Factors That Can Affect The Cost Of Tooth Extraction
The cost of tooth extraction services can vary a lot from person to person. While a friend may have only paid $90 for their extraction, you may find yourself in for a financial shock if you need a less-than-straightforward tooth extraction. Most of us consider the process of pulling a tooth to be pretty simple, but there are plenty of factors that can contribute to how much effort and equipment the dentist will have to use in order to remove the tooth. The paragraphs to come will list just a few examples of situations in which you will find the cost of tooth extraction to increase.
Wisdom teeth, as a standard, carry the highest cost of tooth extraction. Your wisdom teeth, which are also known as third molars, are associated with “wisdom” not because they have any impact on a person’s mentality but instead because they erupt around early adulthood, typically between the ages of 16 to 25. As a whole, wisdom teeth aren’t necessary these days because dental hygiene has come so far that we are actually able to preserve our teeth for many years. Unfortunately, humans also tend to have smaller mouths than we used to which means that a wisdom tooth could lead to an uncomfortable bite, crowding of the other teeth, or cavity formation in surrounding teeth. In such a case, most dentists will recommend that the tooth be removed even though the tooth itself is healthy. If the tooth is indeed fully erupted and healthy, you could expect the cost of tooth extraction to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $150. This, of course, varies according to the local economy, the dentist, and the overall situation of the tooth.
Partially-Erupted or Impacted Tooth
Partial eruption is an occurrence that mostly occurs with wisdom teeth. For some of us, a wisdom tooth may never show up or it may only partially push through the gums. Partial eruptions can be a bit of a hassle for a dentist because it means that they cannot just use forceps to shimmy the tooth out of the gums. Instead they have to perform minor surgery to open the gums and remove the tooth. The main issue with a partially erupted tooth is that a piece of skin called an operculum sits over part of the surface of the tooth which makes it an ideal shelter for bacteria. When bacteria become trapped under this skin they can freely access the underlying tooth which basically causes it to decay inside the gums. Removal of this type of tooth can become worse if it is, indeed, already rotting. The cost of tooth extraction for a partially-erupted tooth will likely be around $300.
An impacted tooth also requires surgical removal, but the cost can vary a great deal depending on what type of impaction has occurred. An impacted tooth is one that has failed to grow up and has instead grown sideways or at an angle—usually into the neighboring tooth. If the impacted tooth is primarily surrounded by the soft tissue of gums, then it will probably require a little less effort on the dentist’s part, although removal does still require surgical action. This kind of extraction will probably cost somewhere around $350 - $390. The other type of impaction is called a bony impaction. This type of tooth is usually so deeply implanted into the underlying bone that the dentist must remove surrounding bone in order to expose enough of the tooth to remove it. This is also the case with a tooth that has grown in on its side. This procedure can run anywhere from $400 to $550.
Badly Broken or Weakened Tooth
Another factor that can affect the cost of tooth extraction is the general condition of a fully erupted tooth. For instance, if you have a tooth that has broken to the gum line or there is very little of the tooth left, then your dentist isn’t going to be able to perform a simple extraction because he will need more than forceps in order to grasp the tooth. This procedure can run anywhere from $150 to $300 depending on how far the tooth has broken below the gum line. The same is true for a tooth that has become so brittle due to decay that it cannot be removed in one piece.
Seeing a New Dentist
If you have never been to a dentist before and you need to have a tooth pulled then there will naturally be more costs involved with this procedure. Most dental offices require x-rays of the whole mouth as well as a general exam for their new patients. In all fairness, a dentist is a doctor of the teeth and he or she will want to know up-front what kind of situation they are going to be dealing with so that they can offer the best help to their patients. If you are a new patient then you will probably have to cover the cost of the x-rays as well as the exam in addition to the tooth extraction, although the latter service will probably not occur in the same visit as the initial exam.