Tooth extraction fees - How much does it cost to get a tooth pulled?

- Fee estimates for routine, surgical and baby tooth extractions. | Dental insurance - coverage & benefits.

Here's a ballpark estimate of the fee you might pay a general dentist to extract your tooth. (See lower on this page for usual guidelines regarding insurance benefits for oral surgery.)

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.


An x-ray a tooth socket after having its tooth pulled.

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.

Higher costs.

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.

Lower costs.

There can be times when a dentist may charge less for extractions.

As examples:

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.

Coverage rates.

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.

Learn how a dentist pulls teeth. ▶

[Reference sources for this topic.]

 

Read more about having teeth pulled ...

Extraction aftercare and recovery ...

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