Are you discouraged by the rising costs of dental care? If you’ve ever gone to the dentist, you know dental care is not cheap—especially without insurance.
Everyone knows that going to the dentist is important for overall health, but that doesn’t mean everyone can afford it. Many people dread going to the dentist so much that they resort to pulling their own tooth when they have a toothache by doing a simple search for “how to pull a tooth at home.” As you can guess, this often ends in disaster.
If you’ve ever wondered how hard it would be to pull your own tooth when treating a toothache, you need to understand the possible consequences of at-home tooth extractions and consider: Is pulling your own tooth economically smart or is it dangerous? Keep reading to find out.
Can I Pull My Own Tooth?
Technically you can, but you shouldn’t. Regardless of its affordability, pulling a tooth without the proper training and tools can be very dangerous and end up causing more pain and costing even more money in the long run. You risk making an infection worse, breaking the tooth in pieces or damaging the bone that holds the tooth in place when you perform DIY tooth extractions.
Toothaches are irritating, especially when they refuse to go away on their own, but they often point to a much deeper issue, such as an infection.
For these reasons, dentists highly discourage pulling a tooth at home. But contrary to what some think, it’s not just because they want to make money off you. If that were the case, they’d make much more money fixing a failed home extraction than just pulling it themselves.
When Is It OK to Extract My Own Tooth?
Generally speaking, it’s not. The possible exception: your children’s baby teeth. Baby teeth become very loose on their own and eventually fall out. This is generally the only situation when a “tooth extraction” can be done at home on your own. However, there’s still a risk of an abscess or other issues if you pull it out before it’s ready. For these teeth, it’s still better to let them fall out on their own. If you’re going to help your child get rid of an especially loose tooth, follow these tips from Colgate for how to remove a tooth at home.
If you’re looking for a how-to on how to pull a tooth out for adults at home, there’s a reason it’s hard to find. It’s highly discouraged because adult teeth are much more deeply rooted, which requires a much more complicated extraction process.
How Do I Safely Pull Out My Own Tooth?
Is there a safe way to pull a tooth at home? As Dentaly.org covers, many of the “tried and true” methods of at-home tooth removal can be very dangerous. But, if you’re insistent about removing your tooth yourself, here are tips to follow for how to pull a tooth at home as safely as possible:
- Make sure anything you’re putting in your mouth is sterilized. You don’t want to put dirty tools (like pliers) or hands into your mouth while pulling your tooth because it could increase the risk of infection.
- Have gauze on hand to help stop the bleeding and encourage a blood clot to form.
- Avoid eating anything that could get stuck in the open hole left behind by your tooth—this can include things like nuts, chips, etc.—which can get trapped and contribute to infection.
While these tips for tooth extraction can help reduce the risks of removing teeth at home, they aren’t guaranteed to make it go smoothly by any means. Undoubtedly, going to a dentist or even sometimes an oral surgeon is the best, safest course of action when removing a tooth.
How Do DIY Tooth Extractions Go Wrong?
Without the expert knowledge of the anatomy of your mouth, which tools to use, and training in tooth extraction techniques, there’s a lot of room for error. There are many ways in which DIY tooth extractions can go wrong, including:
- Broken teeth
- Open wound
- Bone damage
- Nerve damage
- Severe pain
As you can see, a lot can go wrong, even if you’re careful. That’s why it’s highly recommended to seek out professional care when it comes to any dental issues—especially something as complex as tooth extraction or wisdom tooth removal.
Bottom line: If you decide to follow online instructions for how to pull your tooth at home, you could end up needing to see a dentist anyways—and footing the bill—if one of these complications arises.
How Much Does a Tooth Extraction Cost?
When it comes down to it, for most people, learning how to pull a tooth at home is about saving money. And we understand; we’ve experienced firsthand the high cost of dental care in America. That’s why we believe in dental savings plans and their ability to save individuals and families money on the dental work they need.
Below is a cost comparison for each type of extraction without insurance and the tooth extraction cost with a savings plan when you see a general dentist.
Learn more about the best savings at general dentists and see exact pricing in your area with the Care 500 plan. Or see the best savings at specialists with the Dental Access Plan (powered by the Aetna Dental Access network).
How Can I Afford a Tooth Extraction, So I Don’t Have to Pull My Own Tooth?
Instead of trying to figure out how to pull a tooth at home so you can save money, you should be asking, “how can I afford an extraction?”. If a tooth is causing you pain from infection, or appears loose, professional tooth extraction is the wisest option for relief, and fortunately, it might not be as far outside your budget as you might think.
There are several affordable options you can turn to that will fix the problem:
- Payment Plans: Many dental offices will allow payment plans that let you split the cost of a procedure into multiple payments over time. Over the course of the plan, you’ll still need to pay the full price, but you’ll have more time to get the money to pay it. If your dentist doesn’t offer any payment plan options, consider signing up for CareCredit, which is a credit card to help you break up medical and dental costs over time so you can manage payments better.
- Dental Clinics: Some areas have local dental clinics that can offer discounted dental care to those who can’t afford to pay full price. A lot of these clinics operate on a sliding scale that determines the price paid by an individual’s income.
- Dental Schools: Your local dental school may offer discounted procedures in exchange for allowing dental students to perform them. While dental students are in training, these procedures are typically overseen by a professional.
- Dental Savings Plans: Dental savings plans are an alternative to dental insurance. You pay a membership fee in exchange for discounts at thousands of dental offices nationwide. These monthly savings plans can also be combined with your insurance for additional savings.
Learn more details about our dental savings plan options below.
1Dental Savings Plans for More Affordable Tooth Extractions
Dental savings plans are a cheap alternative to dental insurance that can help make tooth extractions and other crucial treatments more affordable. For a very low monthly price or yearly cost, you can save between 15 and 60% off tooth extractions and other dental services.
Our plan options are as follows:
Maybe you’re looking at all of this, thinking, “That’s a pretty great price. What’s the catch?” or you’re looking at it, thinking, “That’s still expensive; there’s no way I can afford that.” Let me try to address both concerns here:
1. “That’s a great price. What’s the catch?”
No catch. There are millions of members nationwide who use these plans. They have each seen time and time again how much you can save at the dentist with a dental savings plan.
Dentists like these plans, too, because they get paid upfront for the work they’re doing for their patients and don’t have to worry about filing paperwork and claims forms, waiting on dental insurance providers to pay them the money for the services rendered.
If you’re considering trying a dental savings plan, take a look at the annual and multi-year options (found at checkout) to get an even better deal on your membership.
2.“That’s still expensive; there is no way I can afford that.”
We understand. Let us break down the costs for you a bit.
If you purchase a plan for yourself at $14.95/month + the $30 non-refundable processing fee, your total for this first month will be $44.95.
Then, say you go to the dentist that same month and need a simple tooth extraction (plus the traditional x-ray and exam they’ll do before the extraction). Your total cost for the month (including what you paid for your plan) would be $157.95, which is still less than the average cost of JUST the extraction without a plan.
|Total Cost of Professional Tooth Extraction with a Dental Savings Plan
|$27 exam + $13 x-ray + $73 simple extraction + $14.95/monthly plan + $30 non-refundable processing fee
Your dentist may also be able to set up a payment plan for you that you can pay over several months. And if that’s not available, you may want to consider CareCredit, as mentioned earlier.
Key Benefits of Dental Savings Plans
Dental savings plans are an excellent solution for those struggling to afford critical dental care. Here are some of the primary benefits of enrolling in a dental savings plan:
- Accepted by dentists and specialists across the country
- No waiting period to start using your membership benefits
- Significant savings on a variety of procedures—including simple and surgical extractions
- No annual limits and can be used as frequently as you need
- No exclusions for pre-existing conditions
Plus, being able to afford these procedures now means that you’ll minimize oral health issues and likely save money later. And, if you already have insurance, but are in the middle of a waiting period or you’ve hit your maximum for the year, you can use your dental savings plan to get savings today.
Don’t Put Off Having Your Tooth Removed
Stop putting off your extraction in hopes that you can find a way to remove your tooth at home. In the end, you may end up costing yourself way more money—as well as unnecessary pain and complications. Instead, sign up for one 1Dental’s dental savings plans to make your treatment more affordable and ensure you get the professional care you need.