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A tooth extraction is when a dentist needs to completely remove a tooth from the socket it sits in because the tooth is broken, damaged, or is crowding the teeth near it. Often wisdom teeth need to be extracted because they are causing crowding or because they failed to fully erupt through the gums.
Tooth extractions are typically done on teeth that cannot be saved or that are causing problems for your other teeth. Even teeth that have deep cavities may be able to be restored if you see a dentist for treatment before the cavity gets down to the pulp of the tooth. But if you have a tooth break, or a wisdom tooth that doesn’t come in all the way, or if your tooth is causing crowding that can make your jaw shift and your other teeth crowd then that tooth may need to be removed.
Many people shudder when they think about a tooth extraction from thinking about the cost as well as the pain involved in removing a tooth. Dental insurance may not help with the pain of the extraction, but it can help lessen the financial pain of an extraction.
There are typically two types of dental extractions: simple and surgical. A simple extraction is one where the dentist will be able to easily remove the tooth. If the tooth has broken through the gum cleanly and the dentist can remove it without having to go into the gum or grind down the teeth or jaw near the tooth that type of extraction will likely be simpler and require less work.¹
A surgical extraction on the other hand, is usually much more complex because the tooth may be broken, impacted, or still buried in the gum which means that the dentist or oral surgeon will likely have to do a lot more work to get the tooth out safely.
After an extraction, you may not need to replace the tooth that was extracted, such as wisdom teeth. But if you have a tooth removed because it’s rotten or broken, you may want to consider having a dental implant to replace that tooth. Having an implant will help ensure that your bite doesn’t change, your teeth don’t shift, and that you will still be able to talk and chew properly after the damaged tooth is removed.
Wisdom teeth extractions are a common type of tooth extractions. Over five million people have their wisdom teeth removed each year². Wisdom teeth are the four teeth that grow at the back of each corner of your mouth sometime between the ages of 17 and 21. If your wisdom teeth come in cleanly and don’t crowd your other teeth you may not need to have them removed. But many people end up getting their wisdom teeth removed due to³:
Wisdom teeth growing in sideways
Increased tooth decay
Even if your wisdom teeth have come in without causing major problems your dentist may recommend that you have them removed because it can be difficult to clean around them and keep your teeth healthy.
Typically, there are different factors that go into determining how much a wisdom tooth extraction costs. If the extraction is relatively simple and the tooth is easy to remove the cost of the extraction can range from $75 to $200 per tooth⁴ plus you may need to account for the cost of things like X-rays and appointments with the dentist for assessment. That cost also may not include the cost of sedation if you want or need to be sedated for the procedure.
A surgical removal to take out a wisdom tooth that is broken, or never came in properly, or is only half-erupted, can cost more. The cost of a surgical wisdom tooth removal can range from around $800 to $4,000⁵.
Tooth extraction costs can be more manageable with dental insurance. Subject to applicable waiting periods, Guardian Direct Gold plan pays up to 70% of a tooth extraction.
How much does it cost to extract a tooth without insurance? The cost depends on a lot of different factors, including where you live. In addition to the cost of the actual extraction there are costs like seeing a dentist and getting X-rays so that the dentist can see your teeth and see through an X-ray what the position of the tooth that needs to be removed is. X-rays and other diagnostic tools and tests can be expensive, but they are essential.
Teeth that have rotted from disease and neglect may need to be extracted when a root canal or other treatment may not be enough to save the structure of the tooth. Years of neglect can cause periodontal disease or cavities that have destroyed the structural integrity of the tooth so that removing the rotten teeth may be the only way to save the rest of the teeth. Teeth that are malformed, broken, or too crowded may be recommended for extraction by your dentist.
The costs of an extraction will depend largely on the position and condition of the tooth as well as other common factors such as where you live.
Our extensive library of resources has articles to help you understand how dental procedures are typically priced and why they cost what they do, tips on how to take care of your teeth and how to help avoid dental problems.
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Does dental insurance cover wisdom teeth removal?
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The pros and cons of DPPO and DHMO dental plans
Why some dental insurance plans have no waiting periods
Links to external sites are provided for your convenience in locating related information and services. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents and employees expressly disclaim any responsibility for and do not maintain, control, recommend, or endorse third-party sites, organizations, products, or services and make no representation as to the completeness, suitability, or quality thereof.
Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice. This is not dental care advice and should not be substituted for regular consultation with your dentist. If you have any concerns about your dental health, please contact your dentist's office.
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/tooth-removal/when-surgical-extraction-of-teeth-is-necessary, accessed December 2020
Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice.(exp.12/22)
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