Congratulations, your wisdom teeth have arrived! Unfortunately, many times, these wisdom teeth — also known as third molars — need to be removed. The way these teeth grow can cause all kinds of complications, so getting rid of them early may be a smart decision over the long term. The price of a wisdom tooth extraction can become an obstacle to a healthier smile, so learn more about the estimated costs and the factors that might affect your final bill.
What Does Wisdom Tooth Extraction Cost?
Why Do You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
If your wisdom teeth fully erupt in proper alignment, you may not need a tooth extraction. However, wisdom teeth often present themselves as impacted under the bone and gum tissue. The impaction positions them with the inability to breach the gum line and puts them at greater risk for developing cysts or tumours. Others begin to erupt and stop partially in place, allowing bacteria to grow around the tooth and under the gums. Still, others may crowd and damage neighbouring teeth if there is not enough room to erupt. Misplaced wisdom teeth can also trap food or be difficult to floss, giving cavity-causing bacteria a place to grow. If your wisdom teeth need to go, it's best to have them taken out as a young adult. The roots have not fully developed at this age, increasing chances for a more successful procedure and a quicker healing process.
What Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost?
Simple wisdom tooth extractions can be done by general dentists. For more complicated procedures, you will be referred to an oral maxillofacial surgeon (OMS). These are dental specialists equipped with the skills and experience to remove impacted wisdom teeth, who will consider all factors before recommending the removal of impacted wisdom teeth. Several factors may affect the cost of your procedure, including age of the patient, how complex the procedure is and where you go to get your procedure done. The Ministry of Health publishes a table of average fees for dental procedures in public institutions. According to this DoctorxDentist article, "Guide To Wisdom Tooth Extraction Costs In Singapore (2021)":
- The average cost of a wisdom tooth extraction is $700 in government hospitals and $1500 in private clinics and hospitals.
- Expect to pay $1200–$2000 in total for wisdom tooth surgery by an OMS.
- General anaesthesia (where you go to "sleep" and wake up with your wisdom teeth extracted) will cost an additional $800 (on average) for an anaesthetist to administer the sedation. This tends to be more common among those who are extracting all four wisdom teeth at one go.
- Other costs to consider include dental x-rays, which are around $150, and CT scans, which are around $400.
Your initial and follow-up exams may also come with a price tag, which is, on average, about $100 per appointment.
How to Pay for Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction
You can always pay for the extraction out of pocket, but there are also other ways of keeping your costs manageable.
- Medisave and other government subsidies - All Singaporeans can claim partial payment of your dental surgery from your Medisave. Also available are Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) subsidies and Pioneer Generation subsidies. Hospitals and dental clinics are equipped with the knowledge to assist with the submission of your Medisave claims. In addition to the DoctorxDentist article mentioned above, here's another guide on wisdom tooth extraction: both contain information on Medisave claims.
- Dental insurance - There are various dental insurance policies offered by different insurance companies in Singapore. You can also check with the HR department at your workplace whether dental procedure claim is provided as part of your employee benefits. Be sure to check with your dental and medical insurance policies to see what they are willing to cover before committing to the surgery.
Packages and instalment plans - Some clinics also offer packages and instalment plans for major dental procedures.Talk to your dental professional to see if they have a package or plan that fits your needs.
If you're concerned about the cost of wisdom teeth removal, talk to your dental professional and insurance agency about your options. Though it seems like a high price to pay, removing your wisdom teeth now may prevent more serious — and more costly — problems later.