Recently, our son needed his wisdom teeth removed, but our insurance did not cover it. With some research, we received a brief education about wisdom teeth and how to have them removed cheaply.
Research states that most young people between the ages of 17 and 25 grow wisdom teeth. Experts can not agree on the purpose of wisdom teeth. Some have proposed that at one time, humans were larger and facial bones bigger. This allowed for an extra set of teeth. Others have guessed that humans may have been carnivores and needed extra molars to chew meat. Whatever their purpose at one time, modern day humans generally do not need wisdom teeth. It is important for young people to know how unremoved wisdom teeth might affect their oral health and what they can do to have them removed.
Erupting wisdom teeth are generally uncomfortable at best to painful at worse. There are several means by which wisdom teeth erupt and appear . Some people find that the wisdom teeth crumble as they come in. Others young adults find that they come in crooked, causing pain as the teeth try to force their way into their space and push on other teeth. If left in place, these crooked wisdom teeth not only cause pain, but are capable of pushing other teeth out of their place causing teeth misalignment. Still other wisdom teeth become impacted. For some reason, they barely pierce the skin or remain below the gum line causing pain. Often impacted wisdom teeth become infected. This can lead to gum infection at the site of eruption and further along the gum line. Then there are the lucky few who have wisdom teeth that behave, erupt and do not force any teeth out of position. These people may opt to leave the wisdom teeth in, after consulting with a dental specialist. As can be seen by the various problems presented by wisdom teeth, it is imperative to contact an oral surgeon regarding removal of wisdom teeth.
Not all dental insurances cover extraction of wisdom teeth. Many young people find that they are no longer on their parents insurance or the policy excludes wisdom teeth extraction. Surgery for removal of unwanted wisdom teeth can be expensive, and often includes the cost of x-rays and anesthetics, including laughing gas or iv sedation. Because this is the age when many young people move out of their parents home and live on their own, more and more young people are running into problems having their wisdom teeth extracted. However, there are some cheap and maybe free options for wisdom teeth removal.
For students in college, some universities have dental clinics and will perform dental work. They clinics generally charge a small fee and allow for payment of more costly dental procedures. If you are not a student attending that particular college, conduct an internet search to verify if any colleges in your area offer a dental clinic. They are able to offer their services at a discount as the dentists are student practicing under the instruction of a certified dentist.
Some health departments offer dental assistance to children and young adults. The care provided is generally routine maintenance, but do not rule out this option before contacting your local health department. If they do not provide wisdom teeth extraction, they might be able to refer you to someone who preforms such services at a discount rate.
Very few dentists allow for payment options, unless a patient qualifies for a medical expense credit card. Ask your dentist of choice if they offer any payment plans. Unless absolutely necessary , going into debt for wisdom teeth extraction is not a good idea. No one wants to face early adult hood with a medical expense looming over the shoulders.
If all of the above options fail, ask your dentist what he charges to extract one or two wisdom teeth at a time. You might find that is is less expensive to have a couple removed then return for the rest at a later date.
The main thing to remember is that wisdom teeth that are left in place, may affect dental health, leading to infections, gum problems and crooked teeth. Having wisdom teeth extracted is a necessary step in ensuring good dental health as an adult.