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How much is a wisdom tooth extraction? What you can expect to pay for tooth extractions in Australia

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Dr Teresa Li
April 23, 2024

Sometimes wisdom teeth don’t feel so wise, do they?

Whether they’re trying to barge in sideways (looking at you, impacted wisdom teeth!) or squeeze into a space too small, wisdom teeth are often the cause of many painful toothaches.

And when your wisdom teeth (or any teeth, for that matter) are giving you grief, sometimes the best solution is to get them out!

So, how much is a wisdom tooth extraction?

And what factors impact the cost to remove a tooth?

Read on to learn everything you need to know about tooth extractions and the costs to pull a tooth.

How much does it cost to remove a tooth?

The cost of tooth extractions in Australia can vary greatly, ranging anywhere from $120 to $3,000.

This is because the cost of a dental extraction — whether it’s due to wisdom tooth removal or other dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease or infection — depends on a variety of factors that are often unique to each individual case.

What factors affect the cost of tooth extractions?

Dental extraction costs will vary depending on:

  • The type of tooth extraction (simple or surgical)
  • The complexity of the case
  • The location of the tooth
  • The anaesthesia required (incl. anaesthetist fees)
  • Whether you need to go to hospital and have an oral surgeon to carry out the extraction

At TL Dental port macquarie dentists, the cost of wisdom tooth extractions start from $120, depending on the complexity of your case and the location of the tooth.

Want to know *exactly* how much your wisdom tooth extraction will cost? Come in and see us! We’ll be able to determine whether tooth removal is right for you and develop a personalised treatment plan with a quote outlining all the costs involved. You can easily book your appointment online now.

If you’d like to know more about our treatment fees, you can find them all right here on our website — or you can download our New Patient Guide below.

A dentist examines a patient’s wisdom teeth at TL Dental port Macquarie.
Are you wisdom teeth giving you grief? We can help! Come in for a consultation and we'll determine whether a wisdom tooth extraction is right for you

The cost of simple tooth extractions vs. the cost of surgical tooth extractions

Do you need a simple tooth extraction or a surgical tooth extraction? The answer to this question will have a big impact on how much your wisdom tooth extraction costs. 

Let’s explore these two options in detail below…

How much does simple tooth extraction cost?

In Australia, the cost of a simple tooth extraction can range from $120 to $300 per tooth.

Simple tooth extractions involve the removal of teeth that can be seen above the gum line. These teeth are usually only held within the soft tissue of the gums or a small amount of bone so the procedure to extract them is less complex and less invasive. As such, simple extractions are generally less expensive than surgical extractions.

In most cases, your dentist can perform simple tooth extractions in the chair with local anaesthetic. But, if a patient is feeling especially nervous or scared about getting their tooth removed, a dentist may offer other sedation options, like twilight sedation. It’s important to note that any sedation used during your procedure will increase the cost of your tooth extraction.

How much does surgical tooth extraction cost?

If you need a surgical tooth extraction, you’ll be looking at a much higher cost for treatment. Surgical tooth extractions at TL Dental can cost anywhere between $250 to $600, not including sedation.

Surgical tooth extractions are used in more complex and intensive cases, such as impacted wisdom teeth or when the tooth is below the gum or bone line. Surgical extraction may also be needed for emergency tooth extractions when a tooth is broken. The overall cost of surgical extractions will depend on how complex the extraction is, the level of anaesthesia required and whether an oral surgeon is needed to perform the procedure in hospital. Your dentist will determine if they can do the procedure themselves or if they need to refer you to an oral surgeon.

During surgical tooth extractions, a local anaesthetic is administered to numb the area and you will either receive IV anaesthesia (also known as twilight sedation) for conscious sedation or general anaesthesia (GA) for unconscious sedation. Your dentist or oral surgeon will determine the right level of sedation for your procedure. Keep in mind the cost of tooth extractions under GA will be a lot more expensive than those under twilight sedation.

A patient and dentist look at tooth x-rays
During your consultation, we'll take x-rays of your teeth to determine whether you require a simple extraction or surgical extraction.

Will Medicare cover the cost of tooth extractions?

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of most dental services. This means you will likely need to cover the cost of your wisdom tooth extraction yourself.

However, if you are eligible, there are some instances where Medicare may cover essential dental treatment. These circumstances include:

Public dental services

This is generally for cases where emergency dental services are required or where a patient is referred to specialist services, such as orthodontics, in hospital. To be eligible, adult patients must have a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card.

Concession Card holders

To be eligible, adult patients must hold a Health Care Card, Pensioner Concession Card or Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CBDS)

The CDBS is an Australian government program that provides eligible families with financial assistance of up to $1000 over a two year calendar period for a range of essential and restorative dental services, including tooth extractions. To learn more about the CDBS, check out our article on the topic here.

Does private health insurance cover the cost of tooth extractions?

We accept all major health funds at TL Dental. If you have private health insurance, you may be eligible to claim a rebate for a portion of your tooth extraction costs. However, this does depend on the level of coverage you have selected in your policy. Be sure to contact your health fund directly and ask them whether your procedure will be covered before undergoing any treatment.

Don’t forget to check your waiting period!

Most health funds require new members to carry out a waiting period of up to 12 months before they can claim on any dental services. Not sure if a waiting period applies to you? Just contact your health fund.

Can payment plans be used for tooth extractions?

They sure can! At TL Dental, our flexible and affordable payment plans mean you can get the dental care you need now, without the major blow to your bank account!

We know tooth extractions can be a stressful procedure — and you really don’t need the added worry of whether you can afford the costs upfront. Our payment plans allow you to pay for your tooth extraction in easy, manageable instalments that work for your budget.

A patient discusses dental payment plans for tooth extraction at TL Dental.
At TL Dental, there's no need to worry about whether you can afford the cost of tooth extraction upfront - our flexible payment plans mean you can pay for your treatment in easy instalments over time

Why are tooth extractions needed?

Sure, nobody *wants* to spend their hard-earned cash on tooth extraction costs. But if your dentist recommends this procedure, just know that it’s not suggested lightly. Dentists generally see tooth extractions as a last resort and they will do everything possible to save the natural tooth if they can. However, if the affected tooth is unable to be saved and is putting the neighbouring teeth and gums at risk, it must be removed.

There are a few common reasons why teeth extractions are needed, including:

What alternative treatments can be used instead of tooth extraction?

Saving your natural tooth is always going to be your dentist’s number one goal. Why? Because when you remove a tooth, the gap left behind can cause the rest of your teeth to shift. This movement can lead to more complicated problems down the line, like bite misalignment, chewing issues and TMJ. 

Dentists will try to avoid dental extractions unless they’re absolutely necessary. This is why we often recommend alternative treatments to restore the affected tooth, instead of removing it. These treatments can include root canal therapy, fillings or dental crowns.

A dentist discusses tooth extraction alternatives with a patient
Did you know dental extractions are generally seen as a ‘last resort’ procedure? We’ll always try to save your natural tooth with alternative treatments wherever possible.
Did you know dental extractions are generally seen as a 'last resort' procedure? We'll always try to save your natural tooth with alternative treatments wherever possible.

Do tooth extractions hurt?

Your dentist will administer a local anaesthetic to help numb the area around the extraction site. This means you won’t feel any pain during the procedure, just pressure.

During simple tooth extractions, it’s normal for only local anaesthetic to be used. However, some patients may opt for additional sedation to help them feel more relaxed and comfortable during the procedure.

In surgical tooth extractions, twilight sedation or general anaesthetic (GA) may also be used in combination with a local anaesthetic. With twilight sedation, you will technically be awake but you’ll be very drowsy and relaxed, and you won’t feel any pain. If you go under GA, you will be completely unconscious for the entire procedure. Due to the amnesic effect of twilight sedation and GA, you likely won’t remember any of your procedure afterwards.

Does sedation affect the cost of tooth extraction?

Yes, be aware that the type of anaesthesia required for your treatment will impact the cost of your extraction. The use of local anaesthesia alone will be the least expensive option. Twilight sedation will increase your costs but it will be less expensive than GA, as it can be administered outside of a hospital. If you’re required to go under GA for your tooth extraction, you will need to go to hospital for the procedure, which means you’ll be looking at a much higher bill for your treatment.

A patient receives their tooth extraction quote at TL Dental
At TL Dental, we're 100% upfront with our fees. Your personalised quote will clearly outline all of the costs involved in your extraction, including any anaesthesia or sedation fees

Are tooth extractions safe?

Yes. You can rest assured that tooth extractions are generally seen as a very safe and effective procedure. But, like any medical procedure, dental extractions do come with a few risks. Your dentist will clearly explain any risks to you in your consultation. It’s also important to note that your dentist will only recommend whatever treatment is needed to avoid more complicated oral health risks and issues in future.

You may experience some mild side effects for a few days after your tooth extraction treatment, including:

  • Mild to moderate pain and discomfort
  • Bleeding from the extraction site
  • Swelling and/or bruising of the cheeks
  • Inflammation of the gums

If any of these side effects get worse after a few days, or if you notice excessive bleeding and discharge or pus at the extraction site and have a fever or chills, contact your dentist immediately. This may be a sign of an infection or dry socket, which must be treated ASAP.

What is dry socket?

Dry socket occurs when the blood clot that should form at the tooth extraction site dissolves or dislodges, leaving the bone and nerves inside the socket (or hole) exposed. It is the most common complication of tooth extractions and will usually occur three to four days after tooth removal. The main symptom of dry socket is intense, throbbing pain at the extraction site. And while it may sound pretty awful, thankfully, it’s easily treatable and doesn’t often lead to further complications when treated immediately. If you have dry socket, your dentist will cover the area with a sedative dressing for a few days, which will allow a new blood clot to form.

A dentist discusses dry socket with his tooth extraction patient
Dry socket is a painful condition that can occur after a tooth extraction. But the good news is that it's easily treatable and rarely results in further complications

How long is the recovery period after a tooth extraction?

It’s normal to experience some discomfort, pain, swelling and bruising in your jaw, mouth and cheeks for around 2 to 3 days after your wisdom tooth removal or other tooth extraction. It will typically take around 2 to 3 weeks for your gums and extraction site to heal.

It’s vital that you follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions properly to prevent infection and ensure you heal as quickly as possible.

Follow these easy steps for a comfortable tooth extraction recovery:

Take OTC pain medication

You may feel some pain in the days following your dental extraction. But the good news is that this pain can be easily managed with over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Your dentist or oral surgeon will recommend the right medication and dosage to suit your needs. If you notice your pain getting worse after a few days, contact your dentist as it may be a sign of infection.

Use an icepack to bring down swelling

Does it look like you’ve got chipmunk cheeks after your wisdom tooth extraction? It happens! Having puffy, swollen or bruised cheeks after a tooth extraction is totally normal. You can help to reduce the swelling by gently applying an icepack to the outside of your cheek. Hold it there for 10 minutes at a time.

Rest up (seriously)

Even if you think you feel fine after your tooth extraction, you must take it easy and rest for a few days afterwards. Seriously, don’t try to work from home or jump back into your usual routine — just REST. Resting is the most important part of your recovery and will help your body to heal.

Keep your head up (literally)

Now that we’ve given you permission to lie down on the couch and binge-watch your fave show for a few days, we need you to do one more thing: prop your head up with a pillow. This goes for when you sleep too. Keeping your head elevated will not only help to reduce swelling, but it will also help to encourage blood clotting at your extraction site.

Eat soft foods only

Be sure to eat soft foods only for a few days after your procedure and avoid anything that is hot or hard and crunchy. Foods like smoothies, yoghurt, cooled soup and luke-warm mashed potato make great post-extraction meals. But remember to avoid drinking through a straw for the first day or so as the sucking motion can irritate the extraction site and dislodge the blood clot, leading to dry socket.

Brush and floss gently

It’s important to keep your teeth and mouth clean after your tooth extraction to help prevent infection. But remember to brush and floss *extremely* carefully and avoid the extraction site — you don’t want to accidentally hit or dislodge the blood clot. Do not rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours after your dental extraction and spit out very gently. After this time, you may gently swish a saltwater solution or mild alcohol-free mouthwash around your mouth.

Keep an eye on your symptoms

Any pain or discomfort should start to ease after a few days. However, if you are experiencing severe pain, excessive bleeding or discharge, or have a fever, contact your dentist immediately.

A patient learns about tooth extraction aftercare from a dental hygienist at TL Dental
Want to ensure a smooth tooth extraction recovery? Just follow your dentist's aftercare instructions and you'll be feeling fine in a few days

Want to ask us a question about the cost of tooth extractions?

We know tooth extractions can be quite a stressful — and often costly — procedure. So, if there’s anything we can do to help you feel more comfortable about your tooth extraction or wisdom tooth removal and the costs involved, just let us know. Feel free to send us a message or drop us a line on 02 6583 4055 anytime.

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