Tooth extraction might sound like the scariest thing in the world, but sometimes it’s medically necessary. In these cases, your tooth extraction cost might be covered by your insurance.
But it’s not guaranteed.
To determine how much you can expect to pay, let’s take a look at why you might need your tooth pulled in the first place and what the procedure is like.
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5 Reasons You Might Need Your Tooth Pulled
If you experience anxiety at the dentist, you’re probably looking for ways to avoid having this tooth of yours pulled.
This can be a painful (and expensive) mistake.
Tooth pain that is keeping you awake at night, swelling, or frequent bleeding are all signs you need to have your tooth extracted. In fact, you may need to see an emergency dentist.
Ignoring this issue may end up costing you more in the long run. It can lead to you needing multiple extractions, treatment for a disease, or root canal treatment.
Here are the most common reasons a tooth needs to come out.
1. Your Teeth Are Overcrowded
We commonly associate teeth pulling with wisdom teeth removal. Your wisdom teeth are the large molars at the back of your oral cavity.
At the earliest, these teeth grow in when you’re about 17 years old. Some people don’t have their molars come in until they’re 25!
By this age, all of your other teeth have grown in, making little room for those hefty molars. When they finally do start to come in, chances are they won’t fit or they’ll shove your existing teeth out of the way. This causes — you guessed it — overcrowding.
Overcrowding can be painful, but it’s really bad for your overall health. It prevents you from being able to properly brush your teeth, which means more plaque, which means more cavities, which means more money spent at the dentist.
2. You Want Cosmetic Dentistry
Your dentist may also suggest pulling a tooth if they’re overcrowded and you want cosmetic services such as Invisalign.
Sometimes we may need to pull a tooth or two in order for these invisible aligners to work to their full advantage.
Cosmetic dentistry such as dental implants, full-mouth restoration, and bridges also technically require your teeth to be extracted. Your tooth extraction cost in these circumstances may be a bit more expensive since these are considered cosmetic services, not medical.
3. Your Tooth is Decaying
Despite your best efforts, you may notice that your teeth aren’t what they used to be. Signs of tooth decay are:
- Teeth discoloration
- Visible holes
- Black or brown spotting on the teeth
- Pain when you eat or bite down
Tooth decay can sometimes happen simply as we get older. Or it can be from a lifetime of eating food that is bad for your teeth or taking up habits such as smoking. Medicines can also sometimes cause tooth decay.
We normally attack this issue by first offering a filling, fluoride treatment, a crown, or a root canal. This is only possible if the enamel is somewhat intact.
In some cases (i.e. you have an abscessed tooth), we’ll need to completely pull the tooth and provide a bridge or dental implant. In these cases, the infection from your decaying tooth could spread so pulling the tooth would prevent that.
4. You’ve Experienced Trauma
You’ll need your tooth pulled in the event that you’ve experienced trauma to your mouth. This includes getting hit in the mouth while playing sports or injury to the face from a car accident.
Here’s what to do about chipped teeth.
While teeth pulling isn’t always 100% necessary in these events, if the impact severely damages your tooth nerves (causing yellowing, dark spots, or a dead tooth), tooth extraction is the best course of action.
5. You Have Gum Disease
The most common concern we have with patients is gingivitis. This can normally be treated with an updated oral hygiene routine and a deep cleaning by your dentist.
If left untreated, however, this can turn into periodontal disease. This is a more serious gum infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. If your gums or bones deteriorate too much, we’ll recommend a tooth extraction.
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Tooth Pulling Procedure
Your tooth extraction cost is dependent on what all needs to be done during your procedure.
For example, having a tooth pulled because of an accident will typically only require a simple extraction, while wisdom tooth removal is a surgical extraction.
Lucky for you, both of these are painless, outpatient procedures that only require a few days of rest.
Option 1: Simple Tooth Pulling Procedure
First, your dentist will have you come in for a 3D dental scan to determine why (or if) you need your tooth extracted. These scans tell us how severe the damage is in your tooth, gums, and bones.
If the damage is minimal, we can perform a simple tooth extraction using local anesthesia. This means you’ll be awake during the procedure. We’ll numb the area surrounding the tooth and then use a tool all an elevator to loosen it.
Then, using something called a forceps, we’ll remove the tooth from your mouth and have you bite down on gauze and/or cotton to stop the bleeding. Stitches aren’t normally required, but this is determined on a case-by-case basis.
From there, you’ll have some food restrictions and a slight ache in your mouth. Otherwise, you’re free to resume your daily activities as usual!
How long does a simple tooth extraction take?
This procedure can take anywhere from 5 to 40 minutes for a single tooth extraction.
Option 2: Surgical Tooth Extraction
This procedure is necessary if the tooth being pulled is impacted or there is a piece of the tooth below the gum line.
In this case, your dentist will make a small incision, remove the tooth, and stitch you up. This takes about 45 minutes unless you’re having multiple teeth pulled. You can choose between local, sedation, or general anesthesia.
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Tooth Extraction Cost
Your tooth extraction cost depends on how many teeth you have pulled, the type of procedure you have, the anesthesia you use, as well as your location and dentist’s experience.
Local anesthesia is the most cost-effective while general anesthesia (being completely knocked out) costs the most.
With that being said, a single tooth extraction will cost between $75-$200 while a single surgical extraction can cost anywhere between $250-$600.