Wisdom teeth are the last molars to appear in the mouth, just around the time one starts to mature and become wise – hence, the name. While many do not face any problems with their wisdom teeth, others may experience pain, infection, and damage to the adjacent teeth. So, dentists sometimes remove wisdom teeth to treat an underlying issue or prevent future problems.
But is a wisdom tooth always necessary? And how much does the procedure cost in Canada and the US? This blog will discuss everything you need to know about wisdom tooth surgery and its cost.
What are wisdom teeth?
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, wisdom teeth, or the third molars, typically erupt in the late teens or early twenties with two wisdom teeth in each jaw, one on either side. This is when the jawbones have grown significantly following the pubertal growth spurt, and there is room for these last molars to erupt.
An interesting fact about wisdom teeth is that they are not present during childhood and only appear when one starts to grow their permanent teeth.
How much do wisdom teeth cost in Canada and America?
The cost of wisdom teeth removal in Canada depends on various factors. For example, it depends on whether the tooth can be removed normally or requires a surgical extraction. Similarly, it also depends on the dentist’s skill, qualifications, and location. Typically, wisdom teeth removal in Canada can cost between CAD 400 to 500 per tooth. On the other hand, it may cost you between $250 to $500 in the US to get a wisdom tooth removed. The final cost of your wisdom tooth surgery will also depend on whether you have an insurance plan that covers this treatment.
- Consultation Fees – Another consideration that may help reduce costs is the dentist’s consultation fees. In Canada, some dentists charge a consultation fee whether or not you seek treatment. On the other hand, some Canadian dentists don’t charge a consultation fee. So, you may consider visiting a wisdom tooth dentist in your area who doesn’t charge for a consultation. This will help reduce your overall treatment costs.
- Dentist’s Location – More importantly, the treatment costs depend on the dentist’s location. For example, a dental practice in a metropolitan area will have higher treatment charges than one in the suburbs. But if the dental clinic is too far from your home or office, you will also spend additional time and fuel traveling to and fro.
How much does it cost to remove multiple wisdom teeth?
The cost of removing wisdom teeth depends on many factors, such as location, size, and angle of the tooth. Extracting all four wisdom teeth can cost around CAD 1500 – 2000. This includes any minor surgical procedure that may need to be performed to remove an impacted wisdom tooth, the so-called complicated extraction.
Is the price the same regardless of age?
The cost of wisdom tooth removal generally remains the same regardless of age. However, removing wisdom teeth becomes slightly more difficult in old age than in the early years. This is because the bone is more flexible at a young age. The teeth are also easier to remove because of the soft tissue between the tooth roots and the gums – called the periodontal ligament.
In old age, the periodontal ligament gradually degenerates, resulting in the direct fusion of the tooth root with the jawbone. This condition, called ankylosis, makes wisdom tooth removal complicated and may entail higher costs. Therefore, it is a good idea to have one’s wisdom teeth removed at a young age if they are problematic.
I have dental insurance. Will my wisdom tooth removal be free?
The coverage offered for wisdom tooth surgery mainly depends on your insurance plan. Most dental insurance plans in Canada provide partial coverage for wisdom tooth removal procedures. This means that even with insurance, you will still have to pay some amount for the treatment. But the good news is that most dental plans cover 50% to 80% of the treatment. So, you may only have to pay around CAD 150 – 250 for each wisdom tooth.
Can patients get discounts for being returning/loyal customers?
While being a loyal dental patient has many benefits, getting discounted treatment or reward points may not be one of them. The best way to minimize your treatment costs is to visit a dentist who accepts your insurance plans and has lower treatment charges.
Is it possible to remove multiple wisdom teeth in one visit?
Yes. If your dentist finds that all of your wisdom teeth need removal, they may plan the extraction in a single sitting. However, removing multiple wisdom teeth is typically performed under conscious sedation. Moreover, the procedure may be performed under general anesthesia for extremely uncooperative or physically/mentally challenged patients.
Is wisdom tooth removal necessary?
If the wisdom teeth came out generally like the other teeth, they would help us chew and digest food. However, if there is insufficient space in the jaw to accommodate them or if they erupt at an angle, they can cause oral health problems such as tooth crowding, pain, and infection. In such cases, dentists remove the problematic wisdom teeth to prevent damage to the neighboring teeth. So, not everyone needs to get their wisdom teeth removed.
What is the ideal age for wisdom tooth removal?
The Canadian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recommends removing wisdom teeth at a young age if complications are suspected later in life. This is because healing occurs very quickly at a young age, and the risks involved in wisdom tooth surgery significantly increase as one ages. However, wisdom tooth surgery can be performed at any age if a wisdom tooth-related problem occurs, only that the recovery period will be slightly more extended.
Wisdom teeth removal is a routinely performed procedure in Canada. It is completely safe if performed by an experienced dentist. If your dentist has recommended removing your wisdom teeth, you should go for it at an early age. The longer you delay it, the higher the risk of complications and discomfort and the higher your treatment costs.
It is always a good idea to prevent dental problems from arising well before they cause permanent damage to your oral health or require expensive treatment.
About the Author
Dr. Mehmood Asghar is a dentist by profession and an Assistant Professor of Dental Biomaterials at the National University of Medical Sciences, Pakistan. Dr. Asghar received his undergraduate and postgraduate dental qualifications from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST). He is also currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Restorative Dentistry from Malaysia. Apart from his hectic clinical and research activities, Dr. Asghar likes to write evidence-based, informative articles for dental professionals and patients. Dr. Asghar has published several articles in international, peer-reviewed journals.