Closeup young woman at dentist clinic office. Male doctor and assistant performing extraction procedure with forceps removing patient tooth.

Wisdom teeth removal cost

Do you need your wisdom teeth removed? Find out about costs covered for tooth extraction by health insurance.

Having your wisdom teeth taken out is one of the most dreaded dental procedures for many Australians, but it’s also one of the most common. In total, you would be looking at around $200-400 without extras cover in the dentist chair for a basic wisdom tooth extraction.

Having extras cover could reduce this cost.

Compare wisdom teeth removal options

Your costs will depend on whether your extraction is completed in the chair by a dentist, or if you are admitted to hospital as an in-patient.

If your procedure is done as an inpatient in a hospital, it falls to a hospital cover. Extractions completed in the chair can fall under extras or general treatment cover. If you have your quote from the dentist already, you can check exactly how much is covered with the insurer.

How much is extras cover for wisdom teeth removal?

Wisdom tooth removal could be covered in major dental or even routine dental if it's a very straightforward procedure. Major dental has a 12 month waiting period, but general dental often has a much lower wait period. Below is a sample of options from finder.com.au partners. We've based the quotes on a single policy in NSW.

Fund Policy Major Dental Limit Cost per month Apply
Black 60 $600.00 $32.41 Go to site
Silver Plus $650.00 $28.75 Go to site
health.com.au-logo Extras 50 $750.00 $50.48 More info
Classic Extras $600.00 $55.03 Go to site
Need an extraction asap?

If you’re willing to pay a bit more for your monthly premium, the Super Extras option from ahm lists 'tooth extraction' as a benefit in a routine dental limit. This could include your wisdom tooth if it's a fairly straightforward procedure done in the dental surgery. There's no gaps, no limits and no waiting period for $80 per month. You can cancel anytime.

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What is the difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment?

Less complex wisdom tooth extractions can usually be done “in the chair” and are cheaper than more complicated cases, which require hospital admission. For a basic case, the average cost of tooth extraction can be anywhere from $150 to $200 per tooth.

If you require a local anaesthetic but the procedure can still be done in the chair, this could rise as high as $400 per tooth. Add in the cost of an initial consultation and any X-rays that are required, and if you don’t have any private health cover in place you could end up significantly out of pocket.

However, if you need to be given sedatives or general anaesthesia, the cost of surgical extraction of wisdom teeth can be up to $3,000.

Not only does the severity and complexity of the procedure affect the wisdom teeth removal cost, it also determines whether you are treated as an outpatient or an inpatient. Outpatient procedures can be done “in the chair” by your dentist or perhaps an oral surgeon, and they can be partially or even fully covered by an extras policy. Inpatient wisdom teeth removal means you will incur hospital accommodation, theatre fees and anaesthesia costs which can only be covered by a hospital policy.

What affects the cost of tooth extraction?

There are several factors that affect wisdom teeth removal costs including:

  • The type of procedure. Impacted teeth generally cost more to remove than simple extractions. This is because they require surgery and cannot be completed “in the chair” by your regular dentist.
  • The dentist. The pricing structure your dentist uses can also have a big influence. There are no limits on how much a dentist can charge for wisdom teeth removal, only guidelines issued by the Australian Dental Association.
  • The specialist. If your case requires you to be referred to an oral surgery specialist, be prepared to pay higher fees.
  • Your private health insurance. The level of hospital and/or extras cover you have can have a big impact on how much you pay for treatment. In addition, if your dentist is a specialist provider for your health fund, the fund may set the fees the dentist is allowed to charge for the procedure.
  • Where you live. Costs vary from one state to the next, while it’s also cheaper to get wisdom teeth removed in major cities than it is in rural areas.

How much are you going to pay?

The costs for dental vary depending on which state you live in and the level of treatment you require. The tables below shows the average cost for a dental procedures by state.

Item numberDescriptionAverage cost
011Comprehensive oral examination $59.10
012Periodic Oral Examination$55.54
013Oral examination – limited$49.31
014Consultation$65.60
022Intraoral periapical or bitewing radiograph$41.52
311Removal of tooth or part(s) thereof$171.65
Item numberDescriptionAverage cost
011Comprehensive oral examination $68.89
012Periodic Oral Examination$62.50
013Oral examination – limited$57.47
014Consultation$76.25
022Intraoral periapical or bitewing radiograph$45.90
311Removal of tooth or part(s) thereof$174.67
Item numberDescriptionAverage cost
011Comprehensive oral examination $58.25
012Periodic Oral Examination$52.63
013Oral examination – limited$46.22
014Consultation$62.00
022Intraoral periapical or bitewing radiograph$41.00
311Removal of tooth or part(s) thereof$164.89
Item numberDescriptionAverage cost
011Comprehensive oral examination $56.60
012Periodic Oral Examination$52.54
013Oral examination – limited$49.14
014Consultation$62.52
022Intraoral periapical or bitewing radiograph$43.68
311Removal of tooth or part(s) thereof$145.95
Item numberDescriptionAverage cost
011Comprehensive oral examination $61.88
012Periodic Oral Examination$60.00
013Oral examination – limited$49.13
014Consultation$64.79
022Intraoral periapical or bitewing radiograph$43.17
311Removal of tooth or part(s) thereof$174.54
Item numberDescriptionAverage cost
011Comprehensive oral examination $58.79
012Periodic Oral Examination$53.63
013Oral examination – limited$47.75
014Consultation$65.68
022Intraoral periapical or bitewing radiograph$42.56
311Removal of tooth or part(s) thereof$158.89
Item numberDescriptionAverage cost
011Comprehensive oral examination$59.91
012Periodic Oral Examination$55.95
013Oral examination – limited$49.17
014Consultation$63.58
022Intraoral periapical or bitewing radiograph$44.24
311Removal of tooth or part(s) thereof$157.18

Source: http://www.privatehealth.gov.au/healthinsurance/whatiscovered/averagedental.htm

Why do people get their wisdom teeth removed?

In many people, wisdom teeth can cause a wide range of potentially serious problems if they are simply left in place. There are several reasons why you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed, including:

  • Impacted wisdom tooth. This is when the tooth only partially emerges from your gums and it can lead to infection. Impacted teeth can also suffer from serious tooth decay, or can lead to the formation of cysts, which can destroy bone and damage nearby teeth.
  • Tooth decay. It can be very difficult to properly clean an impacted wisdom tooth, and bacteria, food and other nasties can accumulate in the area and cause decay.
  • Gum infection. If a wisdom tooth only partially emerges from the gum, this can cause food and bacteria to get stuck beneath the gum and cause infection.
  • Pressure pain. As wisdom teeth emerge, they put a great deal of pressure on other teeth in your mouth as they make room for the new arrival. This can cause extreme pain and also erode other teeth.
  • Orthodontic purposes. If you’ve previously received orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth, the pressure caused by wisdom teeth can counteract that treatment and push your teeth out of place.
  • Dentures. It is typically recommended that most people who require dentures have their wisdom teeth removed.

What to expect when getting wisdom teeth removed

Pain. That’s the first word that springs to most people’s minds at the mention of getting wisdom teeth removed, but often the fear of what could happen is actually much worse than the actual procedure.

With simple extractions, such as where the tooth is visible in the mouth and easy to access, it can be removed by forceps under local anaesthetic. This procedure can be done in your dentist’s chair.

However, more complex cases require admission to hospital and surgery, as well as a sedative or general anaesthesia. The surgeon will then cut open your gums, remove any teeth, bone and other debris, and in some situations you may require stitches.

Of course, the exact details of the procedure will vary depending on your wisdom teeth and how your dentist or surgeon decides to remove them. Your dentist or surgeon will give you a full rundown of what to expect before the procedure begins.

How to recover from wisdom teeth removal

Once the surgery is complete and your teeth have been removed, remember to follow your dentist’s or surgeon’s instructions to ensure the quickest possible recovery. If you’ve been “put under”, your vital signs will be monitored by nurses before you’ve recovered from the anaesthesia.

Gauze may be left in your mouth for up to half an hour after surgery, and you may need to apply ice packs periodically for the next 48 hours. Your dentist or surgeon will also be able to advise you on any pain relief medication you should take.

You’ll also be given tips and advice on how to ensure a speedy recovery, such as:

  • Eating only soft food for a specified period
  • Avoiding smoking, brushing your teeth or using mouthwash in the first 24 hours after surgery
  • Avoiding disturbing the wound
  • Completing a course of antibiotics

How much is hospital cover for wisdom teeth removal?

If your procedure is looking like it may be in a hospital, the below options from finder.com.au partners cover private hospital treatment. Again, all have a 12 month waiting period.

Fund Policy Excess Cost per month Apply

White lite $500 $71.71 Go to site

Basic Hospital $500 $83.20 Go to site
health.com.au-logo

Base Hospital $500 $83.95 More info

Essential Hospital $500 $86.59 Go to site

Compare your extras cover options

Picture: Shutterstock

Richard Laycock

Richard is the Insurance Editor at finder, and has been wrangling insurance Product Disclosure Statements for the last 4 years. When he’s not helping Aussies make sense of the fine print, he can be found testing the quality of Aperol Spritzes in his new found home of New York. Richard studied Journalism at Macquarie University and The Missouri School of Journalism, and has a Tier 1 certification in General Advice for Life Insurance. He has also been published in CSO Australia and Dynamic Business.

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