Tooth extraction fees - How much does it cost to get a tooth pulled?
This page gives price estimates of how much you might pay a general dentist to remove one or more of your teeth (arranged by extraction type: simple, surgical or deciduous tooth).
It also provides details about dental insurance coverage for oral surgery. And works through some sample calculations that explain what your expected costs might be, both when insurance is and isn't involved.
Leave a comment!
We've recently hooked up the comments system at the bottom of this page. So if there's something you're unclear about, or simply want to state what you paid to have your tooth pulled, please post a message.
A) "Simple" tooth extraction - permanent tooth.
$102.00 to $206.00
Range: Low fee = Small rural city / High fee = Large metropolitan area.
How did we come up with this estimate?
What is a "simple" extraction?
A "simple" extraction refers to the standard, uncomplicated removal of a permanent tooth. (The "typical" or "routine" tooth extraction.)
The tooth being pulled ...
- Is erupted (meaning it has substantially penetrated through the gum tissue).
- Is in relatively normal orientation and positioning in the jawbone.
- May or may not have portions missing due to fracture, tooth decay or a lost restoration.
What's included in an extraction's cost?
The fee should include the local anesthetic (dental "shots") needed during the procedure and, at its completion, the placement of sutures (stitches) if needed.
Additionally, it should include whatever routine aftercare the patient requires for 30 days after their surgery. This would include services such as removing stitches and the treatment of common post-op complications such as dry sockets.
What's not included.
The fee does not include the cost of whatever examination and/or x-rays are needed to initially diagnose the tooth's condition. Nor does it include the cost of supplementary services such the use of sedation during the procedure.
B) "Surgical" tooth extraction - permanent tooth.
$179.00 to $353.00
What is a "surgical" extraction?
This classification refers to the situation where the tooth being pulled ...
- Is erupted and has a fairly normal positioning in the jaw.
- Requires additional steps such as trimming surrounding bone or sectioning (cutting the tooth into pieces). (This page discusses the topic of surgical extractions.)
As an example of when this procedure might be needed, a tooth that has broken off at or below the gum line might have to be removed "surgically."
(This category is not the classification used for the removal of "impacted" teeth.)
C) "Simple" tooth extraction - deciduous tooth (baby tooth).
$51.00 to $94.00
The fee estimate shown here may seem high considering that so many baby teeth are either wiggled out by children or else just fall out on their own.
Keep in mind however that the familiar "rootless" state of these teeth is actually their end-stage. For most of a deciduous tooth's existence, it does have a root system and its presence does add to the difficulty of extracting it.
Reasons why your dentist's fee may vary.
Exactly how much it costs to have your tooth pulled may vary due to circumstances such the following.
If your tooth presents challenges that exceed the norm, your dentist may feel that a higher fee is warranted. Making this type of adjustment is not a terribly uncommon in dentistry.
If dental coverage is involved, the dentist must typically submit details to the insurance company justifying the increase.
There can be times when a dentist may charge less for extractions.
- A patient has opted for a big-ticket item (like complete dentures). The extractions required for their treatment plan are included at a reduced fee as a loss leader. (Dentists who advertise often use this tactic.)
- Multiple teeth that pose little challenge for the dentist are removed during a single appointment. Since less treatment time has been required, the fee is reduced.
With this type of situation, the teeth might be easy to remove due to their small size and simple root form (as is the case with lower incisors). Or due to an existing condition, such as tooth loosening caused by advanced gum disease.
Does dental insurance cover tooth extractions?
Yes, you can expect that most dental plans will provide some level of coverage for routine dental extractions.
This procedure is typically categorized as a "basic dental service." As such, it is often covered at a rate of 70 to 80% of the dentist's UCR fee. The patient will likely have had to meet the policy's deductible to receive full benefits.
Common policy limitations and restrictions.
- Classification issues sometimes crop up with "surgical" vs. "simple" extractions. The patient may be charged a "surgical" fee by their dentist but only receive benefits from their insurance company at the "simple" level.
The solution is for the dentist to submit additional information that explains why a surgical approach was required. The insurance company will then make a decision as to whether the procedure's circumstances meet their coverage guidelines.
- Some policies stipulate that an extraction must be "medically" necessary. This term typically includes all of the common reasons why a troublesome tooth would need to be pulled.
But, for example, this clause might exclude the removal of asymptomatic wisdom teeth or teeth taken out in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
Cost calculations for extractions.
Examples, with and without dental insurance coverage.
Here are some sample calculations that can help to give you an idea of how much your tooth extraction might end up costing, both when dental insurance is and is not involved.
As you know from reading above, the cost for pulling a tooth will vary according to its type (baby vs. permanent) and the level of difficulty of the procedure (simple vs. surgical). For the sake of simplification however, in the calculations below we've arbitrarily set this fee at $150.
If only one tooth is removed -
- Total charges by your dentist for your work: $150 X 1 (tooth) = $1000.
- If insurance is involved: As a "Basic" dental service, it's common for insurance plans to cover 80% of the cost of this procedure, after the policy's deductible has been met. But only up to the amount of its maximum annual benefits.
For our examples, we'll set the deductible at $100 and the policy's maximum benefits at $1000. Both of these numbers are fairly common.
Insurance benefits: [$150 (total charges) - $100 (policy deductible)] X 80% = $40. Note, this number is smaller than the maximum yearly benefit limitation.
Amount you pay: $150 (total charges) - $40 (insurance benefits) = $110.
If two teeth are removed -
- Total charges by your dentist for your work: $150 X 2 (teeth) = $300.
- Insurance benefits: Using the same policy values given above, the calculation for treating two teeth would be [$300 (total charges) - $100 (the policy deductible)] X 80% = $160 (a number smaller than the maximum yearly benefits limit).
Amount you pay: $300 (total charges) - $160 (insurance benefits) = $140.
If three teeth are removed -
- Total charges by your dentist for your work: $150 X 3 (teeth) = $450.
- Insurance benefits: Using the same policy values stated previously, the calculation for extracting three teeth would be [$450 (total charges) - $100 (the policy deductible)] X 80% = $280 (a number smaller than the maximum yearly benefits limit).
Amount you pay: $450 (total charges) - $280 (insurance benefits) = $170.
If four teeth are removed -
- Total charges by your dentist for your work: $150 X 4 (teeth) = $600.
- Insurance benefits: Using the same policy values stated above, the calculation for extracting three teeth would be [$600 (total charges) - $100 (the policy deductible)] X 80% = $400 (a number smaller than the maximum yearly benefits limit).
Amount you pay: $600 (total charges) - $400 (insurance benefits) = $200.
Maximum annual benefits limitations.
As you can see from our example calculations above, when it comes to extractions, it takes having several teeth pulled before the problem of exceeding a policy's maximum yearly benefits usually comes into play.
Using our hypothetical values above, it would take 9. And while that may seem like a fairly large number of teeth, in cases where dentures are planned this number can be exceeded quite easily.
Compounding this issue is the fact that after the extractions have been performed the new dentures must be paid for too. All totaled, the sum of the patient's expenses can dwarf the benefits that the policy pays by a substantial amount. [Related pages- Costs for partial and complete dentures.]
A possible work around.
Discuss matters with your dentist. It may be that your treatment plan can be divided up between policy years, so the total amount of benefits you receive can be maximized.
For example, when a denture is planned (full or partial), the more the bone immediately surrounding the extraction sites has "cured" (healed) before the final impression for the new prosthesis is taken the better.
So possibly having your extractions performed during one policy year and then some weeks or months later your other work performed in the following one could work out to your advantage.
Of course, stretching your treatment out like this might be unacceptable (loss of function, poor aesthetics). But there's no reason not to discuss different approaches with your dentist so to see what alternatives might be possible.
Learn how a dentist pulls teeth. ▶
Full menu for topic Tooth Extractions. ▼
- The extraction process -
- Surgical tooth extractions.
- Extraction costs. / Insurance.
- Extraction aftercare and recovery -
- Assorted FYI facts about having your tooth pulled.
- Page reference sources.
Related topics -