaesthetic, including local, general, or other forms of sedation for nervous or anxious patients and whether single or multiple tooth extractions are needed.
The good news is that knowing this makes it possible to roughly calculate how much wisdom teeth removal costs in any given case.
But what about insurance — will it cover the cost of wisdom teeth removal?
The level of extras and/or hospital cover can also affect how much you pay for your treatment. Should your dentist be a specialist provider for your health fund, this may or may not work in your favour.
If your wisdom teeth extraction is carried out in a hospital setting, it should be covered by your hospital policy. However, we strongly advise you to check out the small print on your policy first.
Conversely, any wisdom teeth removals carried out chairside under the guidance of your dentist are usually classed as major dental treatment. This may fall under your policy’s ‘general treatment extras’ category. Once the dentist has given you a cost estimate, it’s worth checking the amount of coverage you have with your insurance provider.
In the modern age, wisdom teeth aren’t really necessary, and while they are perfectly okay in some people, in others (around 35%), they can and do cause problems. These include:
- Gum infection,
- Tooth decay and
- Undermining adjacent teeth (when impacted)
For these reasons, many patients in their late teens and early twenties regularly undergo wisdom teeth removal. As a result, it’s good to have an idea of a rough wisdom teeth removal cost so that patients can budget accordingly.
Do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?
Even though wisdom teeth are more problematic than most, you might be surprised to learn that not everyone needs their wisdom teeth removed. Rather than wait for discomfort or pain to set in, why not visit a No Gaps dentist for an oral examination?
They (with the help of X-rays) will be able to assess whether or not your wisdom teeth are coming through normally or whether wisdom teeth removal is necessary.
Why not book an appointment today with No Gaps Dental and find out how we can help? As a multi-location dental group, we can keep costs low so that you can get the treatment you need when you need it most.
Book your wisdom teeth removal at No Gaps Dental
At No Gaps Dental, we regularly perform wisdom teeth extractions in many of our locations in and around Sydney. What gives us an advantage over our single-location competitors is that because we’re a multi-location dental group, we can afford to keep our prices low across all our clinics. So, as well as offering the convenience of undergoing a comprehensive range of dental treatments (including wisdom teeth extraction), you are guaranteed a competitive price at whichever No Gaps Dental clinic you visit.
If you would like to find out more about the cost of wisdom tooth removal or would like to know more about our convenient locations, especially in the Chatswood area and what they offer, feel free to contact us at (02) 8069 9750 or visit our website.
On behalf of the No Gaps team, we look forward to welcoming you to one of our locations soon.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.