Wisdom teeth removal is an important and often very crucial type of dental care that is required when they eventually erupt. Wisdom teeth are in essence the third and final set of teeth that develop in a young person’s mouth. This usually occurs somewhere between the ages of 17 and 24. When wisdom teeth do eventually erupt, there are four in total. This includes two on the top jaw and two on the bottom jaw.
Wisdom teeth often become impacted because there simply is not enough room along the jaw to accommodate these newly erupted teeth. Wisdom teeth that are impacted present serious dental health-related issues that must be considered. This includes impacted wisdom teeth that may experience chronic infection, cavities or gum disease and even in more extreme cases tumors or cysts. In most situations, wisdom teeth can be removed as an outpatient surgery in a dental office setting. In other situations, these teeth must be removed in a hospital environment. One example of this is when all four impacted wisdom teeth must be removed and where there is a high risk of complications.
In many instances, wisdom teeth will erupt in a less-than-perfect way. They can come in at an angle or fail to erupt entirely. When third molars do not erupt in the normal way or remain within the gums, they are known as impacted wisdom teeth. When wisdom teeth are crowded, impacted or come in at an angle they may require extraction. General dentists can perform simple extractions. There may be other more complex cases where patients are referred to an oral surgeon for the removal of an impacted or semi-impacted tooth.
The actual procedure itself involves numbing the area immediately surrounding the wisdom tooth or the application of general anesthesia. Next, the oral surgeon makes a small incision in the gum tissue directly above the wisdom tooth. If there is any bone present, it is removed allowing the surgeon to have direct access to the wisdom tooth. The wisdom tooth is carefully and safely removed allowing the surgeon to close up the surgical site then.
Regarding actual stitches, some surgeons may use dissolving stitches while others may use standard stitches that will require removal after a few days following the surgery. Patients are advised to only eat liquid food and soft foods for at least the first few days. They are also further advised to avoid using a straw to drink as this can dislodge a blood clot. Many doctors recommend rinsing several times per day with a mixture of warm water and salt as a way to facilitate and aid in the healing process.
The cost of wisdom tooth removal can vary substantially based upon some factors. For example, a basic wisdom tooth extraction procedure where the tooth has fully erupted without any complications can range anywhere from $100 to $300 per tooth. This assumes that the wisdom tooth has a simple root and only local anesthesia is needed. Under the same circumstances when all four wisdom teeth require removal and the procedure is simple in nature, and nonsurgical the total cost can range anywhere from $300-$800 in total for four teeth.
The Average Teeth Removal Cost – 2018
Because of changes in dental insurance plan starting 2018, we have gathered information from a couple of major dental insurance providers in regards to the cost of wisdom teeth removal. When a wisdom tooth extraction is only required local anesthesia, the cost can range anywhere from $200 to $650 per tooth. When the use of nitrous oxide is required as an anesthetic to relax the patient the cost can increase by about $50-$100. General anesthesia can add substantially to the cost of a basic wisdom tooth extraction procedure. General anesthesia can range anywhere from $250-$1000 per hour in total cost in most instances.
One primary factor that must be considered about wisdom tooth extraction is the type of tooth impaction. A standard soft tissue impaction is the easiest type of impacted tooth removal procedure. This is where the tooth has only partially erupted through the gum. In other instances, a partial bony impaction can be expected to be more complicated wisdom tooth removal. In the case of a partial bony impaction, a portion of the tooth is usually above the gum line while much of the tooth will still be encased in the jawbone. The procedure required in this situation can be expected to be the most costly.
As an added note, there are many cases where oral surgeon or periodontist may offer treatment packages if all four wisdom teeth require extraction. Wisdom tooth extraction packages that include sedation can range anywhere between $1000 and $1700. That said the average cost nationwide for removing all wisdom teeth with general anesthesia involved can range between $1500 to $2200. It should also be pointed out that in most cases the prices quoted for wisdom tooth extraction will include routine office visits to check healing progress as well as for the removal of surgical sutures. As stated earlier, complex or more challenging cases can be more expensive depending on the type of anesthesia used.
The good news is most the dental insurance plans cover all or most the cost of the tooth extractions. If you don’t have dental insurance, we offer a couple of different payment plans to help our patient with their dental procedures. Talk with one of our treatment coordinators or make an appointment to consulate with one of our surgeons to learn more about the wisdom tooth removal process in our midtown Houston center.