The need for wisdom teeth removal with no insurance is more common than most people realize. Nearly 25% of all humans have at least one wisdom tooth, which means that millions of Americans seek out wisdom teeth removal every year. Why? Because wisdom teeth come in after the rest of your adult teeth have reached maturity. They can put pressure on your other molars, especially if your wisdom teeth grow in at an angle. Not only will this cause you some pain and discomfort, but it could cause a myriad of other symptoms and conditions. If you’re concerned about the cost of the procedure, be sure to check out our guide on free wisdom teeth removal!
So, how can you get wisdom teeth removal with no insurance? Just as importantly, what is the cost of wisdom teeth removal with no insurance? We will answer both of these questions and more, but first, let’s look at the basics of wisdom tooth extraction.
Wisdom tooth extraction cost and procedure
The type of wisdom tooth extraction you need can vary. Naturally, this means that the costs can vary as well — whether or not you have dental insurance. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of wisdom tooth extraction: simple and surgical. As the name implies, a simple wisdom tooth extraction is very similar to any other tooth removal; your dentist or oral surgeon will numb the area with a local anesthetic before loosening and removing the tooth with forceps.
However, you may require more invasive surgery if you have an “impacted” wisdom tooth. This occurs when there is not enough room for your wisdom tooth to grow at a normal angle. As a result, it grows below the surface of the gums. If left untreated, this can cause various complications down the line, including:
- Jaw, tooth, or gum pain
- Misaligned bite
- Compacted teeth
- Bad breath
- Inflammation in the gums
To prevent these issues, a dentist or oral surgeon will need to make a small incision in the gums before separating the tooth from the ligament. This procedure is more complex than a simple wisdom tooth removal. Additionally, it may require a longer recovery time.
Average Cost of Wisdom Tooth Removal
If you want to get a simple wisdom tooth removal with no insurance, it will cost you anywhere between $75-$150 per tooth. Most adults have no more than four wisdom teeth, which means that a simple extraction could still cost you as much as $600. However, simple wisdom tooth extractions are still far cheaper than surgery.
If you need to get a surgical wisdom tooth extraction with no insurance, get ready to pay through the nose. On average, surgical wisdom tooth removal can cost anywhere between $200-$400 per tooth. If you have four impacted wisdom teeth, that means that you could end up paying $1,600 to get all of them removed.
How to get wisdom teeth removal with no insurance
Some dental clinics will not accept patients without insurance. Since dental insurance is not included in most Medicare or private insurance plans, this puts millions of Americans in a tough position. You can either acquire a standalone dental plan or pay higher prices at clinics that accept uninsured patients. Fortunately, it’s not all bad news. You can still get wisdom teeth removal with no insurance at an affordable price — if you know where to look.
As with any medical procedure, you should always make a budget before proceeding with any treatments. If you can afford to pay the prices listed above, great! However, if you need to find cheaper wisdom teeth removal, you do have options.
The first place to check is your local dental school. Many dental schools offer low-cost care to patients who volunteer to be treated by students. While this may not be the most comforting prospect, it is a relatively safe way to get your wisdom teeth removed for a fraction of the cost. Dental students are supervised by trained dental professionals, which means that the risks are minimal. That said, you will still need to sign a release in the event that the procedure does not go as planned.
Financial assistance programs
If you prefer to be treated by a licensed dentist or oral surgeon, you can still find low-cost options through the Department of Health and Human Services. Many states and municipalities offer programs for patients who cannot afford dental care. Depending on your location, you might be able to get wisdom teeth removal free of charge. However, in most cases, you will still have to pay a reduced rate for the service. Either way, these state-sponsored programs are designed to provide low-income individuals with the dental care they need.
Like dental schools around the country, The National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) looks for volunteers to undergo specific oral procedures. These clinical trials help further research in the field of dental medicine, while also providing free or low-cost care to patients. However, you have to keep in mind that the NIDCR may not be running trials for wisdom teeth removal when you need them. Consequently, this may not be the most reliable route.
Finally, if you’ve exhausted all of your other options, you might consider getting a short-term medical loan. Though you will likely need to pay a lot in interest, a loan will provide you with the funds you need to pay for the wisdom teeth removal with no insurance. You’ll just need to ensure that you can make all of the loan payments on time. Also keep in mind that, with interest, a loan will end up costing you way more in the long run than the initial cost of the procedure.
The Bottom Line
Trying to find affordable dental care without insurance can be a pain. Fortunately, you can get wisdom teeth removal with no insurance AND avoid huge medical bills. You just have to be willing to look beyond your local dental clinic to see what kind of deals are out there. Also, remember that our guide on free wisdom teeth removal is a great place to start!