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Old 04-20-2008, 09:15 PM   #1
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Wisdom Teeth = Money Grab??

I am 34 years old and have 5 wisdom teeth. 2 of them are fully erupted, 1 is a minor vertical impaction, 1 is a full horizontal impaction, and 1 is imbedded into my sinus cavity. The only tooth that has every given me problems is the minor vertical impaction (due to deep pocket around it). And when I mean problems, I am referring to pain and swelling due to food/bacteria in the pocket. I've always managed it by using a syringe and mouthwash (works wonders!!!).

I've had 2 dentists tell me that I should get 4 of 5 removed and leave the horizontal impaction there as it would be brutal to get out. For years I just blew them off but this year my dentist convinced me to just get a consultation from an oral surgeon. To my surprise the oral surgeon said it would be fairly easy to get out all 5 teeth (seconds for 4 of them and minutes for the horizontal one). He said I have a 1% chance of nerve damage and should be back to work in 3-4 days.

He wants to give me gas, local, and general sedation. The total cost is ~2000$

Somehow, I can't help feeling this is a money grab. Any thoughts?

Also, he said that he will be using a technique that involves pushing down on the tooth in order to remove it????? Is this normal?

Cheers

 
Old 04-21-2008, 04:53 AM   #2
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Re: Wisdom Teeth = Money Grab??

The price doesn't sound unreasonable to me if $2000 is the total cost for the removal of the 5 teeth and anesthesia. Assuming you're not covered by insurance you might actually be receiving a "cash discount".

Maybe this will help you put things in perspective cost wise:

I recently had an apicoectomy on one root of one molar tooth with the usual injection anesthetic for the procedure. The total cost was $1455. And this tooth was previously root canaled by a general dentist at a cost of $860 plus additional charge for filling the hole on the crown of the tooth, $220.00. Well I was certainly ripped off, gouged on the price of procedures from the general dentist!

Well, that's a total of $2535! Add the cost of the crown of the tooth ($800) that was done 6 months prior to the root canal (by a different dentist) and the grand total for one frickin tooth is $3335!

Career wise, going into dentistry seems to be lucrative.

Also, in case you're curious, sometimes they remove the tooth in pieces when it's complicated. At least that's how it was done when mine were removed 18 yrs ago.

Last edited by Pauligirl; 04-21-2008 at 04:55 AM.

 
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:14 AM   #3
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Re: Wisdom Teeth = Money Grab??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pauligirl View Post
The price doesn't sound unreasonable to me if $2000 is the total cost for the removal of the 5 teeth and anesthesia. Assuming you're not covered by insurance you might actually be receiving a "cash discount".

Maybe this will help you put things in perspective cost wise:

I recently had an apicoectomy on one root of one molar tooth with the usual injection anesthetic for the procedure. The total cost was $1455. And this tooth was previously root canaled by a general dentist at a cost of $860 plus additional charge for filling the hole on the crown of the tooth, $220.00. Well I was certainly ripped off, gouged on the price of procedures from the general dentist!

Well, that's a total of $2535! Add the cost of the crown of the tooth ($800) that was done 6 months prior to the root canal (by a different dentist) and the grand total for one frickin tooth is $3335!

Career wise, going into dentistry seems to be lucrative.

Also, in case you're curious, sometimes they remove the tooth in pieces when it's complicated. At least that's how it was done when mine were removed 18 yrs ago.
Yikes, 3G's for one tooth. Actually what I was trying to suggest/ask with this thread was that it seems that my dentist and the oral surgeon are pushing me to remove 4 teeth that have never bothered me (not even once) and 1 tooth that rarely bothers me. I just got the feeling they were after money rather than actually helping me.

Is it normal to remove wisdom teeth at age 34 that are not bothering the patient? The reason he gave me was that the would cause me a problem in the future and it would be harder to remove in my 40's, 50's than now.

Also curious about the pushing down to remove teeth? What is that all about?

 
Old 04-21-2008, 09:26 AM   #4
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Re: Wisdom Teeth = Money Grab??

yikes i thought we all had only 4 wisdom teeth?
ive had all 4 of mine out ,all by normal anesthetic ,numb the gum ,mine came out pretty easily only one top wisdom hurt me
as it broke

cant you go to a hopital and have them out> where it be free?

 
Old 04-21-2008, 10:22 AM   #5
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Re: Wisdom Teeth = Money Grab??

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Originally Posted by bergerbaby View Post
yikes i thought we all had only 4 wisdom teeth?
ive had all 4 of mine out ,all by normal anesthetic ,numb the gum ,mine came out pretty easily only one top wisdom hurt me
as it broke

cant you go to a hopital and have them out> where it be free?
Yeah, I'm a freak. I have a half size 5th widom tooth that is up by my sinus cavity.

The money is covered by insurance and the surgery will be done by an oral surgeon. My concern as stated above is the actual "need" for surgery or is this just a money grab. In other words, according to my history (in the first post) do you guys think there is an actual need for surgery??

 
Old 04-21-2008, 10:32 AM   #6
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Re: Wisdom Teeth = Money Grab??

Quote:
Originally Posted by xrox View Post
Yeah, I'm a freak. I have a half size 5th widom tooth that is up by my sinus cavity.

The money is covered by insurance and the surgery will be done by an oral surgeon. My concern as stated above is the actual "need" for surgery or is this just a money grab. In other words, according to my history (in the first post) do you guys think there is an actual need for surgery??
I'm sure it's necessary.... I don't understand why you would think it's a money grab.....oral surgery costs money and you have insurance.....so what are you even questioning?

 
Old 04-21-2008, 10:45 AM   #7
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Re: Wisdom Teeth = Money Grab??

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Originally Posted by rosequartz View Post
I'm sure it's necessary.... I don't understand why you would think it's a money grab.....oral surgery costs money and you have insurance.....so what are you even questioning?
I thought I was being clear here. The dentist gets a referral fee, the surgeon gets 2000$ from my insurance company and I get 5 teeth pulled. If the "need" to pull the teeth is to obtain money, and not actually to medically help me (actually possibly even hurt me after reading some horror stories here),then it is a money grab. I don't care where the money is coming from, but rather about my health.

I am asking, according to my history (first post), do you guys feel there is a true need to remove all 5 teeth? Or is this just business?

P.S. - you can see I have very little trust of the medical professions (through personal experience). In the end, money is behind everything.

 
Old 04-21-2008, 01:11 PM   #8
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Re: Wisdom Teeth = Money Grab??

I'm sure it's necessary....most people don't have room in their mouth for 4 wisdom teeth, much less five.
If it hurts bad enough you won't care what it costs, or who's paying for it.
Bite the bullet and get er done!

 
Old 04-23-2008, 09:27 PM   #9
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Re: Wisdom Teeth = Money Grab??

There is a lot of controvery about wisdom teeth these days...in other words, whether they should be removed or not! In general, if the tooth is *partially* erupted, they usually recommend you remove it, because it can be so hard to clean. Have you had any infections in any of the teeth?

As for teeth that are fully impacted in the bone...at your age, you may want to consider just monitoring them on x-rays, to make sure no cysts develop. However, cysts are rare! A lot of oral surgeons give the same "scare story:" They tell you that it's only a matter of time before something goes wrong with the teeth, and how much harder it will be to remove them later. Now, as you get older, the teeth do become harder to remove...BUT, if they haven't bothered you, I would think long and hard about getting them extracted (especially any that are fully impacted). At your age, you are already at higher risk for complications than someone in their late teens or early to mid-twenties.

In most cases, everything turns out fine. It really depends on the position of the teeth, and how deeply impacted they are. I'm not saying it would be terrible for you, or trying to scare you! As I said, most people come out okay...but I would just be cautious. You could get another opinion too...often, it is wise to go to a dental school for an opinion...if there is one near you, I'd look into that. Good luck!

 
Old 04-24-2008, 07:44 AM   #10
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Re: Wisdom Teeth = Money Grab??

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieMay78 View Post
There is a lot of controvery about wisdom teeth these days...in other words, whether they should be removed or not! In general, if the tooth is *partially* erupted, they usually recommend you remove it, because it can be so hard to clean. Have you had any infections in any of the teeth?

As for teeth that are fully impacted in the bone...at your age, you may want to consider just monitoring them on x-rays, to make sure no cysts develop. However, cysts are rare! A lot of oral surgeons give the same "scare story:" They tell you that it's only a matter of time before something goes wrong with the teeth, and how much harder it will be to remove them later. Now, as you get older, the teeth do become harder to remove...BUT, if they haven't bothered you, I would think long and hard about getting them extracted (especially any that are fully impacted). At your age, you are already at higher risk for complications than someone in their late teens or early to mid-twenties.

In most cases, everything turns out fine. It really depends on the position of the teeth, and how deeply impacted they are. I'm not saying it would be terrible for you, or trying to scare you! As I said, most people come out okay...but I would just be cautious. You could get another opinion too...often, it is wise to go to a dental school for an opinion...if there is one near you, I'd look into that. Good luck!
Maggie, thank you, great reply IMO. I have 5 wisdom teeth, 1 horizontally impacted (90% in the bone), 3 fully erupted, and 1 baby one fully vertically impacted near my sinus. I have really never had any problems with my wisdom teeth that needed a dentists attention. For a while my lower right was in constant severe pain, but this was due to eruption (at age 30 which is rare). Now it is fully erupted but does have deep pocket around it. Sometimes food gets in there and irritates the area but I just clean it out with a syringe and mouthwash and have no further problems. Also, my horizontally impacted lower left is slowly erupting. 4 years ago it was 100% impacted but has moved closer to the surface and is 10% out of the bone.

My current plan is the following

1 - Get 3 seperate consultations from OS with special consideration of the location of the oral nerves and sinus relative to the roots of each tooth.

2 - Pursue possible alternatives to local injections

3 - Use this information to make some decision on keeping or extracting some or all of my wisdom teeth.

 
Old 04-24-2008, 08:06 AM   #11
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Re: Wisdom Teeth = Money Grab??

I am also questioning the same thing now. I made it without having my wisdom teeth taken out....usually they pull most of everyone's in the military, but mine were not ready. Now I am worried about getting them taken out because the root grows around the nerve and if the nerve is touched, it can cause permanant numbness. My dentist is urging me to come back in for a closer look. I also believe everything is geared towards money, not only in the dental profession, but medical, food, drug industries as well. As long as your teeth are not pushing your other teeth, you should be okay. I have read that at some point almost everyone gets them taken out because they can cause problems.

 
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