For some people, the sprouting out of wisdom teeth can create a flap of tissue that overlaps nearby molar teeth. In a few cases, wisdom teeth also grow wrongly aligned causing a lot of pain and swelling in the gums. Extraction of such wisdom teeth is entirely unavoidable. And you may be interested to know about the cost of removing wisdom teeth and the medical procedures involved in it.
A little about Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars. They are each of the four hindmost molars in humans. This set of 4 teeth appears between the age of 17 and 24. They are similar to the first permanent molars that usually erupt between ages 6 and 7 years.
According to a report published in Science Line, anthropologists believe wisdom teeth, or the third set of molars were the evolutionary answer to our ancestor’s early diet of coarse and rough foods like roots and leafy vegetables. These teeth were evolved when humans required more chewing power and to resist the excessive wear and tear of teeth.
Why last 4 molars are called “wisdom teeth”?
From the 1600s onwards the last four molar teeth were known as “teeth of wisdom.” But around the year AD 1850, dental practitioners popularized the name “wisdom teeth.” The last four molars do not grow until we’re between 17 and 24 years old. It is a period of life when each of us is considered to be an adult and wise enough to manage life by ourselves. The growth of the last four molars is considered a sign of a person attaining maturity and wisdom.
These are the only teeth that develop after our birth. The other 28 teeth, both primary and permanent, develop in the prenatal stage itself.
Surprisingly, about 35 percent of people may not have the growth of wisdom teeth at all.
When should you remove wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth or the third molars in the very back of your mouth are not necessary to be removed if they are fully erupted and rightly positioned.
However, many persons do not have enough room in the gums for the proper growth of wisdom teeth. In such cases, the tooth may grow from various angles or even horizontally.
You have to get the wisdom tooth removed if the following conditions exist:
- Tooth remaining fully hidden within the gums
- Teeth trapped or impacted within your jaw which may cause infection or cyst
- Emerging only a partial portion of the tooth through the gums
- Crowd nearby teeth
According to the American Dental Association, wisdom teeth removal may be necessary if you experience any of the following conditions around the tooth:
- Frequent pain
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Repeated infection of soft tissues surrounding the tooth
- Fluid-filled sacs/cysts
- Damage to nearby teeth
Wisdom teeth removal cost
You may be wondering how much does wisdom tooth removal cost?
The cost of extracting the third molar tooth varies according to the specific conditions of your tooth.
If your third molar tooth is fully erupted like the other molars, then the cost would be just as much as the normal tooth extraction.
On average, pulling out a normal wisdom tooth can cost you anywhere from $75 to $200 per tooth. It is a non-surgical tooth extraction procedure that can be performed by an experienced dentist.
However, the price of extracting a problematic wisdom tooth can be up to $400 or more according to the condition of your tooth. Tooth extraction cost can be quite high if your tooth is under conditions such as a tumor, cyst formation, impacted, partially or fully hidden under the gums.
Let us now look at the approximate cost of extracting wisdom teeth under various conditions.
Soft tissue impact
Some do have wisdom teeth covered with an insignificant amount of soft gum tissues. To extract this kind of tooth, your dental surgeon has to perform a minor operative intrusion.
The cost of removing wisdom teeth with soft tissue impact ranges from $200 to $400. However, the price of the tooth extraction can be lower or higher than projected according to the city and fees charged by your dentist.
Partial bony impact
There are numerous cases of people with a partially impacted wisdom tooth. It means that a portion of your tooth’s crown remains enclosed in your jawbones.
For removing a partially impacted wisdom tooth, your dental surgeon has to perform a surgical operation to cut open the gum. Additionally, it may involve the removal of some volume of the bony structure covering the tooth.
The removal of a partially impacted wisdom tooth removal can cost you $250 to $450 per tooth.
Wisdom tooth casing infection, cyst, tumor, bone decay, or damaging adjacent tooth
Your dentist will have to perform multiple treatment procedures to remove the wisdom tooth causing severe conditions in the gum, jawbone, or adjacent tooth. Situations involving cysts, tumors, or infections needed to be treated first before extracting the tooth.
When multiple treatments are to be done before or after the removal of a wisdom tooth, the cost of a medical procedure can be as high as $1,000.
Normal wisdom tooth removal
The charges of removing a normal wisdom tooth will cost you a minimum of $75 to a maximum of $200 hundred per tooth. If you have to remove all four wisdom teeth, then you have to pay fees ranging from $300 to $800.
How much does dental insurance pay?
Almost all dental insurance schemes cover up to 40 to 60 percent of the total cost of removing a wisdom tooth. Such insurance claims can be made only if the extraction of your tooth is medically necessary.
There are high-end dental insurance schemes that pay up to $1,500 annually for all dental care. If you have such dental insurance coverage, you can easily get the full sum of the price charged for the removal of teeth.
Where can I find low-cost dental care?
If you cannot afford the high cost charged for dental care by most hospitals, you can look out for cheaper or free dental care service centers in your country.
Almost all Asian, African, and Latin American countries have dental care services at affordable rates.
In the U.S. you can get wisdom tooth removal at a cheap rate or free in some dental service centers. Here is a list of few such health institutions:
Local health departments
The Bureau of Primary Health Care supports federally-funded community health centers across the country that provide free or reduced-cost health services, including dental care.
Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP
The elderly (65 years old) can get limited dental care fees under the Medicare insurance scheme. Medicaid funds can be availed by all eligible persons for medical treatments including dental care. CHIP provides medical insurance coverage to all eligible children and teenagers below 19 years.
Dental schools (American Dental Association) can be a good source of quality, reduced-cost dental treatment.
The National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) sometimes seek volunteers with specific oral, dental, and craniofacial conditions to participate in research studies. Some such clinical trial centers offer free or subsidized dental care.
The Bottom Line
Wisdom teeth are also known as the “third molars” are important teeth. Since these teeth grow after 17 years, often little room is left in the gum for their proper growth. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a lot of problems like pain, infection, and facial swelling. In such a situation, wisdom teeth have to be removed through a surgical procedure.
The cost of extracting a wisdom tooth depends on the condition of the tooth and standard dental charges existing in a region or city. It is going to cost you a minimum of $75 to a maximum of $250 per tooth. The price of this service may cost much more if the procedure involves partial removal of gum and a portion of the jawbone trapping the tooth.