Dentists or oral surgeons perform tooth extractions often when there is a damaged wisdom tooth, or advanced periodontitis. Tooth extraction is sometimes necessary to ensure better oral health.
Many reputable dentists state that a tooth extraction cost ranges between $75 and $250 per tooth. The exact cost varies depending on the severity of the problem, your dental insurance coverage, and the type of extraction you need.
This article will discuss diagnostic costs and the procedure for tooth extraction.
REASONS YOU MAY NEED A TOOTH EXTRACTION
Getting a tooth extraction can be beneficial for your long-term oral health. Here are the top reasons you may need to get your tooth removed.
Impaction is one of the biggest reasons for surgical extractions. Tooth impaction occurs when a tooth pushes the growth of another tooth, causing them to go into each other.
The American Dental Association regards it as the biggest concern for getting a tooth extracted.
Patients experiencing impaction report severe pain and swelling around their jaws. They may also experience issues with opening their mouths fully.
The main culprit in this problem is usually wisdom teeth, which prevent the rest of the teeth from having enough room to sit together comfortably. It may also cause some teeth to grow inward, causing further complexity.
Another concern for patients seeking teeth extraction is severe plaque and tartar buildup. These two elements may cause tooth decay and can damage impacted wisdom teeth without proper care.
The teeth can become brittle and lose their strength over time, increasing the overall dental extraction cost. Some patients report experiencing extreme pain, redness, or swelling. Dentists need to remove the tooth or replace it with a dental bridge or implant in these cases.
GUM DISEASE OR PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Periodontal disease can lead to bone loss and eventually tooth loss. It occurs due to plaque and tartar build-up inside the mouth. Patients suffering from gum disease can experience gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is a disease that causes swelling, redness, and bleeding of the gums. Periodontitis is a more advanced form of gum disease that causes bone tissue loss.
A dentist or oral surgeon will usually treat these diseases, and many insurance providers cover these periodontal diseases in their policies. If you need to get a tooth pulled, your dental insurance will likely cover it.
Severe trauma to a tooth or teeth may make pulling a tooth worth considering. This usually occurs when a person has an accident, gets hit by something in the face, falls, or has a dental injury.
These accidents can damage the teeth severely, making it impossible to save them. Thus, pulling a tooth may be the only option left in these cases. Other solutions may include a dental procedure such as a root canal or implant; it depends on how damaged the teeth are.
TOOTH EXTRACTIONS: WHY ARE THEY EXPENSIVE?
Like other medical procedures, tooth treatment costs can vary depending on the intensity and severity of your condition. However, understanding tooth extraction costs can help. If you don't have insurance, other options are available, such as dental savings plans or in-office payment plans.
You can also use flexible spending accounts to ensure your finances stay stable during and after these treatments. Here are some reasons that make dentistry can get expensive.
NOT VISITING THE DENTIST REGULARLY
Lack of proper dental care and not visiting the dentist are some of the biggest reasons people end up losing a tooth or experiencing tooth decay. An impacted tooth can develop many complications, increasing the need for pulling a tooth.
A simple gum erupted extraction can increase your dental costs if you take too long to get it handled. Many patients come with a dental emergency and require extractions because of not going to the dentist regularly. Regular screenings can help you identify potential tooth issues on time and treat them without local anesthetic.
SEEING A SPECIALIST FOR TREATMENT
If you have a complex case and need to see a specialist for treatment, this can further spike costs. For instance, many people need to see Maxillofacial surgeons (experts dealing with dental treatment in the head and neck area) in case of a trauma or severe accident. You may also have to pay for general anesthesia depending on the procedure.
Some patients may need a niche expert, and they charge more for standard procedures and surgeries. Although hiring a specialist costs more, it increases the chances of successful treatment if you have a complicated situation.
Tooth extraction may not cost as much as other dental procedures. Wisdom tooth extraction dental surgery tends to be higher, depending on the individual's unique situation.
Cosmetic dental work sometimes involves the alteration or extraction of teeth. For example, for braces, you may need to pull a tooth or see an oral surgeon to fix your smile. Social media, video calling, and other virtual interactions have made people more conscious of their dental aesthetics. More and more people are opting for cosmetic dental treatments.
These cosmetic surgeries can include everything from straightening teeth to whitening them to make smiles look better. Patients visit a dental office or hire an oral surgeon to improve their looks. Cosmetic dentistry is not typically covered by dental insurance.
The kind of tooth extraction you get impacts your total tooth extraction cost. The cost of procedures may increase if the experts have to spend more time to get the results you need. Here is a breakdown of the most common tooth extraction types.
SIMPLE EXTRACTION | $100 - $250
A simple tooth extraction helps patients that need to remove a tooth over the gums. The oral specialist will only handle the extraction, making it relatively quick. A simple extraction should only take about an hour or two.
These simple tooth extractions require local anesthesia to numb the surrounding areas. Some cases may be referred to oral surgeons.
The good part about these surgeries is that the simple tooth extraction procedure is not very painful and recovery only takes a few days to a few weeks.
SURGICAL EXTRACTION | $1,500 - $2,500
Surgical extractions are more complicated than a simple extraction. These teeth are usually below the gum tissue. A surgeon makes an incision on the gums, exposing the teeth before removing the tooth.
The oral surgeon will share their expertise about the extraction process and will brief the patients about the risks of the surgical tooth extraction.
Some examples of these surgical extractions may include wisdom teeth removal surgery, which can range up to $2500 on average.
FACTORS THAT IMPACT COST OF TOOTH EXTRACTION
Local anesthesia is a cost to consider, along with several other factors. For instance, the complexity of the case and the needs of each case are common reasons tooth extraction may cost more.
Whether you need a wisdom teeth extraction or need a simple tooth pulled, these are considerations you should make. It will help you prepare for the costs and process beforehand and avoid unnecessary complications.
Here are the factors that impact the average cost of tooth extractions.
DENTAL OFFICE LOCATION
Every state has different average prices for treatment in the United States. The kind of dental office you go to has a massive impact on the total surgical extraction cost.
For instance, an oral surgery performed at a local dentist may by more affordable. While the same procedure may cost more in another state or a high-end dentist's office.
Research local general dentistry prices in your state so you have an idea of the costs. This will help you choose the right dental services and the best local dentist or oral surgeon.
TYPE OF SURGERY REQUIRED
Some dental surgeries are more expensive if they are considered complicated cases. For example, suppose you're getting your impacted wisdom teeth pulled. You'll need to consider surgery, anesthesia costs, and medication. If the teeth are above or below the gum line, the prices will change. Follow-ups with a general dentist for better oral health may also contribute to the total cost.
A dental savings plan has different coverage options for dental treatment procedures.
More straightforward dental treatment cases take less time, and a general dentist can perform them. However, patients with more complex cases may need to see a specialist.
Your dentist may refer you to a specialist to complete a complicated extraction. Patients living in remote areas may also spend more to see a specialist.
Having a health savings account or a dental savings plan can help reduce treatment costs. If you can pay for dental insurance or get it through your employer, this will help make the costs more affordable.
Make sure your dental office accepts your insurance before you get any procedures done. Confirming insurance coverage will help you reduce out-of-pocket costs and maintain a reasonable budget. You can also consult with a surgeon or a dentist to get more precise cost expectations. Dental insurance helps pay for medications, hospital bills, doctor fees, etc., depending on your insurance policy.
You should get assistance from the insurance policy provider, whether it's a simple procedure or major dental surgery.
TOOTH EXTRACTION PROCESS
STEP 1: X-RAY
The exact process for tooth extraction may differ for each patient, but the general process remains the same. The dental expert usually starts by taking some x-rays to get a clearer image of the tooth roots and teeth placement. X-rays are necessary for a complicated or straightforward surgical removal. The x-ray reports help them locate the right tooth and determine the best way to extract it.
STEP 2: ANESTHESIA
Next, the dentist starts the extraction process using a local anesthesia injection and numbing the area. Most dentists or oral surgeons use local anesthesia, but some may use general anesthesia if the case is more complicated.
Using anesthesia will help relax the patient and keep them from feeling any pain. There are no significant side effects with anesthesia. Still, some may find the process a little distressing. Inform the dentist about any pain or discomfort you are worried about feeling.
STEP 3: POST EXTRACTION SITE CLOTTING
Most tooth extractions result in clots forming in the tooth socket after the procedure. Stay calm and avoid any unnecessary movements. The dentist usually gives the patient a gauze pad to bite on to stop the bleeding.
The dentist may also stitch the extraction site to prevent the gums from bleeding more. These stitches are self-dissolving and will naturally fall out with time.
Tooth extractions are generally simple processes and have few risks. Dentists perform tooth extraction surgeries efficiently to reduce any chance of health complications.
However, like any medical procedure, there are a few complications related to tooth extractions you should keep in mind. Here are some common difficulties that could arise.
A dry socket forms when a blood clot does not form on the extraction site after the procedure. It dislodges and dissolves before the site recovers. The dry socket may cause extreme pain in the extraction site. In addition, the dry socket tends to show up a few days after the procedure.
BLEEDING AND SWELLING
Like other post-tooth extraction issues, bleeding and swelling also happen. The gums may become inflamed, which causes bleeding and swelling in the region. Inflammation and pain may be a sign of infection. If you notice excessive bleeding or swelling, reach out to your dental office.
It's rare for infections to occur after tooth extractions. However, it is possible. It may happen if the patient does not practice proper oral hygiene after their surgery.
The bacterial infection can develop a few days after the procedure. In rare cases, the bacteria can enter directly into the bloodstream through the gums. It's best to consult with a professional for immediate treatment.
LONGER BLEEDING DURATIONS
The bleeding durations after the extraction process may cause extreme pain and frequent bleeding in severe situations. It can also make the gums feel more sensitive. Older people or people with weaker gums have a much higher chance of developing this issue.
TOOTH EXTRACTION AFTERCARE TIPS
Tooth extractions can be painful in many cases. Patients may feel discomfort, swelling, and bleeding until the site fully recovers. Here are a few tips that will help with aftercare.
CHANGE THE DENTAL GAUZE
A dentist usually lays a thick layer of dental gauze on the treatment site after the extraction. You'll need to bite down on the dental gauze; the biting pressure reduces bleeding. Surgeons keep the gauze in place for 20-30 minutes, depending on your type of tooth extraction.
Note that the bleeding may continue after 1-2 days of the dental procedure. It is best to consult with a professional if the bleeding exceeds this time frame.
The effect of local anesthesia only lasts a few hours according to the dosage administered. However, patients who experience pain should consult with a doctor and confirm proper healing after this time.
Pain and inflammation medications can help deal with pain after the procedure. Over-the-counter medicines like Ibuprofen and Tylenol help ease pain. Your dentist may prescribe you a higher dosage of medication.
Some patients experience soreness and swelling days after the tooth extraction process. This is quite normal. The procedure site requires healing time. Icing your face may help reduce puffiness and swelling.
THINGS TO AVOID
Patients need to let the extracted tooth area heal. The first 24 hours after the procedure are the most crucial. During this period, any disturbance to the extraction area can cause pain and bleeding. It can also prolong the healing process.
It's best to avoid the following things:
- Sucking on the extraction site
- Touching the procedure area
- Drinking fluids with a straw
- Eating crunchy foods
- Rinsing your mouth vigorously
- Drinking alcoholic beverages
- Using alcoholic mouthwash
ALTERNATIVES TO TEETH EXTRACTION
Extracting the tooth is not always necessary. Sometimes dentists can pursue other treatment options. For example, in cases where the tooth pulp or nerve is damaged, the dental experts will remove the pulp during the procedure, clean the inside of the teeth, and then seal it off.
However, dentists still need to perform an extraction if the tooth damage is too severe. For instance, surgeons may need to perform a tooth extraction in cases where there's a severely damaged crown or filling.
Patients often get their teeth extracted when it's necessary. A dentist will always try their best to save your teeth if possible.
FINDING THE RIGHT DENTIST
Finding the right dental professional for your tooth extraction is essential. Check out a few dentists in your area and make consultations before scheduling a dental extraction.
Every office has its process. They can help you understand the extraction cost, payment methods, and payment timeline. Acquiring this information helps ensure your teeth extractions are affordable and straightforward.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it less expensive to have a tooth extracted or repaired?
While it may appear like extracting a tooth is less expensive than repairing it, the fact is that replacing the tooth takes more time and money.
Can a dentist pull a tooth that is infected?
If the damaged tooth cannot be saved, your dentist will pull it and drain the abscess to remove the infection. Antibiotics should be prescribed at this point as well. Antibiotics may not be required if the infection is localized to the abscessed region.
What happens if a tooth is extracted but not replaced?
After a dental extraction, you will need to replace the lost tooth or teeth. The bones in your mouth might weaken and lose density if your teeth are not replaced. Other teeth may also move, and you may have difficulty chewing. Fortunately, you have various tooth replacement choices.
How long does it take to pull a tooth?
Extracting a tooth, from providing anesthesia to putting in stitches if necessary, usually takes between 20 and 40 minutes.