Is a tooth extraction considered basic or major?

Preventive dental services include routine exams, cleanings, fluoride treatments and dental sealants, basically simple procedures that help prevent long-term damage. Major dental services include complex procedures, such as bridges, dental implants and dentures, which often require the participation of a dental laboratory. In many cases, dental insurance covers wisdom tooth extraction, but coverage may vary depending on the complexity of the tooth extraction. Simple tooth extractions are often considered basic dental services and can be partially covered after a waiting period.

Complex withdrawals may be partially covered after a waiting period.

If you are considering a tooth extraction you might be wondering whether it's considered a basic or a major procedure. There are a few factors to consider when deciding if this should be considered as a basic or a major surgery. These factors include the cost of the procedure, the waiting period restrictions, and the Dental insurance plans you have.


If you are looking into dental insurance, it is important to know which tooth extractions are covered and which ones are not. Learning the difference can help you understand your options better and reduce your stress before you schedule an appointment.

Generally speaking, the best way to tell which services are covered is to check your plan's limits. Some plans limit the number of cleanings, exams, and x-rays you can have each year. They may also have limitations on the amount of restorations you can have.

Simple tooth extractions are typically covered under a basic plan. During a procedure, a dentist will administer local anesthetic to numb the area. After the procedure is complete, the dentist will use forceps to extract the tooth.

Root canals

When a tooth is infected, a dentist may recommend a root canal. Root canals are very effective treatments. They prevent further infections and preserve the integrity of the tooth. A root canal is often a less invasive procedure than a full tooth extraction.

Root canals are usually performed under local anesthesia. The dentist will make a hole in the enamel to access the pulp chamber. This is where the infected nerve and tissue is located. Small hand files are used to remove the pulp.

Root canals can be painful. However, pain can be controlled with medicine. Patients should avoid eating solid foods for several days after the procedure. An ice pack may be needed to reduce swelling.

If the root canal treatment is successful, you will be left with a strong and durable synthetic crown. Dental implants may also be added for extra structure.

Surgical extractions

Surgical extractions are dental procedures performed by a dentist or oral surgeon. They include removal of broken or decayed teeth, as well as those that are not visible in the mouth. The procedure can be done under general or local anesthesia.

Surgical extractions involve a gum incision, which allows the dentist or surgeon to remove the tooth in several pieces. This type of extraction requires more time and aftercare than a simple extraction.

A general anesthetic will make the process easier. In the event of a "hard to extract" tooth, the patient may need to undergo multiple extractions.

A dental x-ray is also taken to help the dentist or oral surgeon determine the shape of the root of the tooth. Once the tooth is removed, stitches may be applied to promote healing. Often, there will be a period of mild swelling. After a few days, the wound will begin to heal.

Wait-period restrictions

Depending on your type of dental insurance plan, you might have to wait a while before you receive coverage. The good news is that most plans have a waiting period or two. But that doesn't mean you're stuck with an expensive bill.

Fortunately, you can get around the waiting period by shopping around for the best dental plan. If your employer offers dental benefits, it's probably a good idea to rollover the coverage to an individual plan. You can also try signing up for an independent stand-alone plan.

One of the first things you should ask about your new dental plan is the wait-period restrictions. Some of them are pretty obvious, but there are some others that you might not even be aware of. For example, some companies only pay for a full set of X-rays once every five years.

Dental insurance plans with short or no waiting periods

Dental insurance plans with no waiting periods offer you immediate coverage. But there are tradeoffs and limitations you should be aware of before making a final choice.

The first thing to consider is the length of the waiting period. You may have to wait months or even years for major services such as bridges, dentures, and implants. A longer wait period means higher out-of-pocket costs for you.

If you have had dental insurance over the past year, you might be eligible for a waiting period waiver. Contact the administrator of your plan to find out if you qualify.

You might also have a deductible and benefit cap. Your deductible is how much you will have to pay each month before your insurance company begins to cover your dental expenses. In most cases, you will waive the deductible if you undergo preventive care or diagnostic services.

Keri Levitch
Keri Levitch

Professional beer guru. Unapologetic thinker. Award-winning tv maven. Incurable sushi geek. Evil tv lover.

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