If a dentist performs the procedure, wisdom tooth extractions cost between $200 and $400, depending on your circumstances.
It is possible to get it covered with extras insurance for as little as $12.40 a week.
On rare occasions, you might receive treatment as an in-patient in a hospital. If that is the case, both Medicare and private health insurance can foot the bill.
How much does wisdom teeth removal cost?
Wisdom teeth removal costs can vary depending on the procedure, where you're treated and whether or not you have health insurance:
Simple extractions at the dentist
$150 - $200+ per tooth
Less complex wisdom tooth extractions can usually be done "in the chair" at your dentist.
With local anaesthesia at the dentist
$300 - $400+ per tooth
If you need local anaesthetic, but the procedure can still be done in the chair, you'll pay extra. You may also be charged for additional consultations and X-rays.
Complex extractions in hospital
$2,000 - $3,000+
Complex extraction of wisdom teeth sometimes require surgery in a hospital from an oral surgeon and general anaesthesia, which is significantly more expensive.
With extras insurance
$0 - $80+ per tooth
If your wisdom teeth removal procedure can be done by your dentist, extras insurance can help cover the costs. Depending on your policy, it may cover 60% - 100% of the cost.
With hospital insurance
$0 - $1,000+
If you need hospital treatment, you'll need hospital cover with a dental surgery benefit – a silver-tier treatment. There may still be a gap to pay, depending on the details of the treatment.
Who pays for wisdom teeth removal?
Both Medicare and private health insurance can pay for wisdom teeth removal, depending on a few different circumstances:
Medicare can only cover wisdom teeth removal on the rare occasion that you need to be treated in hospital – for example, if you require general anaesthesia due to the complexity of the case due to the position or shape of the roots. In this case, you'll be classed as an in-patient and Medicare can cover the MBS fees associated with your surgery.
Private health insurance
Private health insurance can pay for wisdom teeth removal in and outside of hospital. Most removals are done "in the chair" at your dentist which extras cover can help pay for. If you need to be treated as an in-patient, all silver-tier hospital policies cover dental surgery.
Do I need extras or hospital cover for wisdom teeth removal?
If your procedure is done as an in-patient in a hospital and you're treated in a private hospital, you'll need hospital cover if you want to avoid large out-of-pocket expenses. It should be covered under dental surgery by all silver-tier hospital policies which cost around $115 per month.
It can pay for hospital accommodation, theatre fees and anaesthesia costs, which can only be covered by a hospital policy.
Wisdom tooth extractions completed in the chair can fall under extras or general treatment cover. This is known as outpatient treatment and it's where people most commonly will receive an extraction.
A mid-range extras policy can cover you for around $13 per week, though you'll usually have to serve a 12-month waiting period before you're covered, unless you get the Lifestyle Extras option from ahm which lists "tooth extraction" as a benefit in a routine dental limit and doesn't come with a waiting period.
Cost of private health insurance for wisdom teeth removal
If your procedure is looking like it may be in a hospital, the below options from Finder partners cover private hospital treatment. All have a 12-month waiting period. All prices are based on a single individual with less than $90,000 income and living in Sydney.
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Wisdom tooth removal costs between $150 and $3,000 in Australia. There is a huge variation in price because the complexity of the procedure can vary significantly from a simple extraction at the dentist to more complex surgery in hospital.
Wisdom tooth removal is covered under Medicare in rare circumstances where you can't afford to pay the treatment and it's deemed medically necessary. You usually need to be a Concession Card holder or receive Centrelink payments to be eligible as well.
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.
Dentures. It is typically recommended that most people who require dentures have their wisdom teeth removed.
Recovery time depends on the complexity of the extraction, but you'll generally find that most take 4 to 7 days to recover from – or in some cases up to 2 weeks – according to several dental sources such as Prevent Dental Suite, Core Dental and No Gaps Dental.
Gary Ross Hunter is an editor at Finder, specialising in insurance. He’s been writing about life, travel, home, car, pet and health insurance for over 6 years and regularly appears as an insurance expert in publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, news.com.au, The Telegraph, Explore Travel and Escape. Gary holds a Kaplan Tier 1 General Insurance (General Advice) certification and a Kaplan Tier 1 Generic Knowledge certification which meets the requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146).
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