Wisdom Teeth Removal with Private Health Insurance Cheaper?

My dentist said I need surgery under general anesthesia to remove my 4 wisdom teeth. He said he would recommend some places and it would be around $500 a tooth so 2k

I don't have private health insurance and was wondering if it would be cheaper getting private health insurance to do this?

Edit
Thanks all I will shop around and not worry about phi

Comments

  • +3

    Waiting periods apply

  • +1

    Cheaper? Depends how you look at it.

    You will get an amount back/deducted from the cost of each one while you have to pay your premiums each year.

    If you have/want it anyway, definitely do it but you will have to wait the necessary period before using it. There are other benefits but it all depends on the individual.

    I just got it before last year as my partner had to change from a family plan, so we started a couples plan. My age surcharge is hefty but only gets more as you get older. This year I've maxed out my dental and massage, so worth it for me.

    Not 'cheaper' if have no use for it, but there is advantages in getting it before a certain age especially if you will use it.

  • +2

    My dentist said I need surgery under general anesthesia to remove my 4 wisdom teeth.

    Worth spending $100 on a 2nd opinion. Lots of dentists can take out wisdom teeth with local anesthesia. My guess (without knowing anything about you or your mouth) is the recommendation for general anesthesia comes from removing 4 teeth in one go. Another dentist might give you a workable solution by taking out 1-2 teeth at a time with local.

    • +1

      Agree a second opinion is useful. Or even just asking your dentist why under general.

      I had all four out, the first two in the chair and the second two under general. They were too close to a nerve to risk doing them in the chair.

      Doing them in two lots was easier for healing/mostly eating afterward, but there would have been benefits getting them all done at once.

      • What it end up costing you to do them in the chair?

        • +1

          It was about 5 years ago now so I don’t recall but I vividly remember it was cheaper than a filling! And quicker too.

  • +1

    I only had extras cover when I had my two remaining wisdom teeth taken out last year. Both were impacted so the the recommendation was that they needed to be taken out in a hospital, under general anaesthesia (more on this below). My private health extras cover was pretty basic so I only got about $60 back on each of the two teeth removal dental item numbers.

    I also considered taking out private hospital cover and waiting a year, then getting it removed, so the hospital fee would be covered fully but based on the cost of a year of hospital cover, it wasn't worth it. Not in Melbourne but I found in Brisbane a company called Wisdom Teeth Clinics which use Doctors who are also Dental Surgeons. You'll see they'll remove all four wisdom teeth for only $1190 (not including hospital or anaesthesia) so it's quite a lot cheaper than what you're getting quoted. Best advice - shop around. I did and that's how I found got my two remaining teeth removed for close to half the price some other dentists quoted me.

    Hospital fee was only $890 (day surgery, private hospital). Anaesthetist was approximately $450 after Medicare rebate.

    My surgeon offered to remove the teeth at her clinic under a local anaesthetic ($380 for anaesthetic but no hospital or additional clinic fee) but explained that as they were both impacted, it could take quite a long time and would be quite unpleasant to be awake for such a procedure. I had a non-impacted bottom jaw wisdom teeth taken out in the chair previously by a different dentist and whilst I was OK with this (the force to pull it out was quite incredible though which I believe is because I grind my teeth in my sleep and this means I have some pretty amazing jaw muscles according to the dentist), impacted wisdom teeth are often deep down and need to be dug out in pieces.

    EDIT - astute readers may have noted I only spoke about having 3 wisdom teeth removed which is because I was only born with 3.

    https://wisdomteethclinics.com/

  • +1

    I'm under my parents PHI as an adult dependent (<25, but working full-time) and got mine done at a private hospital at the start of the year.
    Mine was all 4 as well and GA, and was recommended that way as I have pre-existing issues with my jaw and also have a nerve close to one of the lower teeth.

    Ended up OOP $3200 as I preferred going through my specialist (same one who operated on my jaw before) and he wasn't one of their associated partners.
    If I went to an associated party I think I would've been OOP about $600 (cover was 75%)

  • +2

    If you're taking out PHI purely for the wisdom teeth extractions, 99% of the time it's not worth it because of the waiting period. You'll end up paying more in premiums for hospital and extras cover than purely out of pocket.

    Also when talking about wisdom tooth extractions under GA in hospital, it's never quoted purely on a per tooth basis but rather on a per tooth basis by the oral surgeon and then the cost of the hospital stay and GA (which will have a medicare rebate). Expect at least $400 per tooth just for the oral surgeon bit.

  • +1

    As people have explained, extras cover will give you something back for the tooth removal fee. You’ll need hospital cover for hospital and anaesthesia. Cheaper to shop around and forget insurance. My son had all 4 removed under general for $2000.

  • +1

    I had all four removed under local. I started out by being sedated, but funnily enough, the dentist said it was more challenging because I was so chatty while being sedated. When that wore off, we just did it under local and everything was peachy. A couple of them were impacted as well, so it was a long procedure.

  • +1

    Shop around. I got 2 removed for around $350 each.

    A lot of dentists recommend wisdom tooth removal prematurely just to make money. If it's not causing any actual discomfort or serious risks with your other teeth, you can wait.

    Another option is to go to Thailand, have them removed for a fraction of the cost, and spend the rest of the money on a nice holiday while you're there. There are lots of reputable Australian dentists in Thailand who do very good work.

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