How Much Does a Tooth Extraction Cost on Average?
Your teeth should come with a lifetime guarantee. But sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Whether due to processed foods, sugary drinks, or genetics, your teeth aren’t as strong as they used to be.
Fortunately, dentists have many ways to restore teeth. Sometimes a badly damaged tooth can be saved by a procedure called a root canal. Other times, a tooth is so decayed that it can’t be saved. In that case, the dentist may have to extract the tooth, or pull it out. If you are considering dental extraction, you might be wondering, how much does a tooth extraction cost? What does the procedure look like? We’ve got your answers here.
Reasons for Tooth Extractions
In addition to cavities and tooth decay, there are other reasons for tooth extractions. Here are a few examples:
- Damage from trauma
- Impacted teeth
- Wisdom tooth extraction
- Tooth infection
- Tooth decay
- Broken teeth
- Risk of tooth infection
How Much Does a Tooth Extraction Cost?
Dental plans are similar to health insurance. After you meet the deductible, dental insurance usually pays 50-80% of covered procedures. According to Humana, the average cost for an extraction ranges between $75 and $800 depending on the type of extraction, and whether it requires surgery.
Simple tooth extraction: If the tooth is intact, above the gum line, and not impacted, your dentist may be able to perform a simple tooth extraction.
Complicated extraction: If the tooth breaks off near the gum tissue, your dentist may attempt extraction or refer you to surgery. Complicated extractions require more time and effort, so they cost more than a simple extraction.
Surgical extraction: Oral surgeons use this technique to remove impacted teeth that cannot come in because of overcrowding, wisdom teeth, fractured teeth, and teeth broken below the gum line. Surgical extractions are by far the most expensive.
You can check the exact cost of a tooth extraction at providers near you using this procedure comparison tool. Just enter your ZIP code and you’ll immediately be able to compare prices in your area:
What to Expect During Your Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction procedures are pretty straightforward. If you are having a simple tooth extraction, you will receive one or two shots of novocaine, a local anesthetic. Then, using special tools, your dentist will remove your molar by rocking it back and forth until it is loose enough to pull out. A blood clot forms over the socket and should be left alone. If you dislodge the clot, you risk developing a painful condition called “dry socket.”
For oral surgery, you’ll be given an IV and medication to put you in a state of conscious sedation. Rarely is general anesthesia used (where you’re completely asleep). Instead of extracting the tooth from the top of the gum, the oral surgeon will make a small incision on the side of your gum tissue adjacent to the tooth. After the extraction, sutures close the wound.
For wisdom teeth removal, this will repeat on the opposite side. During the aftercare period, you can expect swelling and mild to moderate pain. You’ll use an ice pack and any pain medication the doctor recommends or prescribes to reduce swelling.
Effects of Tooth Loss
If you’re only missing one tooth, you probably won’t experience any problems. But multiple missing teeth can cause your jawbone to atrophy and become brittle. Eventually, it could lead to more lost teeth.
Another problem that could arise when you’re missing a tooth is shifting. This happens when other teeth on the same arch move to fill in the gap. Over time, jaw misalignment and changes to your bite may occur, leading to jaw dysfunction and aesthetic changes.
How Much Does Restorative Dentistry Cost?
Once the extraction site heals, talk to your general dentist about replacing the missing tooth.
Bridge: This is a dental appliance that fills in the gaps and restores the mouth. A bridge that covers a single extraction usually costs between $1,100 and 2,300.
Dentures: These are removable appliances that replace the entire arch of missing teeth. They help restore your smile. On average, a set of dentures costs between $300 and $8,000.
Implants: These are artificial tooth roots surgically implanted into your jaw to hold a prosthetic tooth or bridge. A single tooth dental implant costs between $3,500 and $6,700.
Low-Cost Dental Services
How much does a tooth extraction cost? If you’re just trying to make ends meet, like a lot of Americans, the cost of a tooth extraction and all that comes with it is more than you can afford. To make sure you’re getting the best price possible, try comparison shopping.
With Compare.com’s pricing tool, it only takes a few clicks to find out what dentists in your area are charging for the same services.
To keep from paying more out of pocket or having to dispute a bill, make sure to find a dentist who is part of your insurance plan’s network.
If you are uninsured or low-income, make an appointment with the nearest dental school. Often, university-sponsored clinics offer free health care and dental care. You can also check out this list of free dental clinics in the United States.
Of course, the best way to keep costs low is to take care of your teeth and gums. Avoid sugar, candy, and gum. Brush your teeth twice each day. Floss at least once a day. Don’t skip your 6-month checkups to keep your mouth healthy, and your dentistry costs will hopefully stay low.