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Old 02-05-2008, 08:29 PM   #1
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flyrod HB User
Smile Is nearly $6000 for Pocket Reduction surgery a reasonable price?

Hi everyone! New to the boards and I have a question:

Is nearly $6000 for Pocket Reduction surgery a reasonable price?

I have periodontitis and was examined today by a perio, to whom I was referred by my dentist. The perio recommended pocket reduction surgery, which my dentist had already told me I need, in order to get my roots and bone clean and stop the bone loss that is already pretty well along. I have pocket depths on some teeth of 8-9mm, and 10 on one tooth, though 5-6mm is more common.

My dental plan at work only covers $1000 per year and that is already used up, so the money for this will have to come out of my pocket. They offered me a deal of 1/4 up front and then pay the rest interest-free over 18 months, so at least they are working with me on the financing.

My main question is, is $5,729 a reasonable price for pocket reduction surgery of both upper and lower jaws, including the initial visit today, the surgery, follow up hygiene visit and another visit for a post-op evaluation?

Also, do I really need this done? Are there other alternatives? Would I be better off waiting until I start to get loose teeth and have them pulled and dentures put in? Will I put all this money into my teeth only to lose them some time in the future anyway? (I am an otherwise healthy 40-year old male.)

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.

Last edited by flyrod; 02-05-2008 at 08:33 PM.

 
Old 02-06-2008, 09:18 AM   #2
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ami68 HB User
Re: Is nearly $6000 for Pocket Reduction surgery a reasonable price?

what is this? what are the symptoms of having pockets, like you are saying? I have a big problem on one of my molars and it goes really low and feels kind of weird when I press on it, and it seems like the root is visible, is this similar to what you have? I have 0 dental insurance. I wonder if you could wait until next year to di , so you could have at least some of it covered?

 
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:28 PM   #3
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flyrod HB User
Re: Is nearly $6000 for Pocket Reduction surgery a reasonable price?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ami68 View Post
what is this? what are the symptoms of having pockets, like you are saying? I have a big problem on one of my molars and it goes really low and feels kind of weird when I press on it, and it seems like the root is visible, is this similar to what you have? I have 0 dental insurance. I wonder if you could wait until next year to di , so you could have at least some of it covered?
Pockets are spaces between your teeth and gums that allow plaque and bacteria to get at the roots and the bone that your teeth are set into.

Most people have pockets depths of 1-3mm but mine are anywhere from 2-10mm with most in the 5-7 range. These pockets are too deep and can't be kept clean effectively through normal brushing, flossing and dental gleanings. Scaling and root planing can clean a 5-6mm pocket but that's a more involved procedure and still can't clean a 7-10mm pocket very well if at all.

In order to reduce the pocket depth and clean the roots of the teeth and affected surfaces of the jawbone, a periodontist sedates you and then peels the gums away from the teeth to expose the surfaces which need cleaning. The perio then cleans the roots and cleans and smooths the sufaces of your jawbone, followed by suturing the gums back into place with dissolving sutures.

The procedure is much more efficient and recovery is much quicker and more comfortable than it was 15-20 years ago. Back in those days, rather than folding the gums down and suturing them back into place, the gums were cut away and thrown in the trash, making for a much more painful and lengthy recovery period. Done the way it is today, the gums bond quickly back in place against the smooth and newly cleaned surfaces they contact, so 3-4 days of careful eating is all that's required and then life can gradually and quickly return to normal. No further surgery should be required as long as one is diligent about brushing, flossing and frequent professional cleaning.

Pockets are caused by lax tooth care and lack of dental care, which is partly my fault and partly my parents. I was taken to the dentist once at age 7 and never was taken or went again until 14 months ago at age 39. In that time a lot of calculus built up both above and below my gumline. Above the gumline my teeth are clean now, and also below as much as scaling and planing can do, but I still need the surgery to fully clean the roots and bone, to stop the bone loss that is happening.

Upon further review with my insurance company, they treat this procedure as a medical event and not dental, so it is a covered procedure at 60 percent after my deductible. This was welcome news and will result in my out-of-pocket cost being less than half the total bill.

I would still appreciate any input from people in the know as to whether $5,729 is in the ballpark for this procedure or if it may be wise for me to shop around a bit.

Last edited by flyrod; 02-06-2008 at 02:44 PM.

 
Old 02-07-2008, 03:51 AM   #4
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Storm Moon HB User
Re: Is nearly $6000 for Pocket Reduction surgery a reasonable price?

Six grand is overpriced for any type of surgery IMO. I'd consider switching insurance companies.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:30 PM   #5
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flyrod HB User
Re: Is nearly $6000 for Pocket Reduction surgery a reasonable price?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Moon View Post
Six grand is overpriced for any type of surgery IMO. I'd consider switching insurance companies.
My insurance is provided through my employer so the price is right.

I checked with the perio department of the Mayo Clinic, which is only 25 miles from my house, and they came in with a price of $4550, which is 20 percent cheaper. Mayo doesn't expect any money down either. The other place wanted 1/4 to 1/3 down at the time of service.

That's quite a discount off the other place and I'm in the process of scheduling my initial appointment.

 
Old 02-08-2008, 04:23 PM   #6
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Rosie the 3rd HB User
Re: Is nearly $6000 for Pocket Reduction surgery a reasonable price?

I can't understand how on earth it could cost that much. I am in the UK but I think I had exactly the procedure you are describing done by a specialised periodontalist after my pockets started to get rapidly worse and some were reaching 7-8 mm. I had this treatment and this improved most of the pockets quite alot and it was only 2 pockets that didn't respond , one of those teeth was loose already and so he removed those 2 teeth. I went back some months later and the pockets are significantly better except in one spot. This treatment cost about £600 to have the teeth out (including IV sedation) and about £200 to have the actual pocket reduction (he called it mouth disinfecting). Do get it done as it is definately worth it but get some more quotes as this seems on the extortionate side. By the way, do you have the horrid black spaces between your teeth where the gum has receded away from the teeth , I do and I am deeply conscious of it even though everyone assures me that it isn't that noticeable.

Last edited by Rosie the 3rd; 02-08-2008 at 04:25 PM.

 
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