The cost of dental work can be quite high for many people. For those who do not have insurance, it can be outrageously costly. Even if you do have insurance, dental care can be expensive anyway.
Regardless, it’s something that’s important and we need to take care of our teeth for many reasons. Dental health has been shown to impact our overall health in numerous ways.
With that in mind, I’m facing a dental procedure that needs to get done. I need to get a wisdom tooth removed, which is not something anyone would look forward to. However, it has to happen, so I might as well get the time scheduled and get it over with. The only thing I thought I had to decide was when to make the actual appointment, but I found out that I have a new decision to make: how much to spend on pain relief for wisdom tooth removal!
Frankly, I haven’t really considered this type of decision before. Usually I’ll just deal with the medical care that I have to get, and will put my health above money – within reason of course. If things are truly optional, that’s obviously different. But if I absolutely need medical care or medicine, I’ve just gone ahead with it in the past. What’s the point of saving money if it impacts your health?
As I noted, this procedure must be done, so of course I won’t try to save by avoiding it. However, there are different prices for pain relief for this dental procedure. After getting an initial consultation, the office got back to me with the following 3 options for removing the wisdom tooth.
This apparently involves a shot (or shots) to the mouth and areas near the tooth. The idea would be to numb the area so I don’t feel as much pain as the tooth gets extracted.
Pain Relief: 3rd best out of the 3 options
Cost: $76 – least expensive of the 3 options
Gas (Nitrous Oxide)
This option, from what I understand, is intended to relieve your anxiety so that you really aren’t too bothered during the procedure. Thus, you may not notice the pain quite as much while the tooth is being extracted.
Pain Relief: 2nd best out of the 3 options
Cost: $115 – 2nd most expensive of the 3 options
In this case, you are actually sedated. You’ll be out of it, and won’t be noticing what’s going on. Essentially, its like you’re asleep.
Pain Relief: best out of the 3 options
Cost: $338 – most expensive out of the 3 options
With all this information provided to me, the first thought that came to mind was this: “give me a shot, get that sucker out of there, and let me save some money!” Then, I paused and thought about it for a moment. Do I really want to do that?
The difference between a local injection and the gas is $39. That’s not much, all things considered, for something like this. So, I’m eliminating local injection as an option. The difference between gas and IV sedation, however, is $223. That’s a little bit more noteworthy. I’m probably going to go with either nitrous oxide, or IV sedation for this treatment.
The decision: is $223 worth spending for a little more pain relief?
It’s money vs. pain? I wonder how many people even think of money in a case like this? I’m guessing there are people on both sides of the spectrum. Some might want pain relief no matter what, and there might be some tough characters that will save a buck at any cost. The things people will do to save money!
This also serves as a reminder of how important it is to have insurance and some financial resources. Some folks have no options.
But for those that do, I wonder how many would tough it out and go with the cheapest options. For some, losing money can be quite painful!
My Questions for You:
Which choice of the 3 would you go for?
Do you think of money in cases like this, or do you just want comfort at any reasonable price?
Have you ever faced a decision on any health care decision that was impacted by cost?