Wisdom teeth removal is too expensive for students
// Christina Blakeborough

Whether you’re saving up for university or tuition debts are already a problem, it's going to be difficult to afford having your wisdom teeth pulled. A lot can go wrong when these teeth start coming in, and the dentist will likely tell you that you need to get them removed. Health Insurance B.C. obviously doesn't agree, as the procedure doesn't fall into their classification of a medically-required service provided by a physician. If getting your wisdom teeth removed is so necessary, then why isn't it covered by Medicare, or at least a basic dental plan?

Wisdom teeth removal is both a costly and risky procedure to have done. The general cost for wisdom teeth removal in British Columbia is $350 per tooth under the gum line, and $500 for the anaesthetic. Therefore, if you’re unlucky enough to have all four teeth, the total cost will come to nearly $2,000.

The B.C. Government's health plan doesn't cover any dental, and that includes extraction of wisdom teeth. This is the case even if the teeth are impacted, making it a necessity, so you better get some insurance if you need them removed. Even then, what is and isn’t covered on a dental plan ultimately depends on each plan. The surgical procedure for wisdom teeth removal has to be done by a specialist, so a basic dental plan won't be adequate.

It’s not only wisdom teeth removal; anything that can’t be done by a general dentist won’t be covered by a basic plan. If something as common as wisdom teeth removal is so costly, then why isn’t it included in a dental plan affordable to young people? An average Blue Cross extended plan would cover about 80 per cent of the costs, which only leaves a few hundred dollars that actually need to be paid by the patient; for university students that would make a tremendous difference. However, some extended dental plans can cost upwards of $70 a month.

When it comes to dental work, many people put it off either because it's too expensive, or they don't believe it’s essential. Unfortunately, untreated dental problems can grow from minor preventative issues to emergency dental treatments requiring hospitalization. Fortunately, if you're hospitalized because you couldn't afford to get your wisdom teeth taken care of, the government will foot the bill, so maybe that's the best route to take after all.

//Christina Blakeborough, writer
//Graphics by Alexandra Gordeyeva

Enjoy it? Share this on Facebook


© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: