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So you have a toothache. It’s Sunday morning, after a sleepless night, during school holidays, and you have run desperately through a phone book list of emergency dentists. Maybe you have even used Google to help you. But you have known for a long time that you needed to have a wisdom tooth pulled. You have been putting it off for a long time, because you assumed it was expensive, or because it wasn’t painful then, or you thought you could put it off a while longer.
But now, time has caught up with you. You have been in worsening pain for three nights. You’ve run out of Tylenol already. Maybe your face is swollen, and there’s a bad taste in your mouth.
And you’re still asking how much wisdom teeth cost.
Clearly treatment by a general dentist or dental surgeon is likely to be cheaper than a specialist. There are good reasons for this. They didn’t have to go to school for as long. They pay less for indemnity insurance. They have higher practice costs maybe. But is the cost very different? The answer is likely yes, but not by much.
A broad range, for a set of 4 wisdom teeth removal by a specialist, costs between $US/ AUD2,000-$4,000. Countries like the USA, Australia, Singapore and Canada are going to all roughly be the same. But there can be add on costs, like x-ray, pharmacy, time away from work, hospital fees, or anaesthetic fees.
Costs are also different according to technical difficulty, or because of the presence of higher risk... So if your oral and maxillofacial surgeon has examined you, and given you a quote for $2,000, and you ring around, and find a dental surgeon who (over the phone) is saying he’ll charge you $1,500... well you are comparing apples to oranges... and doctor shopping based on cost alone, is dangerous.
If you are flying to London from Sydney, and you want to fly Qantas, you can’t expect your Captain to be just anyone with a basic pilot’s license. Qantas also has a different reputation to Aeroflot, and even different aircraft.
So when you are asking for costs of your wisdom teeth surgery, and comparing quotes between dental specialists or general dentists, ask the obvious questions.
Remember, some general dentists (or dental surgeons) can extract wisdom teeth... but unless they are specifically trained and specialized in wisdom teeth surgery, it’s hard to follow that they are the same as one that is trained and specialized in wisdom teeth surgery.
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