Ready to talk teeth? We’re drilling down into the ins and outs of getting those bothersome wisdom teeth out. But hold onto your dental floss, because the cost isn’t as cut and dry as you might think.
The price tag for a wisdom teeth removal procedure varies, based on a few factors:
- The complexity of the procedure
- The type of anaesthesia or sedation used (local anaesthesia vs general)
- Whether you have health insurance
- Where you live
On average, however, according to data from the Australian Dental Association, getting all four teeth removed using local anaesthetic can set you back around $2,322 in Australia.
If you opt for wisdom teeth removal under general anaesthetic, the cost can go even higher, ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 per tooth.
But let’s take it back a step and break down the cost factors.
The Operation Difficulty Level
Our back molars, also known as wisdom teeth, can be stubborn and impact our gum tissue, causing a world of hassle. Sometimes these teeth grow at awkward angles, pushing against the jawbone or nearby teeth, leading to discomfort and potential issues like cysts or tooth decay.
A simple extraction, where the tooth is already out and easy to reach, won’t break the bank as much as a surgical extraction, needed when the tooth is hiding below the gums. X-rays or an OPG are your dentist’s best friends to work out the positioning of the wisdom teeth, and hence, how difficult the operation might be.
Anaesthesia vs Sedation
What they use to keep pain at bay during the operation also affects the cost. You might go local with a local anaesthetic numbing the area, or you might take a full nap with a general anaesthetic.
The type of anaesthetic used often depends on the operation’s complexity and how you feel about the whole ordeal. If you go the general route, an anaesthetist will be there to ensure everything goes smoothly, but this adds to the cost.
A common choice for dental jitters is IV sedation, also known as sleep dentistry. This is administered by a dental surgeon and allows you to snooze through the procedure but typically carries a heavier price tag.
Health Insurance and Medicare
In Australia, whether you have private health insurance can also affect the cost of wisdom teeth extraction. Depending on your level of hospital cover, you might receive a rebate on your wisdom tooth extraction, which can cut down your out-of-pocket expenses.
However, keep in mind that Medicare generally doesn’t cover wisdom teeth removal unless performed in a hospital by an oral surgeon under general anaesthesia. Always have a chat with your health fund and Medicare to understand what you’re covered for.
Location, Location, Location
Your dentist’s whereabouts can influence the cost too. Generally, dental services in big cities like Sydney or Melbourne might make your wallet lighter compared to the country or regional areas.
According to the Australian Dental Association, the average cost for a straightforward wisdom teeth removal in Australia is between $225 to $250 per tooth, not counting any initial consultations, x-rays, and anaesthetic costs.
How Much Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost with Dental Insurance?
When it comes to wisdom teeth removal, the costs can vary depending on the type of insurance coverage you have.
If you have extras insurance, you can expect to pay anywhere from $0 to $80+ per tooth. With this type of coverage, your policy may cover a percentage of the cost, ranging from 60% to 100%, depending on the specifics of your plan.
On the other hand, if you require hospital treatment for wisdom teeth removal, you’ll need hospital insurance with a dental surgery benefit, typically falling under the silver-tier treatment category. In this case, the costs can range from $0 to $1,000+.
However, keep in mind that even with hospital cover, there may still be a gap to pay depending on the details of your treatment.
Can my usual dentist take out my wisdom teeth?
Your general dentist can probably handle a simple extraction. But if your wisdom teeth are a bit shy and haven’t fully emerged, you might need a dental surgeon or an oral surgeon.
What if I have private health insurance?
Private health insurance can help with the cost of wisdom teeth removal. The rebate you get depends on your level of cover, so it’s best to have a chat with your health fund.
Does Medicare cover wisdom teeth removal?
Medicare usually only covers the removal of wisdom teeth if it’s essential to protect your general health.
Can removing wisdom teeth cause other dental issues?
If it’s not done properly, removing wisdom teeth can cause other issues like infection, damage to other teeth, or a condition called dry socket, where the healing blood clot gets displaced.
Why are X-rays necessary before wisdom teeth removal?
X-rays or an OPG give your dentist an in-depth look at how your teeth look, helping them predict the complexity of the extraction and prevent potential complications.
Can I pay for wisdom teeth removal on a payment plan?
Many dental clinics offer payment plans for hefty dental procedures like wisdom teeth extraction. These payment plans can break down the total cost into manageable monthly chunks.
Take Out Health Insurance Today for All Your Dental Needs
Knowing the cost of wisdom teeth removal is vital for making an informed decision about your dental care.
Dental health insurance can certainly soften the blow of wisdom teeth removal, but remember, waiting periods and pre-existing conditions do apply if you don’t already have insurance – so keep that in mind.
Got more questions? Remember, it’s always best to have a chat with a professional from a trusted dental clinic to discuss your options.
If you have questions about finding the right health insurance policy for your dental needs, chat with the team at CHI today! Or, use our simple online tool to find the right policy for you within minutes.