Wisdom teeth removal cost varies from dentist to dentist and city to city. But it is always good to know what that cost involves and what influences it.
Let’s get right to the point.
What is the cost of removing wisdom teeth in 2023?
Here we have compiled the cost of removing your wisdom teeth in major US cities. Please note that this estimate is per impacted tooth and without insurance.
A simple, non-impacted, and non-surgical removal of a wisdom tooth costs between $100 to $200 across the US. Removing an impacted tooth will cost you much more than that.
Cost of extracting impacted wisdom teeth without insurance in US cities in 2023
|City||Wisdom teeth (impacted) removal cost|
|Austin||$200 – $600|
|Boston||$225 – $600|
|Charlotte||$225 – $600|
|Chicago||$300 – $700|
|Columbus||$350 – $550|
|Dallas||$150 – $650|
|Denver||$225 – $600|
|El Paso||$150 – $650|
|Houston||$180 – $600|
|Indianapolis||$200 – $700|
|Jacksonville||$200 – $600|
|Los Angeles||$250 – $500|
|Memphis||$250 – $700|
|New York||$400 – $1,050|
|Philadelphia||$250 – $500|
|Phoenix||$400 – $750|
|San Antonio||$250 – $500|
|San Diego||$200 – $600|
|San Francisco||$150 – $400|
|Seattle||$250 – $750|
|Washington||$400 – $800|
According to our survey, the average cost of removing impacted wisdom teeth is the highest in New York and the lowest in Dallas, El Paso, and San Francisco.
We also noticed that some dentists offer their customers package deals to extract all four wisdom teeth. Thus, while pulling a single impacted tooth costs $400, a package deal may cost you $1,200 to remove four teeth.
It is tough to say how helpful these deals are. One of the main reasons is that you may not have all four wisdom teeth broken or impacted simultaneously. Are you going to extract the non-impacted teeth while extracting your impacted teeth simply because there is an opportunity to save?
The average wisdom teeth removal cost without insurance in 2023
Based on the above samples collected from the major cities of the USA, we estimate that the average cost of removing wisdom teeth without insurance in 2023 is the following:
|Wisdom tooth not requiring surgery||$100-$200|
|Impacted wisdom tooth requiring surgery||$312-$733|
This price does not include the cost of x-ray and general anesthesia sedation or any other prescription medicine you may have to buy after the surgical procedure.
Do insurance plans cover the removal of wisdom teeth?
Many dental insurance plans cover a part of the wisdom teeth removal cost. Many do not.
They may cover as much as 80% of the cost when they do.
In some cases, the coverage ranges between 20% and 50%.
But you may not get any assistance from your insurance plan if your deductible is higher than the cost of your treatment. The deductible is the money you have to pay out of your pocket before triggering your insurance plan.
That is why having a plan will not make any difference for many people.
Besides, dental insurance plans that cover wisdom teeth removal costs or the cost of any cosmetic dental procedure, including implants, crowns, and root canals, may have waiting periods before you can use them.
The waiting periods are generally like this:
|Type of Extraction||Coverage||Waiting Period|
The average wisdom teeth removal cost with insurance in 2023
Now imagine that your insurance company covers your cost. Based on the average cost we calculated above, your wisdom teeth removal price per tooth will be the following:
|Coverage Rate||Type of Removal||Minimum Cost||Maximum cost|
Give your dental insurance company a call to find out what your insurance plan may cover or not. Describe to them in simple language the condition of your mouth, so they know what you are talking about.
Why does the removal of wisdom teeth cost so much more than the removal of other teeth?
Extraction of wisdom teeth will cost you more than what the extraction of other teeth may cost. The reason for that is the following:
- The extraction process requires that the patient is provided with local anesthesia.
- The process sometimes involves cutting the gum.
- Drilling into the jawbone is required in most cases.
- The impacted tooth may need to be cut into smaller pieces before removal.
- That area of the mouth holds important nerves which require special attention.
- You need an oral surgeon to do the procedure on you. An oral surgeon needs some specialized training that your general dentist may not have. You pay more to cover your oral surgeon’s expertise.
- There is a cost for x-raying your mouth.
- Do you need medication after the procedure? That will cost you an amount depending on what you need.
Do you have to remove your wisdom teeth?
The British perspective
If you are in the UK, you do not have to remove your wisdom teeth. The British government advises against it.
This is what UK’s National Health Services (NHS) has to say about this: “Your wisdom teeth don’t usually need to be removed if they’re impacted but aren’t causing any problems. This is because there’s no proven benefit of doing this, and it carries the risk of complications.”
The American perspective
On the other hand, American Dental Association (ADA) does not clearly say you do not have to extract your wisdom teeth.
Through their publication, Mouth Healthy, they state the following: “Every patient is unique, but in general, wisdom teeth may need to be removed when there is evidence of changes in the mouth.”
The evidence includes pain, infection, cysts, tumor, gum disease, damage to adjacent teeth, and tooth decay.
The Australian perspective
Australian government’s health advice service, Health Direct, categorically states that you don’t have to remove your wisdom teeth. “Removing a wisdom tooth is usually a safe and effective way to prevent your symptoms from coming back,” they write.
The Canadian perspective
Health Canada directs that Canadians visit their oral health professionals to assess any problem related to their wisdom teeth.
“When they come through correctly,” Health Canada writes, “healthy wisdom teeth can help you chew. They can also cause issues if there isn’t enough space for them to grow or if they are positioned sideways.”
What low-cost options do you have for removing your wisdom teeth if you have no insurance?
Find free dental clinics across the city
Keep an eye on your local events page. Many cities set up free dental clinics for a limited time for people who do not afford the high cost of dental treatment.
Such events may happen several times yearly to cover many different areas.
Talk to your local dentist to see if they know anything about it.
If not, you may call your local government office (Council) to learn about their next dental clinic.
Sometimes NGOs and charities also organize temporary dental clinics in limited scope. See if there is any such program in your city.
Seek several quotations to find the dentist you can afford
Call at least five dental clinics in your area to see who charges more. Avoid the ones located at a shiny mall and the ones established in the downtown area. Also, avoid the ones that everyone knows about.
It will not be a surprise if you see up to 50% variation in the price quoted to you.
Most dentists do not talk to each other or research the market before deciding on a service rate. They take advantage of the open market economy.
Recently, we were looking for a quotation for a physical check-up for driving license renewal. Three clinics gave these three quotations:
- First clinic: $130
- Second clinic: $160
- Third clinic: $100
You got it.
Contact local dental schools
Dental schools need dental patients every year for coursework.
Besides, they also see patients. That is a source of their regular income.
These schools generally charge less for treatments from their commercial counterparts. You may have to wait for an appointment with them, but waiting days or weeks may save you a good amount of cash if it is not an emergency.
The savings can be outstanding if you think about two or more affected wisdom teeth.
Look for a payment plan
This option will not save you money but offer you an opportunity to pay your wisdom teeth extraction cost in installments.
Your dental school may also offer you such payment plans. You get both a low price and a payment plan if they do.
Most dentists work with financial companies to help other customers pay their dental treatment costs in installments. They receive the money from the financial institutions after the procedure is done. You pay your dues over a period.
Find a dentist in a smaller city or town within your driving distance
If you can travel, you may be able to save.
Dentists in smaller towns work with their communities and often charge less than those in megacities for dental services.
Call them, tell them precisely what you are looking for, and get a quotation.
Risks associated with not removing your wisdom teeth
Not removing your infected wisdom teeth poses several health risks. They are:
- Your wisdom teeth may shatter and cut the side of your tongue.
- Wisdom teeth that cannot erupt through the gum may develop cysts.
- Those that ultimately erupt may cause overcrowding because they do not have enough place on the jaw to grow. That will push your other teeth, and misalignment can happen.
- Food debris may get trapped around the infected wisdom teeth and attract bacteria.
- Bacteria can cause tooth decay.
- You may have gingivitis or gum disease, which may spread to other teeth.
- Can gum disease spread to your cheeks or your tongue? Absolutely. It may cause discomfort even in your thorat if not treated early.
- Bacterial infection can accumulate pus in your gum.
- Wisdom teeth that have erupted through your gum are easier to remove than those partially blocked by your jawbone. Infections in those teeth are harder to remove. They also pose greater pain and danger.
Risks associated with removing your wisdom teeth
Removing wisdom teeth also poses several risks. They are:
- The sockets of the removed wisdom teeth might not heal on time.
- Those sockets might get infected by bacteria.
- Your jaw at the back of your mouth may become sensitive to heat and cold.
- You may have a bad smell in your mouth from the infected sockets. That can happen to you easily if you are a smoker.
- Bleeding is a possibility.
- Drilling into the tooth to crack it before extraction, or surgery into the gum may damage your nerves. If the gum does not heal quickly enough, a numbness can spread to your tongue and chin.
- General anesthesia used to sedate you can cause allergy. Under its effect, you may be confused and experience memory loss.
- Your dentist may accidentally damage your other teeth, your lips or crowns while working on your wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth removal: Final word
Your wisdom teeth removal cost will depend on the condition of your wisdom teeth. A simple extraction will not cost you much. But a complex extraction will.
Add to the extraction cost the cost of the examination, x-ray, and after-surgery prescription medicine.
Medicare does not cover dental care. Your dental insurance may cover wisdom teeth extraction, but deductibles may be a problem.
You may want to subscribe to a new dental policy covering wisdom teeth extraction. However, your new policy may not allow you to immediately go for your wisdom teeth removal procedure. There are 6-12 months waiting periods before using your policy for extraction.
You do not have to remove your wisdom teeth if they do not cause you a problem. You can avoid a lot of risks by not removing them. But remove them early if you have an infection to prevent the problem from spreading to your throat, gums, and tongue.
Simple wisdom teeth removal costs $100 to $200 per tooth. If you have an impacted tooth that requires surgical extraction, it will cost you $312 to $733. If you want to remove all four of your wisdom teeth in one sitting, you may have to pay $1,200 to $2,000. Your dentist may charge you more or less based on where you live and how complicated the surgical process may be for you.
Dental insurance plans generally do not cover wisdom teeth removal costs. But there are specific insurance plans which may cover as much as 70% of the price. However, if your deductibles are higher than the cost of your treatment, your insurance coverage will not help you. Besides, insurance companies impose waiting periods before you can use your insurance towards meeting your treatment cost. The waiting periods range from 6 months to a year.
- Health Direct. ‘Removing wisdom teeth.’
- Mouth Healthy. ‘Wisdom Teeth.’
- NHS. ‘Wisdom tooth removal.’
- The Guardian. ‘
- British teeth: something to smile about at last?’
- The Atlantic. ‘Why Wisdom Teeth Are So Much Trouble.’