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I'm going to lose a tooth.

Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
edited April 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
My top left wisdom tooth is messed up beyond belief. About a year ago I noticed that the back of it had a huge hole in the side. Being uninsured and financially unstable I decided to ignore it, not hoping it would go away, but hoping it wouldn't get worse in a big hurry.

Well, now it's a year later and the hole has widened, spreading to the top, and a big chunk of the tooth is now missing. There's no pain, but it, well, I'm just waiting for the day when it gets messed up enough that there will be pain. The tooth is obviously dead, it's a wisdom tooth, and a dentist would just remove it (even though now I'm sure it wouldn't be as simple as removing my bottom wisdom teeth were).

However, I'm still finacially in the shitter, still uninsured, and have no way of paying for getting this removed. So I'm wondering, well, what's the worse that could happen if I do continue to just ignore it. If there's no pain, won't the tooth just eventually decay to the point of, well not being there? I have good dental hygene, brush/floss/gargle twice a day.

Blah, I just don't know what to do. I need to get this taken care of... I just don't have any money for it. What would be the cost range of getting this thing taken out?

No I don't.
Death of Rats on
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    .kbf?.kbf? Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Unless you go see a dentist this will turn out very badly.

    .kbf? on
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    Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I have a feeling that no matter what I do this is going to turn out very badly. :(

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
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    EndomaticEndomatic Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I had a broken tooth as a result of my wisdom coming in that I didn't take care of when it happened because I couldn't afford it.

    I actually went a couple years before it became a problem. The root died and that was a pretty painful process. If you keep it REALLY clean, you might be okay for awhile, but it's really best to get it out as quick as you can.
    I was lucky that it wasn't a visible tooth. It's out now and perfectly healed. Once you do get it out, watch for dry sockets. Those are painful apparently. I managed to avoid the problem.

    I think when I got mine removed it was around 150 or 170. Something like that. Oral freezing, and 10 minutes of work. 170 bones.
    He was well-trained, swift and painless though, so there's merit there.

    Endomatic on
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    Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I could do something that's 150 or 170. It's the 400-600 range that I'm seeing online that's making me think it's not an option.

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
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    .kbf?.kbf? Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I have a feeling that no matter what I do this is going to turn out very badly. :(

    You're going to end up going to the dentist any way you cut it. Might as well be sooner rather then later and avoid all the possible complications waiting might cause.

    .kbf? on
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    EndomaticEndomatic Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I live in Canada, if that changes anything. I had to pay full price though, as I didn't have insurance.

    Endomatic on
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    DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Go to one of those teaching dental places and beg them to pull it for cheap.

    If you do nothing the decay can spread despite brushing/flossing and the decaying tooth could be an easy entry point for infection.

    Edit: 400-600 is unreasonable for a single tooth, especially if they just use local anesthetic and don't put you under. Phone some places up and see what they can do.

    Dman on
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    Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Unfortunately I don't think there is a dental school around here. That's the first thing I tried to find.

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
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    EndomaticEndomatic Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Yeah, I get the feeling my situation was extremely lucky. I never encountered any infection.

    Endomatic on
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    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Didn't that guy from Angel die cause a tooth infection exacerbated or caused a heart condition?

    cooljammer00 on
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    witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Call around to local dentists office, explain your situation, and ask for a quote for services. Dentists are in the situation doctor's once were - they can price discriminate within their own practice. You might find a dentist willing to take care of it for you for a price you can afford.

    witch_ie on
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    FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Call some dentists up. I know my dentist does reduced fee/free work for people in your situation.
    Didn't that guy from Angel die cause a tooth infection exacerbated or caused a heart condition?

    Dental infections are no joke, especially at the top of the mouth. You don't want an abscess forming that close to your brain.

    Fats on
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    Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Unfortunately I don't think there is a dental school around here. That's the first thing I tried to find.

    How wide was your search? If you found a place that was, say, a day's drive away or accessible by Greyhound or some other bus service, you might still save a significant sum of money despite travel costs.

    Robos A Go Go on
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    Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Ok, so from posting this to now I've made an apointment. From the sounds of it it's going to be around 3-400 all together... which is something I can afford. It'll mean paying less on my debt for a month, but it might still be worth it. I just hope like hell that number stays that low. I know with damaged teeth extractions can end up being quite the procedure. The mention of infection and such, and this spreading to other teeth frightens me. My dad had dentures put in at around 40. I don't want that to happen to me.

    Now to see how much it would cost to start having cleanings twice a year. If it's around 2-300 a year to get that done, well, I'm in. I'm sick of having bad teeth.

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
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    witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    If it goes higher, you can ask about a payment plan. The dentist's i've been to usually have them available with very low to no interest rate applied.

    witch_ie on
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    FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Death, you should not be charged that much. A single tooth extraction at full price in South Western Ontario is about 150-200 right now.

    I had the same situation a few years ago where my upper wisdom tooth basically broke in half because it was rotting away. I left it for a year or two and only experienced dull pain every now and then, which I eased with sensadyne.

    Eventually, I went in to see an oral surgeon about getting all my wisdom teeth removed, and he told me he wanted to take that one tooth out within 48 hours. He said that I was really dumb for leaving it that long because it was just waiting for an infection..

    The cost to take that one tooth out? Like 160. The cost to take the other 3 out a few months later? 1900.

    All they need to do for you is stick a needle in there to freeze the area (local anesthetic is cheap) and then yank it out with some pliers. No stitches most likely.

    Figgy on
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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I would look into the costs of the exam/diagnosis versus the actual operation.

    When I was in undergrad the dental clinic would do the exam/chart/diagnosis/whatever it's called for a pittance, and then refer students to a local dentist to have actual operations done. I had to do this once, and apparently it cuts a couple hundred bucks off the ultimate bill. Maybe there are free clinics or a dental school near you that could do this?

    Also, don't get a dry socket. They really suck.

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    UltimaGeckoUltimaGecko Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    For a cleaning every year it costs about $100 around here (which is buying the dental office's year-long insurance for $30 (which lowers the cost of cleaning) and paying for the cleaning, so if you get them cleaned again before the insurance is up then it's maybe $170/year or so). Larger cities and areas with higher costs of living would be more.



    Yearly/Twice yearly cleanings and tooth removal are far better than getting a tooth abscess as mentioned above. Not only do you endanger your other teeth and risk an unsightly puffy face, but untreated abscesses can cause death (which wikipedia doesn't care about, apparently). It'd likely be pretty painful by that time so it'd be hard to miss, but you'd probably want to preempt that anyway.

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    SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I have had a very damaged wisdom tooth pulled in december. It was a 40minute procedure, and involved sawing the tooth in 4 parts before it could be pulled. (Due to it being stuck against another tooth) I'm pretty it was pretty much a worse scenario for a single tooth.


    The hospital bill was €320 or so (My insurance lowered it to 150), so i'd say 300-400 is an accurate description. An extra €20 for the painkillers. This included an x-ray of my whole mouth.

    Things to make sure to keep in mind:

    This operation will end with you looking like a gopher for about 3-4 days (Serious swelling of your cheek) , and working/attending classes will probably not be possible for the first 2. The painkillers they gave me were strong enough to not be allowed to drive, so get someone to drive you, or public transport would be good. I opted to get soluble painkillers to avoid problems with swallowing the pills.

    Also, make sure you have soft food in the house, perhaps some straws (moving your mouth will be painful, and you can't open very wide). Get a couple of cold compresses, fighting the swelling can be effective. (The swelling is basicly your entire cheek being bruised from the inside, as I understand it).

    The pain is not horrible or unbearing, it's just a constant nuisance.

    SanderJK on
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    Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Oh god... Forgot about the after operation bullshit. Whenever I got my bottom wisdom teeth removed in highschool it didn't take that long for things to return to normal (I have a high pain tolerance usually, only took the pain killers for the first day, after that I was fine). But yeah, I'll probably have to take a few days off of work for this (or at least I won't be delivery driving for the first few days).

    Anyways, the way they broke it down to me is the first appointment (to have a doctor look at my mouth, x-rays, ext) will cost around $100. The extraction itself will cost around $130. But I'm adding in another $100 or so just in case it ends up costing more. I've been putting off going to the dentist for years. Not because I'm afraid of what they do, just because know that I need a lot of work done (this definitely will be the first of many things I need done).

    Unfortunately I'm now starting to actually feel like shit because of my tooth. And the first appointment isn't until the 30th. This is going to be a fun month.

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
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    SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    The nerve pain of dental problems is eerily well surpressed by painkillers, to the point where paracetamol completely negated all of it for me. 28 days seems like a very long time to wait though, are they aware of the seriousness of the situation? (I had much the same issue, at first I was told by my dentist to make a regular appointment at a hospital, called around to all hospitals within 15km, all had 6 weeks of waiting, got back to my dentist, he arranged a speedy appointment later on the same day)

    SanderJK on
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    GrisloGrislo Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I was horrified when I read the first few posts and wanted to yell at you to get it done. Now I'm very happy to see that you are getting it taken care of.

    You shouldn't panic too much about the aftermath. Needing painkillers for several days, and being unable to work are really, really unlikely scenarios. You might look a bit funny for a while, but it shouldn't impact your life that much beyond the first day and a half.

    Grislo on
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    witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'm kind of surprised that they didn't give you an appointment until the 30th. You might try calling them back, explaining you're in pain and see if they can squeeze you in earlier. Tooth pain can be horrible, so most dentists will allow for these urgent kinds of appointments.

    witch_ie on
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    Pure DinPure Din Boston-areaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    SanderJK wrote: »
    Also, make sure you have soft food in the house, perhaps some straws (moving your mouth will be painful, and you can't open very wide).

    No straws! The suction can move the blood clot in your mouth, and cause a dry socket.

    The dentist will usually bring this up beforehand.

    Pure Din on
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    brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Is this typical of wisdom teeth? I still have all 4 of mine. They came in when I was 18 and I haven't had a problem with them at all. From the sounds of things it seems like a timebomb waiting to go off.

    brandotheninjamaster on
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    Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Actually, I'm not in pain. The reason they're waiting until the 30th is because, well, I don't have the money for any of this until the 14th at least. And thursday is my only day I know for sure I have off. So I'm just going to have to suck it up and wait unfortunately.

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    witch_ie wrote: »
    If it goes higher, you can ask about a payment plan. The dentist's i've been to usually have them available with very low to no interest rate applied.

    You can, 9 times out of 10, get a payment plan.

    In a business perspective, what's better, not having $400 or having $400 over the course of half a year?

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Yeah, one of the big things about dentistry to remember is that the longer you leave it the more expensive it will probably be to fix. Where I used to live a cleaning cost $65/per and here it's more like $85/per, but it always seemed worth it even when I was uninsured because some of those dental surgeries can cost thousands if you're screwed up enough.

    Hypatia on
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    Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Nod. I definately believe going to the dentist is important. I always had to remind my parents when I was younger that I needed to go. The last few years have just been stupid with it because of my life exploding out all my money through my nose over and over again.

    Finally I'm at a place where I can afford to go get cleanings and stuff. The only downside is I bet I have a ton of work (besides this tooth) that I need to get done. And that all starts with the first regular visit. :(

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
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    vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Is this typical of wisdom teeth? I still have all 4 of mine. They came in when I was 18 and I haven't had a problem with them at all. From the sounds of things it seems like a timebomb waiting to go off.
    Not necessarily. Generally if your wisdom teeth came in with complications, or are going to come in with complications, you'd probably want to get the problem units yanked as soon as is feasible. If they grow in without trouble, though, there's not much that's likely to happen to them aside from the standard problems you can have with any tooth.

    I still have all four of mine, and I'm 32. They came in straight, my dentist asked me if there was any discomfort, I said no, and he said Ok we'll leave them alone then. That was nearly 15 years ago, and there've been no new problems with them since they came in. Every new dentist I've been to since that time has been surprised to find the full complement of 32 teeth in my head.

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    Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    The only problem with wisdom teeth besides if they don't grow in straight is that they're harder to keep clean. That's the reason my tooth is doing this. I used to have poor dental hygiene, and while the rest of my teeth are fine, this wisdom tooth wasn't kept as clean as it should have been.

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Wisdom teeth tend to impact other teeth because of their size and the size of the jaw being too small to handle them. Most dentists remove them basically for precautionary measures because more likely than not you're going to have issues, I think the percentage is in the ballpark of 60-70% chance of someone getting issues with wisdom teeth.

    [tiny]That said. Neener neener neener, I never got them.[/tiny]

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    bowen wrote: »
    Wisdom teeth tend to impact other teeth because of their size and the size of the jaw being too small to handle them. Most dentists remove them basically for precautionary measures because more likely than not you're going to have issues, I think the percentage is in the ballpark of 60-70% chance of someone getting issues with wisdom teeth.

    [tiny]That said. Neener neener neener, I never got them.[/tiny]

    I not only needed to have my wisdom teeth taken out, I had to get four additional ones pulled in order to make it so that my teeth wouldn't be, shall we say, "British."

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    TheRealBadgerTheRealBadger Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'm a bit unclear on whether you've actually had a check up yet or just talked over prices. There is a chance that the tooth might not even need to be pulled. I had a massive cavity on the side of one of my back teeth from a lose wire on my braces rubbing on it constantly. And it was massive, it felt like half the tooth was gone. But it didn't need to be pulled in the end. Dentist was able to fix up the cavity and fill the hole right in. Tooth feels perfectly normal now. If you've already had it checked out and it definitely needs to be pulled then ignore me. Just saying that it might not be as bad as all that.

    TheRealBadger on
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    EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    edited April 2009
    The only problem with wisdom teeth besides if they don't grow in straight is that they're harder to keep clean. That's the reason my tooth is doing this. I used to have poor dental hygiene, and while the rest of my teeth are fine, this wisdom tooth wasn't kept as clean as it should have been.

    My dentist told me that he prefers to not pull wisdom teeth unless it's really needed. My wisdom teeth grew in perfectly straight, so he just x-rayed me, had a look, and concluded that I could leave them as they are.

    Only problem was the teeth poking out of the gum and then grinding into the gum on the other side, giving me a tooth-shaped sore that stuck around for a month and was annoying to no end, but that eventually got better and the gum changed shape to fit the new teeth.

    edit: brushing all the way back there gets a bit annoying though. I bought a special brush with a tiny round head and really stiff bristles for poking around behind the wisdom teeth, but I only bother with that once every two weeks or so. Regular brushing does fine most of the time.

    Echo on
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    Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I kinda doubt it can be saved at this point. Years ago my dentist wanted to pull this tooth (not because it was a problem, but to prevent exactly this from happening), but my parents didn't want to go through with it.

    The fact that it's as bad as it is (it started out as a hole in the side, now it's a crack from the side to the center) and that it's a wisdom tooth pretty much makes me think it's going to be pulled. Not a big deal, as long as I can afford it. Plus, I'd rather not have it. The wisdom tooth that is suppose to be below it is gone, so it's kinda just in my mouth taking up space.

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
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    Delicious SteveDelicious Steve Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I kinda doubt it can be saved at this point. Years ago my dentist wanted to pull this tooth (not because it was a problem, but to prevent exactly this from happening), but my parents didn't want to go through with it.

    The fact that it's as bad as it is (it started out as a hole in the side, now it's a crack from the side to the center) and that it's a wisdom tooth pretty much makes me think it's going to be pulled. Not a big deal, as long as I can afford it. Plus, I'd rather not have it. The wisdom tooth that is suppose to be below it is gone, so it's kinda just in my mouth taking up space.

    goddamn you've made me all paranoid about my wisdom tooth now, i'm going to go brush my teeth; they usually bleed when i do :(

    Delicious Steve on
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    brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I kinda doubt it can be saved at this point. Years ago my dentist wanted to pull this tooth (not because it was a problem, but to prevent exactly this from happening), but my parents didn't want to go through with it.

    The fact that it's as bad as it is (it started out as a hole in the side, now it's a crack from the side to the center) and that it's a wisdom tooth pretty much makes me think it's going to be pulled. Not a big deal, as long as I can afford it. Plus, I'd rather not have it. The wisdom tooth that is suppose to be below it is gone, so it's kinda just in my mouth taking up space.

    goddamn you've made me all paranoid about my wisdom tooth now, i'm going to go brush my teeth; they usually bleed when i do :(

    What kind of toothbrush do you use? Every dentist that I've had has always told to only use soft-medium ones.

    brandotheninjamaster on
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    desperaterobotsdesperaterobots perth, ausRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Man I needed this thread. I've got pretty much the same problem with both my top wisdom teeth. I'm just fucking terrified of dentists due to childhood awfulness. But fuck it. I can afford it right now, and I have to get this done. I don't want to die from stupidity!

    desperaterobots on
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    brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'm looking into sedation dentistry. Basically they dope you up before the visit, then they do the work and thats that.

    brandotheninjamaster on
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