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.
A) “Simple” tooth extraction – permanent tooth.
$113.00 to $223.00
Range: Low fee = Small rural city | High fee = Large metropolitan area.
[How we calculate our cost estimates for procedures.]
What is a “simple” extraction?
A “simple” extraction refers to the standard, uncomplicated removal of a permanent tooth. (This would be a “typical” or “routine” tooth extraction.)
The tooth being pulled …
- Has erupted (meaning it has substantially penetrated through the gum tissue).
- Has a relatively normal orientation and positioning in the jawbone.
- The tooth may or may not have portions missing due to fracture, decay or a lost restoration. (The fact that a tooth happens to be broken does not necessarily disqualify it from falling under this classification.)
- The tooth’s removal can be accomplished just using instruments that manipulate (elevate and/or grasp) its visible portion. How teeth are “pulled.”
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. Indications.
What’s not included.
The fee does not include the cost of any examination that’s needed to initially diagnose the tooth’s condition, or the x-rays taken during that evaluation. What’s usually required. Nor does it include the cost of supplementary services such as the use of sedation during the procedure. Sedation fees.
B) “Surgical” tooth extraction – permanent tooth.
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.
(This category is not the classification used for the removal of “impacted” teeth. Fees.)
- Requires additional steps such as trimming surrounding bone or sectioning (cutting the tooth into pieces). (This page discusses the topic of surgical extractions. What’s involved?)
As an example of when this procedure might be needed, a tooth that has broken off at or below the gum line (and therefore offers little for the dentist’s tools to grasp or manipulate) might need to be removed “surgically.”
C) “Simple” tooth extraction – deciduous tooth (baby tooth).
$53.00 to $98.00
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.
X-ray of a tooth socket after an extraction.
Reasons why your dentist’s fee may vary.
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 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.” What’s this? As such, it is often covered at a rate of 70 to 80% of the dentist’s UCR fee. What’s this? The patient will likely have had to meet the policy’s deductible to receive full benefits.
- 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 of 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. What’s this?
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 (full) dentures.]
A possible workaround.
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.
Details about how dentists “pull” teeth. The steps. | The process. ►
Page references sources:
Because the procedure estimates we show are developed by different means, you may find the survey of dental fees published by DentistryIQ an interesting independent source: DentistryIQ – 2017 dental fee analysis by region and CDT procedure code
All reference sources for topic Tooth Extractions.
This section contains comments submitted in previous years. Many have been edited so to limit their scope to subjects discussed on this page.
Why is the cost the same for all teeth. How come pulling little teeth cost as much as back molars? That doesn’t seem fair.
We’re not going to have a great answer for you.
Generally a dentist simply wants to be paid fairly for the amount of “chair time” involved. And often the amount of extra effort or time that it takes to remove a stubborn tooth is actually small in comparison to all of the other appointment activities (setting up the patient and room, numbing the tooth, etc…). So difficult tooth or not, the “chair” (room) is tied up for the same duration.
That’s not to say a dentist can’t choose to charge less for ridiculously simple teeth (like discussed above with denture extractions), especially when multiple teeth are extracted. And dentists will charge more for more challenging extractions (see Surgical Extractions above). But generally, tooth size, and often even how easy the extraction is, isn’t a big factor.
Our dentist charged full price for my daughter’s baby tooth.
Wow! That was harsh.
Well, yes and no. Once again, the time that had to be set aside for extracting even a baby tooth might be similar to an adult one. Some baby teeth still have their root, not all kids are willing patients.
Another factor is that individual dentists typically do “what is allowed by dental insurance,” and in this case billing the same for all is allowed (covered).
Actually charging less (possibly a “fairer” price) actually works against the dentist in that the insurance company will then include that lower price in when calculating the “Usual, Customary and Reasonable” (UCR) fee for that procedure in the dentist’s area, thus ultimately reducing benefit levels for that procedure. This isn’t such a clear-cut topic.
What if the extraction is more complicated?
What if extractions are more complicated due to severe tooth decay or broken teeth?
A broken tooth or one with advanced decay doesn’t necessarily pose a greater challenge to the dentist.
If it does, the procedure might fall under the category “surgical extraction” (see above).
Or if extra time or effort is required the dentist might simply charge a higher “simple extraction” fee.
In either case, the dentist might have to document for the insurance company involved why the higher fee is justified.
loose tooth extraction
Hi. Just wondering if you could give an approximate cost of having my back tooth removed as it us loose. There is no damage or decay, its just loose and I have constant aching there… Thank You
You’ll usually find that a dentist bills for the procedures they perform according to a standard set of procedure code numbers (used industry wide in dentistry). So, our “simple” and “surgical” categories above would each have their own unique number, and your dentist would have assigned to them the standard fee they choose to charge for each one.
There really isn’t a “loose tooth” code number, so you would have to anticipate that your dentist will bill your tooth as a regular “simple” extraction.
A dentist can always choose to lower their fee (like in the case of your loose tooth) and some do. But there is no standard “deduction” for that type of consideration.
Broken tooth. Got insurance but dont have $ to pay for visit. Is payments possible?
The possibility of making payment arrangements would simply vary office by office.
From the dentist’s standpoint (especially for someone they don’t already know), they might feel that allowing payments places them in the position where there patient’s problem has been solved leaving them little motivation to ultimately settle the bill.
On the other hand, if the benefits of your insurance coverage would cover a significant portion of the extraction cost, taking that risk in hopes of gaining a new patient (and hopefully providing future work for them) might be worth it to them.
Clinics in your area set up to assist persons with lower incomes might be more amenable to a payment arrangement.
Baby tooth extraction.
I went to the dentist last week with my doughter for her upper front and lower front baby tooth extraction both are uncomplicated…. they charge me $140/tooth. ..is it fair price or not. .?
And treatment takes only 10 minutes. And upper front one was half wiggle but because of adult tooth was already coming from different way we had to go for extraction. ..
A dentist’s fee schedule is typically based on ADA procedure codes (the set of procedure code numbers used to file insurance claims).
Permanent and baby teeth both fall under the same code number, and therefore removing either would involve the same fee.
Separately, there is a code number that applies to the removal baby teeth where some root resorption has taken place but the tooth has not yet fallen out (i.e. the tooth has started to loosen up). The fee associated with this type of extraction can be expected to be less, possibly much so.
With either procedure code, a dentist always has the option of charging less if that seems appropriate to them.
In dentistry, as much as anything you are paying for “chair time” when a procedure is performed. As in the case where the difficulty of the extraction is unknown and enough appointment time has been set aside to accommodate all difficulties, then we can see how the dentist may need to charge the full regular fee (be it either of the two mentioned above).
On the other hand, if the dentist beforehand knew how simple the extractions would be and scheduled them accordingly, then charging the full fee seems unvirtuous on their part.
What would be an average cost for taking out the two top wisdom teeth only?
Use this link to our page about the cost of wisdom tooth extractions.
I have advanced gum disease in pain just don’t have insurance. Anyone know of a decent dentist that’s willing to work with a low income person in South Eastern Massachusetts on extractions? Getting desperate.
We have a page that can help a person find dental low-income assistance programs in their area. Here’s the link.
Do all insurance cover pulling teeth?
I need a tooth pulled and have insurance at work. Will they cover it?
The good new is that tooth extractions are usually categorized as a “basic” dental service (discussed above) and as such typically are covered by insurance plans and at a relatively high benefits level. However, how your specific plan reads is something we obviously don’t know.
Some plans have a deductible that must be met. (As a possible example, the first $100 of dental expenses might need to be paid by the patient or such.) If that’s the case, the extraction may be a covered procedure but you are still responsible for a substantial portion of its cost. (Other restrictions may apply and are discussed above.) Surely there is a “resources” person at your company that can help you figure out what your policy provides. Good luck.
I was referred for an abscessed tooth extraction. My dentist provided x-rays. When I received my bill for the extraction ($214.70) there was an additional charge of $92.15 for a Limited Evaluation. Is this normal?
We’re guessing you were charged for “Limited oral evaluation – problem focused” which has an insurance code classification of D0140.
You might just Google around and see how that code jives with the services you received. The code is often used in situations where some type of diagnosis was needed (like when a patient arrives at the dentist’s office with some type of immediate/emergency condition that needs to be figured out).
As you Google around, it won’t take you long to see that many professional publications run articles about what is permissible for dentists to bill for (in terms of what insurance companies will allow).
That doesn’t necessarily mean that doing so, or doing so at full price in all cases, is necessarily the most ethical thing to do, just permissible and a way of maximizing income.
Let your general dentist know what you experienced. It may influence to whom they refer.