Most people are aware that a visit to the dentist twice a year, or every six calendar months, is the required minimum. This allows the dentist to keep a check on any teeth that may be on the brink of causing trouble, and can take action before a real problem starts. This is all very well. Some people, however, cannot manage to visit a dentist every six months, with reasons varying from outright fear of the dentist preventing them going, to others unable to afford the rate of a private dentist and not having free healthcare to fall back upon. Some teeth seem to cause more pain than others, including the wisdom teeth. Some facts about the wisdom teeth:
- Wisdom teeth have long been known to cause problems in humans, evidence has been found of impacted wisdom teeth discovered on an 18000 – 10000 BC skeleton.
- They continue to be the most impacted teeth in the human body to this day
- Caused by a lack of room to allow the tooth to come through
- Only 2% of the adult population in the UK have maintained their wisdom teeth with caries or periodontal disease
- Can be treated as normal teeth, and can be treated or extracted
- Officially known as the third molars, they were given the name ‘wisdom’ because they appear so late
To actually extract a tooth, the dentist is basically trying to rock the tooth backward and forward, pressing on the (numbed) bone of the surrounding jaw, which is softer than the tooth enamel, to enlarge it to the point that it will allow the tooth to come out. This is a very physical process, and the dentist may employ different tools to try to help to loosen the tooth, so it can be in a position to be extracted. These tools usually are:
- Dental Elevators. A tool which can be jammed down the side of the tooth and jawbone, to force the tooth to move upwards slightly, and create a little more room.
- Extraction Forceps. This tool is used to grasp the tooth from above, and from its now elevated position, and twisted and pulled until it breaks free.
Although you will probably have been “numbed up” by the dentist, you should still expect a little discomfort. You will feel some pressure in your jaw, and you will ‘feel’ the twisting of the tooth, although no sensory pain is registered. It is a slightly odd feeling. There are many videos on YouTube which show tooth extraction in action….Watch this only if you are not squeamish! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIgES73BbDQ
Cost of Tooth Extraction
Having a tooth taken out by a dentist varies from practice to practice. In the United Kingdom, having an extraction is possible on the National Health Service. Usually, root canal treatment will be offered by way of finding a private dentist to perform the procedure, as the NHS will only fund root canal treatment that is associated with a genuine medical condition, otherwise they will simply offer to extract the offending tooth. There are three tiers of payment on the NHS that the patient will be required to pay:
- 18 GPB – for examinations, diagnosis and preventative care.
- 49 GBP – same as above including some treatments such as fillings and some root canal work.
- 214 GBP – same as both above, plus work that includes additional root canal treatment and bridge work.
In the United Kingdom, from a private dentist, one can expect to pay around 54 GBP for a routine extraction and anywhere from there up to 190 GBP for more complicated extractions. If you are new to a surgery, expect to pay around about 20 GBP for the initial consultation fee. The key to avoiding costly and expensive dental treatments is to establish and maintain a robust and purposeful brushing routine, where you can all but eliminate the chance of your teeth decaying, which in turns limits your visits to the dentist for treatment.