As a licensed oral surgeon, Dr. Puckett gets asked many questions about wisdom teeth removal: Does it hurt? How much does it cost? Can wisdom teeth be removed during a single visit? But the number one question we get asked is this: Is wisdom teeth removal covered by my insurance?
The short answer is this — it depends. It varies according to each insurance plan and how much of a medical necessity removing your wisdom teeth is.
Chances are that if you are seeking to have your wisdom teeth out, you’re following the advice of your dentist or oral surgeon. Most likely, the procedure is a medical necessity. Because of this, we have good news for you: Wisdom teeth may very well be covered, at least partially, by both your health insurance and your dental insurance.
Most dental insurance plans have some coverage for wisdom teeth extraction, usually from 50% to 80% of the dentist or oral surgeon’s fees. You’ll probably be subject to deductibles and copays.
Factors to Consider in Insurance Coverage
Pay attention to your yearly maximum allowed by your insurance company. If your insurance company caps costs at $1,000 per year, and you have $4,000 in costs, you’ll be responsible for the remainder. That cap naturally depends on what other dental costs you’ve already incurred throughout the year.
Keep in mind that your insurance plan may also have a waiting period for major dental work, if you’ve only recently come onto the plan. Talk to your insurance company about any waiting periods, yearly maximums, and percentage of costs covered.
How Much Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost?
This is also a popular question we get asked by our Cincinnati patients. A fully erupted wisdom tooth can cost between $200 and $700 to be pulled. An impacted tooth can run from $350 to $1,100 for just the extraction fees. And there can be other costs incurred as well, depending on the difficulty of the procedure and what’s involved.
Is the tooth fully extracted? If the wisdom tooth is still buried beneath your jaw bone, it can be more expensive because we must surgically remove it from the jawbone. We may need to use a surgical drill, or use medicated dressings. This will add to the cost.
There may be added fees for X-rays, scans, anesthesia, and medications. These can add several hundred dollars to the bill, especially if CT scans are needed.
The Good News? We’re Cheaper
We’re located in Wilmington, but we get patients from Cincinnati and surrounding areas who are willing to make the drive. Why? We can save them money — and we prioritize gentle care.
First, we’ll only charge for the amount of anesthesia time necessary for the procedure. Most oral surgeons charge for the full amount allowed by insurance (typically 60 to 90 minutes) even though much less than 60 minutes is actually required.
We also only code to the exact position of the tooth — never to a higher level. This can save at least $100 per tooth.
We also don’t base our fees on some arbitrary fee schedule. We charge you what it actually costs us — no “voodoo math,” as President George H. Bush liked to say.
Finally, we don’t allow the dental insurance industry to dictate your needs. You’re in our chair, so we follow our rules: That means your oral health and comfort come first. We believe in treating our patients right. After all, you’re family.