Dentists often elect to remove wisdom teeth to alleviate crowding in the mouth, pain or complications associated with the late-blooming molars, but it does not come without a cost. According to YourDentistryGuide.com, without dental insurance, a wisdom tooth extraction will typically cost you at least $140, though the bill could soar as high as $400 per tooth. Uninsured dental costs only creep upward with the addition of sedation, x-ray and other service charges related to the tooth extraction.
Dental offices are private practices, and each dentist sets his own prices for services – including extractions. Some offices may provide in-office financing for necessary dental work, while others may provide you with a discount for paying in full at the time you receive your extraction. If you don’t have the cash on-hand, try using a low interest credit card to finance the procedure yourself, but be sure to pay off the debt as quickly as possible to avoid high interest charges.
Dental Discount Programs
If you enroll in a dental discount program, you may receive a significant discount on your wisdom tooth extraction from a participating provider. Dental discounts are an alternative to traditional dental insurance and usually cost much less. There may be a waiting period for extractions and other high-priced oral services, which could be as long as 18 months. But according to Forbes, a dental plan may save you more over time than traditional insurance.
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Community and national charity programs work with local dental professionals to provide low-cost or free dental care to low-income and under-privileged individuals and children. The Chicago Dental Society, for example, offers a list of area dental clinics that provide general dentistry services to uninsured individuals within the community. The Give Kids a Smile program casts a wider net; this national operation encourages dentists across America to donate their time the first Friday of every month to provide free care to uninsured children age 18 or younger whose families cannot afford an extraction.
If you are a part of a low-income household, you may qualify for Medicaid. a government health entitlement program that pays for necessary medical care at little or no cost to you. Eligibility depends on income, household size and your assets, but if you qualify, Medicaid may provide benefits for necessary dental extractions depending on your state’s coverage policy. However, if you or your child under age 21 will receive the extraction, Medicaid must cover the procedure, as all U.S. states must provide comprehensive dental benefits to individuals enrolled in Medicaid under age 21. To find out if you meet the criteria for Medicaid enrollment in your state and whether or not Medicaid could pay for your wisdom tooth extraction, contact your state’s Department of Health and Human Services.
- YourDentistryGuide.com: Wisdom Teeth Removal - Your Tooth Extraction Guide
- Chicago Dental Society: Community Dental Clinics
- Redding.com; "Volunteers Provide Free Dental Care to Make Chidren's Teeth Shine"; Ruben Porras; February 5, 2011
- Forbes; "Dental Discount Plans Beat Insurance"; Ashlea Ebeling; October 29, 2009
- InsuranceProviders.com: How Can I Get Dental Work with No Health Insurance?
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