Wisdom Tooth Removal Cost
The removal of a wisdom tooth is a common dental procedure, that many undergo in their late teens to early twenties.
So, what is the cost to remove a wisdom tooth?
The price of extracting a wisdom tooth can vary greatly, from $319 – $509 per tooth.
I’ll cover the following topics in this post;
- What are Item Codes, and which relate to wisdom tooth removal?
- Why can it be complicated and cost more?
- What are the costs for wisdom teeth removal in each state?
- NSW Wisdom Teeth Removal Costs
- VIC Wisdom Teeth Removal Costs
- QLD Wisdom Teeth Removal Costs
- WA Wisdom Teeth Removal Costs
- SA Wisdom Teeth Removal Costs
- TAS Wisdom Teeth Removal Costs
- ACT Wisdom Teeth Removal Costs
- NT Wisdom Teeth Removal Costs
- Can you get your wisdom teeth removed at the dental hospital for free?
- Does Medicare cover the cost of wisdom teeth removal?
• Can you claim all or partial costs on private health care?
• Do you need premium coverage for wisdom teeth removal?
I hope reading this gives you the information that you need, to get you out of the pain your wisdom teeth will cause you, at a reasonable price.
Note: All general dental information in his post has been referenced and confirmed by our resident Dentist, Dr Veronica Roller. As we don’t know your personal situation, it is advisable and recommended to seek direct advice and consultation with your dentist before deciding on a course of action.
What are Item Codes, and Which Relate to Wisdom Teeth Removal
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) allocates Item Codes to multiple treatments that it considers part of the current dental practice.
These are three-digit numbers to which the strict regulations are applied, including;
- The outcome of the procedure must be the same – there are to be no variations to the techniques used.
- Only accepted forms of Item Codes can be used – as it is not possible to describe every dental service.
- If no appropriate number can be found, Item Code 990 must be used.
- There is no contrast between services provided on primary and secondary teeth, except for when the treatment is specific to those teeth.
The Item Codes have streamlined dental work so the ADA can complete an annual dental survey.
This allows them, once a year, to get the average costs of all dental procedures across Australia.
The Item Codes that relate to wisdom teeth removal are;
- Item 323 – Extraction of a tooth with the removal of bone – generally used for upper wisdom teeth. $319 – 420 per tooth.
- Item 324 – Extraction of a tooth or tooth fragment, that requires removal of both bone and tooth after sectioning. $377 – $509 per tooth.
Why Can it Be Complicated and Cost More?
The price of the removal of a wisdom tooth can vary, as at times, the extraction can be easy.
This depends on how they are positioned within your mouth, and what way they want to come out.
If the wisdom tooth is sitting straight (i.e. where all your other teeth are), this is just a pretty standard, regular extraction.
This means that your dentist can remove the tooth quite easily.
Sometimes, the wisdom tooth will be on angle. Due to the way it is positioned, this tooth may be a lot more difficult for your Dentist to remove.
They will not be able to lever the tooth out. Instead, they will have to section and break them in half.
This allows them to dig one root out at a time, in order to remove the tooth.
Other times, the tooth will be so deep that the Dentist will actually get the root out, but the tip of the root will break.
To be able to get the tip out, they will have to remove some bone.
This is more time-consuming. They will have to use more instruments and you will need more sterilisation.
So, it will cost you a lot more, as the procedure will be a lot more complex.
At times, the Dentist may even have to refer you to see a specialist, known as an oral surgeon, if the wisdom tooth is close to a nerve.
What are the Costs for Wisdom Teeth Removal in Each State
The cost for the extraction of wisdom teeth varies, depending upon your location.
Recent surveys have shown that, for both Item Codes 323 and 324, the state of;
- South Australia is the least expensive, and
- Tasmania is by far the most expensive.
Beginning below, you will see the average price for each of these Item Codes for every state/territory in Australia.
I’ve used our Dental Cost Calculator to find the averages for each state and have selected a 322 which is a – Surgical removal of a tooth or tooth fragment not requiring removal of bone or tooth division for this example.
You can select different items codes if required.
Can You Get Your Wisdom Teeth Out at The Dental Hospital for Free?
Only pensioners or those with a Health Care card can have their wisdom teeth removed for free at the dental hospital.
For advice on how to find one in your state, and the advantages and disadvantages of taking this route, see our post on Cheap Dentistry.
Does Medicare Cover Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Wisdom teeth removal (otherwise known as dental extractions) may be covered in your state by Medicare.
This procedure will also be performed by public dental services, and conditions generally include that;
- You are eligible for Medicare,
- You are under the age of 18 or perhaps younger, depending upon the regulations of your state, or
- Have a Health Care, Pensioners or Seniors card.
In some states, the treatments are subsidised – meaning, a fee may be charged.
Estimated waiting times can vary, anywhere between 1 day – 24 months. They are based upon the urgency of your situation, such as;
- Dental trauma.
- Swelling of your face, neck, and in your mouth.
- Having trouble opening your jaw, and/or swallowing.
- Continuous bleeding in your mouth.
To see whether you are eligible, and to find your local clinic, visit this page by Canstar.
Can You Claim All or Partial Costs on Private Health Care?
Yes, your private health care will cover some, if not all, of the costs of your wisdom tooth extraction.
However, it is important to note that, when it comes to tooth extraction, it depends on your health fund whether a waiting period will be enforced upon you.
What this means is that you will have to be in the health fund for usually about three to six months before you are eligible to make a claim.
Some health funds will waiver this waiting period, some will not.
So, it is up to your individual fund and is important for you to check.
A way you can do this is, before undertaking your wisdom teeth removal procedure, you should;
- Ask whoever is performing the treatment (i.e. your Dentist or oral surgeon) for a quote, in writing if possible.
It is also important to ensure treatment quote includes;
- All Item Codes (see our sub-heading on “What Are Item Codes, and Which Relate to Wisdom Teeth Removal’).
- The total cost of the treatment.
- The full name and provider number of the person performing the procedure.
When you have your quote, contact your health fund to check your benefit limits.
The difference between your quote and your limit will be your “gap fee” (your out-of-pocket expense).
For more information about how private health insurance works, or to compare policies, view the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman.
If you wish to make a complaint about your health fund, you can use this Online Complaint Form, or call 1300 362 072.
Do You Need Premium Coverage for Wisdom Teeth Removal
No – not in all cases do you need to pay for premium coverage for a private health fund to cover the costs of wisdom teeth removal.
This is as wisdom teeth removal comes under “General Dental”, or “Extra”, costs.
But again, all private health insurance companies are different, so before signing up or anything, it is worth checking;
• What their policy will and will not cover, and
• What waiting periods will apply.
The extraction of wisdom teeth can cost between $319 – $509 per tooth.
For all four wisdom teeth, this surgical cost equates to between $1276 to $2036.
This too will vary slightly due to the complexity of the treatment (such as if more anaesthesia is needed).
A Dentist will do all in their ability to avoid the procedures for wisdom tooth removal that are more complex, will cost you more, and cause you more pain.
Unfortunately, sometimes these procedures cannot be avoided, as your wisdom teeth are sitting at awkward angles.
However, you may be able to claim these treatments on;
- Medicare, or
- Your health fund.
Whenever possible, be sure to check with your health insurance provider before going ahead with a treatment.
We have several posts about wisdom teeth if you want to know more;
If you have any further questions our resident dentist, Dr Veronica Roller is here to help.
Reach out at the top of the page.
By Andrew Adams
Created at October 30, 2020, Updated at October 30, 2020