The vast majority of Americans, nearly 85 percent, have wisdom teeth removed in their lifetime. To put this into perspective, that is nearly 20 percent more of the population than is currently employed in this country.
Despite the prevalence of wisdom teeth removal, very few Americans actually understand why we have it done, or what these “extra” teeth even are to begin with. So, speaking of wisdom, let us impart some on you. Here is the history of wisdom teeth removal in America.
Getting to the root of wisdom teeth
Let’s start with the basics: wisdom teeth are our third set of molars that start to poke through the gums around ages 17-25. As the name suggests, these are the final teeth to surface in our mouths — after we have supposedly gained life “wisdom.”
Wisdom teeth removal has become an adolescent rite of passage. Think back to your teenage years, and you will remember not only forlorn angst but also gum ache and jaw pain. This is because latent wisdom teeth often crowd mouths and cause irritation to nearby teeth — necessitating extraction. If they are not taken care of, wisdom teeth can cause oral health issues such as:
- Teeth movement
- Sinus irritation
- Inflamed gums
- Bite misalignment
Even if the extra teeth aren’t causing pain, many oral surgeons will still suggest wisdom teeth removal as a preventative measure to fend off tooth or jaw damage down the line. This means, in all likelihood, either you or your kids will eventually need wisdom teeth removal at some point.
The cost of wisdom teeth removal
Wisdom teeth removal is something almost every American will experience, but that doesn’t mean it comes cheap — especially if you’re a part of the nearly 40 percent of Americans who do not have dental insurance.
"The vast majority of Americans, nearly 85 percent, have wisdom teeth removed in their lifetime. To put this into perspective, that is nearly 20 percent more of the population than is currently employed in this country."
Without dental coverage, wisdom teeth removal costs between $250-$650 per tooth — amounting to an average total cost of $1500. This cost includes general anesthetic, the procedure, and subsequent follow ups.
How can people make wisdom teeth removal more affordable? In order to get ahead of expensive procedures such as wisdom teeth removal, think about using a dental discount card to save on the procedure. A dental discount program is basically an unending coupon book for your mouth.
For example, with Dental Solutions, a monthly subscription is less than $10 and entitles you and your entire household to up to 50 percent off the retail cost of both standard and specialized oral health procedures.
Wisdom teeth removal is admittedly not something many people look forward to. However, you don’t have to overpay on this necessity. Contact Dental Solutions to learn more about how to save on various dental procedures and uncover huge savings on oral health care.