Costs and Insurance Coverage Of Wisdom Tooth Removal

A common, scary nightmare many people experience at least once is that some or all of their teeth fall out. But when it comes to wisdom teeth, you may actually end up wanting to remove them, in order to safeguard the health of your gums and other teeth.

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Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth that often emerge in the mouth. They typically appear on one or both sides of the jaw between the ages of 17 and 25, but not everyone develops them, as it is believed to be genetically inherited. In some cases, wisdom teeth can cause a range of dental problems, including pain, crowding, impaction, and infection.

For this reason, many individuals opt to have their wisdom teeth removed. It’s worth underlining that the procedure is pricey and involves several days of healing and aftercare time, so there may be some activities you won’t be able to do till full healing is achieved.

In the article below, we will explore the subject of wisdom teeth removal, including the typical costs, insurance coverage options, financial alternatives, and possible treatment alternatives.


Reasons for Removal

There are several reasons why dentists recommend the removal of wisdom teeth. One common reason is that the jaw does not have enough space to accommodate them, leading to crowding and misalignment of surrounding teeth. Wisdom teeth may also become impacted, meaning they are unable to fully emerge from the gum line. This can cause pain, infection, and damage to adjacent teeth. Additionally, wisdom teeth are often hard to clean properly, making them susceptible to staining, decay and gum disease.

Typical Costs

The cost of wisdom teeth removal can vary, depending on factors such as the complexity of the extraction, the number of teeth being removed, and the geographical location of the dental practice. On average however, the cost can range from $75 to $200 per tooth for a simple extraction, and $225 to $600 per tooth for a surgical extraction. If general anesthesia is required, the cost may increase further. Consult with your dentist or oral surgeon to get an accurate estimate of the costs involved.

Insurance Coverage

Many dental insurance plans cover a portion of the cost of wisdom teeth removal, especially if it is deemed medically necessary. However, coverage can vary widely, so it is important to review your insurance policy carefully.

For instance, some plans may cover only a percentage of the costs, while others may have a maximum annual benefit. Therefore, it is advisable to contact your insurance provider and discuss the details of your coverage, which will determine how much you may be responsible for.

Financial Alternatives

For individuals without dental insurance or those with limited coverage, there are several financial alternatives available to help manage the cost of wisdom teeth removal:

-Payment Plans: Many dental clinics offer payment plans that allow patients to spread out the cost of the procedure over time. These plans may involve monthly installments or interest-free financing options.

-Dental Savings Plans: Dental savings plans, also known as dental discount plans, offer discounted rates on dental procedures, including wisdom teeth removal. These plans typically require an annual membership fee and provide significant savings on dental services.

-Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs): If you have an HSA or FSA, you can use the funds to cover the cost of wisdom teeth removal. These accounts allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars for eligible medical expenses, including dental procedures.

-Personal Loans: In certain cases, individuals may consider taking out personal loans to cover the cost of wisdom teeth removal. It is important to carefully consider the terms and interest rates associated with the loan before making a decision.

Government Assistance Programs

In certain cases, individuals may be eligible for government assistance programs that provide financial aid for dental treatment, including wisdom teeth removal. Programs such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offer coverage for qualifying low-income individuals and families.
It is recommended to check the eligibility requirements and coverage details of these programs in your state to determine if you qualify for assistance.

Treatment Alternatives

In some instances, wisdom teeth removal may not be necessary if the teeth are healthy, properly positioned, and can be adequately cleaned. Close monitoring by a dentist is crucial in such cases to ensure any potential issues are detected early on.

However, if problems do arise, alternative treatments such as orthodontic adjustments or extraction of adjacent teeth may be considered to create more space in the mouth. It is important to consult with a dental professional to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.


After your wisdom teeth are removed, it is vital to follow the dentist’s instructions correctly. The aftercare typically includes taking prescribed pain medications, applying ice packs to reduce swelling, eating soft foods, and avoiding strenuous activities.

It is normal to experience some discomfort and swelling for a few days after the procedure. However, if severe pain, excessive bleeding, or other complications arise, be sure to contact your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.

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