Tooth extractions - Costs and prices.

Here's a "ballpark" estimate of the price that you might pay to have a tooth extracted by a general dentist. (We discuss the issue of dental insurance coverage below.)

A) "Simple" tooth extraction - permanent tooth.
     $100.00 to $200.00
Range: (Low) Small rural city to (high) Large metropolitan area.

How did we come up with this estimate?

What is a "simple" extraction?

A simple extraction fee we show above is for the normal, uncomplicated removal of a permanent tooth.

The tooth being extracted is erupted (penetrated through the gum tissue) and has a relatively normal orientation and positioning. It may or may not have portions missing due to fracture, tooth decay or a lost restoration.

What's included in an extraction fee?

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 the removal of stitches and the treatment of common complications such as dry sockets.

Note: The fee does not include the cost of whatever examination and/or x-rays are needed to initially diagnose the tooth's condition.

B) "Surgical" tooth extraction - permanent tooth.
     $180.00 - $350.00

The estimate shown above is for "surgically" extracting an erupted tooth. This refers to the removal of a tooth that has a fairly normal positioning, yet it still requires the removal of surrounding bone or sectioning to get it out. This is a different classification than an "impacted" tooth.

C) "Simple" tooth extraction - deciduous tooth (baby tooth).
     $50.00 - $90.00

The fee range shown above may seem somewhat exorbitant considering that so many baby teeth either "fall out" or are wiggled out by children on their own. However, the "rootless" state that we are most familiar with is only the end-stage of a baby tooth's life. For most of its existence, a baby tooth does have a root system and its presence adds to the difficulty of extracting it.

Cost variations.

Just as your dentist may feel that they deserve a higher fee for more difficult extractions, in the case where multiple teeth (especially loose ones) are being removed, their fee may be lower than expected.

This is probably most likely in the case of removing several lower front teeth in preparation for denture placement. Many times the bone surrounding these teeth has been so ravaged by gum disease that the dentist's job is quick and simple.

However, other types of multiple-tooth cases can pose challenges that their single-tooth counterparts don't. Removing several teeth in a row creates a larger wound, which typically means that stitches will be needed. And especially in the case where later on a denture will be worn, it also means that the shape of the jawbone will require smoothing and contouring.

Does dental insurance cover tooth extractions?

You can expect that most dental plans will provide some type 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.

  • Issues can crop up with "surgical" extractions (which typically have a higher cost than "simple" extractions).
         When a claim is submitted, the treating dentist must sometimes explain the circumstances of the extraction, relating why it required a surgical approach. The insurance company will then make a decision as to whether the procedure's circumstances meet their coverage guidelines.
  • Some policies stipulate that the extraction must be "medically" necessary. This term typically applies to all of the common reasons why you would expect a problematic tooth would need to be pulled. But, for example, this clause might exclude the removal of asymptomatic wisdom teeth.

 All FYI's ► 

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Topic- Tooth Extractions.
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