Is the extraction a simple, sectional or surgical extraction?
Sometimes it is obvious that it will be surgical, as in the case of impacted teeth that aren’t through the gum. Sometimes it will be obvious it is a simple extraction, for example if the tooth is bobbing around in the socket. Other times, because of potential complications
and varying difficulties, it is hard to say. The cost of an extraction
is not affected by which tooth it is, how many roots it has or how loose or solid the tooth is- just by the approach needed to remove it- See below.
The biggest price difference will come from the actual dentist’s pricing structure, as there are no set limits to what a dentist can charge- only guidelines issued by the ADA (Australian Dental Association). Some dentists will be much more expensive than others.
Whilst a dental practice can give you a price range over the phone- an examination will be necessary before they can tell you the price, and this will simply be a range between x and y, depending on the approach needed to remove the tooth.
If someone calls our practice, we would say something like, “It depends on how easily the tooth will come out and what is required. A simple extraction would be $160 but could go up to $350- if a surgical approach is needed- that would be the maximum”.
If referral to an oral surgeon is required because of the complexity of the job, then their specialist fees are likely to be considerably higher.
The next biggest thing that will impact on how much you pay is your insurance. Certain dentists may be specialist providers for particular health funds, in which case the health funds often set the fees that the dentist must charge. These fees tend to be lower.
Not all insurances will set fees for all dental items, some do- but others just set the most common treatments you are likely to have and allow the dentist to charge normal prices for other treatments. The actual insurance you have, will impact greatly on the amount you end up paying, but this needs to be balanced against the cost of the premium you are paying each month.
The cost of a dental extraction, will vary not only between countries, but also between states and between major cities. Smaller towns and rural areas where access is more restricted and competition less may also having different pricing structures.
In addition to the cost of the extraction you may be charged for:
(i) ITEM 013 or 014- A limited examination or consultation
(ii) ITEM 022- X-rays to check underneath the tooth
(iii) ITEM 037 - An OPG though you may be able to get this free with your Medicare card
(iv) If sedation is required then the price will depend on the type of sedation and for how long it is required
(v) Is the sedation oral? Such as a sedative e.g. diazepam or nitrous oxide (happy gas), or is the sedation intravenous? This is likely to be more expensive.
(vi) If a general anaesthetic is required, you must also consider the cost of:
- The specialist surgeon
- The anaesthetist
- Hire of the hospital facility
On referral to the oral surgeon, they will provide you with a breakdown of the costs involved. You can expect to pay $1500-$3000 to have four wisdom teeth out under general anaesthetic.