Tooth Removal Costs: What to Expect in 2019
Getting your teeth removed is far from comfortable, but it’s necessary at times. After all, dental hygiene is incredibly important for both people and animals. However, what’s even more challenging for some people is the tooth removal cost. If you don’t have dental insurance, dental costs can accumulate pretty quickly.
This leads to our primary question: what sort of tooth removal costs can one expect during a tooth removal procedure? If you’re choosing to pay out of your pocket, many factors will determine how much you have to pay.
Here’s everything you need to know about tooth removal, including procedure, types, risks, and yes, costs.
What to Expect During a Tooth Removal?
First up, you need to know what happens during tooth removal, especially if you’re hesitant about getting the procedure. Let’s face it. The dentist’s office can be a scary place for many. If you know what to expect, you won’t be as nervous.
Although, to be honest, you don’t need to be. Tooth extraction sounds and looks painful, but the truth is you barely feel a thing due to the anesthesia. Of course, there might be some discomfort during the recovery period, but this lasts two weeks at most, depending on your case.
Here’s what goes on during a routine tooth extraction job:
Note: Be mindful that this description is of the general procedure and consequently, it doesn’t account for case by case differences.
As mentioned, you are given anesthesia before the procedure begins. This is the first thing the doctor will do. The anesthesia will numb your teeth, gums, and the bones in your mouth. Admittedly, the initial injection hurts but not always. Even if it does hurt, you’ll only feel pain for a few seconds before the numbing kicks in.
After giving you the numbing injection, the doctor will test out the anesthesia by poking you with a dental instrument. You should feel some pressure but not pain. If you feel pain, let the doctor know immediately.
To understand this, you must know a bit about the structure of your teeth.
Your teeth are rooted inside the bone of your mouth, glued in place with a ligament called the fibrous tissue. To remove your tooth, your dentist will need to:
- Separate your tooth from this tissue and ‘expand’ the bone socket your tooth is rooted in (to easily take it out).
- The fibrous tissue is sponge-like so it loosens easily. Your dentist will push your tooth back and forth until it’s loose enough to be taken out.
- At this point, your dentist will be tinkering with a lot of tools to help ‘expand’ your bone socket. Be sure to stay still as moving or fidgeting just makes things harder.
- Just remember to be honest. If you start feeling pain, don’t just sit there and bear it. Tell your dentist and he/she will give you more anesthesia.
Oh and one more thing: you may hear some startling noises like snapping or breaking during the procedure. Don’t freak out. It’s probably the sound of your root breaking or bone socket fracturing, which are completely normal and fixable.
Multiple Tooth Removals
If you’re getting more than one tooth removed, the process is pretty much the same as above. The only difference is that your dentist will pick out a specific order to remove the teeth in.
Usually, dentists start with the lower teeth and make their way to the upper teeth. Also, if multiple adjacent teeth need to be taken out, the dentist will most likely detach the fibrous tissue from all of them at the same time.
Finishing Up the Extraction
Afterward, the dentist will close the extraction area. This part involves a series of steps:
- Curetting: This is to scrape off any leftover damaged and/or infected tissue from the extraction site.
- Washing: More commonly known as irrigating, this is when the dentist washes out the bone socket to remove any debris, leftover bone fragments, tissue, etc.
- Trimming: If there are any sharp bone edges, they’ll be trimmed down with a drill.
- Pressing: The dentist will then use his/her fingers to press down on the socket. This helps restore the shape of your jaw.
- Stitching: You don’t necessarily need stitches. Unless you’ve had a ‘surgical’ extraction, you probably won’t need them.
- Placing Gauze: Lastly, your dentist will insert a gauze on the extraction area and have you bite down.
The recovery time varies but generally doesn’t take more than two weeks. You can experience both long-term and short-term side effects. For example, immediately after the procedure, you will most likely experience:
The gauze helps minimize bleeding. Once you bite down on it, it creates pressure and helps push down blood. You should leave the gauze on for at least four hours post-procedure.
Post-operative swelling is very common. If this happens, simply apply ice or frozen peas on your face. Apply an ice pack even if you don’t see swelling as it’ll help speed up your recovery. Experts recommend using an ice pack for 10 minutes at a time.
To minimize these side effects, make sure to follow all post-procedure instructions, and take your medications at the right time. Also, only eat soft foods like yogurt or porridge for the next few days.
As for long-term side effects, go back to the doctor if you experience:
- Prolonged pain and/or bleeding
- Coughing and difficulty in breathing
- Fever, shivering, or other signs of infection
- Chest pains
- Prolonged swelling and/or redness
Do I Need to Get My Tooth Removed?
Tooth removal is usually a last resort, so if your dentist is recommending one, there’s probably a good reason.
The most common causes of teeth removal include:
Usually, when you chip or break your teeth, it’s fixable. However, if it’s not, your dentist will tell you so. Having a broken tooth can hinder your eating and drinking ability. Moreover, leaving it in can later cause infection and gum damage, so it’s better to take the tooth out.
Tooth decay usually occurs due to damaged blood vessels or tooth nerves. The damage happens because of an accumulation of bacteria inside your mouth. The bacteria destroys the entire structure of your tooth, leaving you no choice but to have it removed.
High Risk of Infection
If your immune system isn’t working, doctors recommend all sorts of preventative measures to avoid infection. For example, chemo causes your white blood cells to shoot down. Consequently, you can’t fight off viral diseases that may arise from your impacted teeth.
In that case, it’s best to have the tooth removed.
Also known as Periodontal Disease, Gum Disease is a type of infection. The impacted parts are your gum tissues and bones, which deteriorate and cause your teeth to loosen up. To fix the problem, the dentist must find and extract the damaged tissue in your teeth.
It’s not uncommon to have mismatched teeth. If that’s the case or if you have an extra tooth growing inside your mouth, your dentist may want to remove your tooth to fix the alignment of your jawbone.
If your case matches any of these reasons, you must have your tooth removed. Additionally, wisdom teeth removal is also a necessary evil. While removing other teeth is a last resort, removing wisdom teeth isn’t.
This is because wisdom teeth if left unchecked cause pain and infection in your gums. They’re too big for your mouth to accommodate, so they also cause problems with alignment.
Before 25 is the best age bracket to get your wisdom teeth removed. However, wisdom teeth removal can happen at any age (past puberty).
How Much Does a Tooth Extraction Cost Without Insurance?
Now that you know what goes on during a tooth removal procedure and why it’s necessary, you’ll better understand the costs. As you can tell, there are a lot of factors that influence how much you have to pay. These include the:
- Amount of anesthesia used
- Number of teeth extracted
- Severity of the problem
- Imaging needed (such as X-rays)
Firstly, you need to account for checkup costs, which vary according to where you live. However, on average, simple dental checkups and cleaning jobs cost around $288. Clearly, if you need a tooth extraction, you’re going to have at least one or two of these checkups beforehand.
Type of Procedure
Secondly, you need to know whether your tooth extraction is surgical or non-surgical. The above-mentioned procedure is describing non-surgical tooth removals. If you want to know how a surgical procedure works, here is a simple and straightforward explanation.
For non-surgical procedures, the average cost is between $75 to $300. As mentioned above, the amount goes up depending on how much anesthesia is used and how many teeth are extracted.
On the other hand, surgical procedures can be more complicated. They cost:
- $150 to $650 for a tooth removal with anesthesia.
- $185 to $600 for more complicated tooth removals or the removal of multiple teeth.
- $75 to $200 for surgical wisdom teeth extractions
If the tooth is severely impacted, the cost goes up to $600. Then it doesn’t matter whether the procedure is surgical or non-surgical. Moreover, where the tooth is located also impacts the cost of the procedure.
For example, molars are difficult to access in your mouth and difficult to remove. Therefore, dentists need more anesthesia and longer procedure, that increases the costs.
After the procedure, there is also the cost of medication, post-op checkups, and aftercare products. If there were complications during your tooth extraction, you may need to have another procedure done.
Moreover, your dentist may also recommend tooth alignment treatment after your removal. This is because once the tooth is removed, the space dis-aligns your teeth and makes biting difficult.
Common measures for alignment are dental implants, bridges, and braces. Dental implants (also known as false teeth) are the most expensive. They require at least two to three visits and cost up to $5000.
Braces are more common and cost, depending on the type of braces, between $3000 and $13,000. We recommend going for the Easy Smile Invisible Aligner treatment, which is more affordable and practical.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost
Wisdom teeth removal costs are by far the highest in America. The average cost with anesthesia for wisdom teeth removal is $1900. This is because they’re located in a complicated place and require pre-procedure imaging such as X-rays.
If you’re looking at just the tooth removal cost, removing one wisdom tooth costs $140 on average. This is if it’s not impacted. For impacted wisdom teeth, the average cost increases to $400 per tooth.
As you can infer, the total cost is a case-by-case thing. Some dentists give you a discount if you need multiple teeth removed (for example, if you need four teeth removed at once).
Therefore, we recommend consulting your dentist (either on the phone or online) before going in to find out about the costs involved. Or simply Google ‘tooth extraction cost near me’ to get an idea of the pricing in your area.
How Much Does a Tooth Removal Cost with Insurance?
Without insurance, dental costs can put a big dent in your bank account? However, is having dental insurance any better? Most people avoid dental treatment altogether because they don’t have insurance.
Don’t do that as maintaining dental health is just as important as physical health. Paying for dental insurance usually involves a monthly, biannual, or annual premium. Even though it’s a hassle to pay the premium as well as the additional co-payments, it may make things easier in the long run.
Like with other forms of insurance, dental insurance requires a select portion of your monthly or annual income. The amount accumulates and can help cover:
- About 100% of your routine dental checkups
- At least 80% of basic oral procedures such as root canals and fillings
- 50% of major oral procedures such as bridging, crowning, and yes, tooth extraction
With the number of insurance companies in the US, the number of dental plans you have open to you is endless. Each plan is carefully balanced according to your needs, so you don’t need to worry about increased costs.
In fact, things are getting easier since 2015 when the government advocated for increased transparency of dental insurance. US citizens now find it easier to look for and receive dental coverage.
What About the Tooth Extraction Cost for Dogs?
Tooth removal costs aren’t just for people. Dogs need to maintain their oral hygiene just as much as humans do. If you’re a dog owner, you should take your pup for teeth cleaning at least once a year. Clean and healthy teeth help ward off bigger health problems like heart disease or kidney malfunctions.
However, apart from cleaning, which costs between $100-$300 without anesthesia and $500-$3000 with anesthesia, your dog may also need his/her tooth removed. Animal tooth extractions are clearly going to be different from human ones.
Dogs, being canines, have larger teeth, which can have up to three roots each. To extract dog teeth, the dentist must detach the tooth from all three roots. Therefore, the dog must be under anesthesia.
General anesthesia, while expensive, allows the dental surgeon to assess your dog’s oral health easily. It also helps calm nervous pups down, so that they don’t move unnecessarily.
Assuming no complications occur, your dog’s tooth removal cost range is as follows:
- $10-$15 per tooth for a simple tooth extractions
- $25-$35 per tooth for elevated tooth extractions
- At least $100 per tooth for tooth extractions with a drill
This cost doesn’t include the additional imaging and radiography you’ll need. X-rays cost between $500 and $1000 whereas oral radiography costs between $150 to $200.
If your dog ends up needing a root canal as well, the cost goes drastically up. For dogs, root canals cost between $1000 and $3000. Root canals are typically only needed if complications arise.
Fortunately, complications are rare in canine oral procedures. The most common complications have to do with leftover cavities and infected gum tissue (which is easily cleaned up in the follow-up).
Again, it’s better to Google stuff like ‘tooth extraction cost dog near me’. Doing this not only gives you an idea of the cost but it also lets you compare costs from dentist to dentist.
What is Next After Tooth Extraction?
Well, in some cases, your teeth may get misaligned after the procedure. In that case, you may need braces to align your teeth back to their best shape. However, a better alternative to often uncomfortable and visible metal braces is Easysmile that can not only straighten your teeth, but can also whiten them.
In addition, Easysmile is also an invisible solution compared to traditional braces that are visible whenever you smile or talk. Learn more about on our website.
- How safe is it to get a tooth removal?
It’s perfectly safe to get a tooth removal done. Remember that it’s a trained professional that’s handling your oral surgery.
A word of caution: Don’t try to perform a tooth removal yourself or have someone else do it using home-made methods. Always go to the doctor and have them check you out.
- Who do I go to if I want a tooth removal?
Go to an oral surgeon who is the dental expert that handles extractions and other types of oral surgeries. You can always go to your regular dentist and have them make a recommendation.
However, if you know the basics of tooth removal cost, you can compare between dentists and procedures to find the best possible option.
- Is pain normal after a tooth extraction procedure?
Some pain is perfectly normal. Excessive pain, on the other hand, is not. If you have intense pain for more than five days after your procedure, go back to your doctor immediately.
- Do I need to get my tooth removed if I have a cavity?
Cavities, if they’re small, can heal naturally with the right treatments. You may need a filling or two, but removal isn’t necessary.
- What are the risks with tooth extraction?
As mentioned above, you can get a fever, nausea, shortness of breath, excessive swelling, bleeding, pain, and so on. Such side effects are rare and only occur if you don’t take proper precautions.
- Should I get a tooth removal or a root canal?
This is something you should discuss with your oral surgeon. Sometimes the tooth is severely damaged and needs to be taken out completely. With root canals, the damaged tissue is never completely gone.
- Can I take painkillers after my tooth removal?
Yes, pain relief medication is part of your aftercare regimen. You should take painkillers like aspirin or ibuprofen. However, even if you have a prescription, it’s best to avoid opioids as they have a whole other set of risks.
- How long do I have to wait to eat hard foods after my tooth extraction?
After the procedure, wait at least 24 hours to consume solid foods. Even then, it’s best to take soft foods like pancakes, mashed veggies, pasta, etc. Avoid foods like corn, nuts, and chewy meat for at least a week.
- How do I know if there’s something wrong?
Again, the signs that something is wrong are pretty straightforward. You’ll experience excessive bleeding and/or pain, or you’ll go through the side effects we mentioned.
- What’s the aftercare like after tooth removal?
Aftercare is very important after tooth removal. If you don’t perform proper aftercare, your tooth removal costs can double from the additional costs. Firstly, maintain your oral hygiene. Don’t rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours and then rinse it with a saline solution.
To prevent bleeding, keep the gauze on. You can also apply black tea bags in the extracted area to stop bleeding. Also, keep applying an ice pack on your mouth for the next two weeks.
You should also eat cold foods such as ice cream, popsicles, and smoothies.
To sum it up, tooth removal costs can be too much if you’re not smart about it. There are plenty of ways to get a low-cost tooth extraction, the most important of which is to select the right insurance plan. We urge you to invest in dental insurance for both yourself and your pets.
Oral health is a very integral part of bodily health and therefore, should be given the same priority. If you’re looking for more details on dental costs, see here for braces costs and here for information on teeth whitening.