How Much Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost? How About Shoulder Surgery? Need Cost of Care During Litigation?

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May 28, 2019 writing update: My daughter Arin has now completed one year at DMACC! She enjoys college and receives great grades!  She continues studying and working and well, earlier this month experienced what many of us have been through in our early 20s: got your wisdom teeth removed!

Some quick research found that scholars, I  don’t know who they are, but I do know dentists also say we have wisdom teeth as the evolutionary answer to eating raw meats, vegetables, and roots. These third set of molars grow in some people between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five, or the wisdom years.  What? No way. I don’t believe during those years in my life I was wise!  In fact, I’m hoping that every day I become wiser (through experience) and contemplation, of course!

However, when teeth aren’t being to kind to their neighbor, and the time to go has come, they need to be pulled out! So, what will this procedure cost and what will rehabilitation look like? 

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From a quick review of costs found online, a simple removal can cost $75–$200 per tooth. Sometimes the teeth are impacted and cannot break into the jaw through the mouth.If impacted, removal can cost $225–$600 per tooth. So the cost range here is (x 4 teeth) $300 – $2,400

Luckily, none of AJs were impacted! She was quite pleased the clinical staff saved her pulled out teethers as a gift she could bring home, display, and brag about!   Image result for teeth as gift cartoon

I found out some surgeons will offer a discount for removing all four teeth at once, which can save $1,000 or more on the average cost of wisdom tooth removal surgery.  So, can you see where and why the costs can vary?

There are a few additional costs associated with wisdom tooth removal, including the initial consultation, which for Arin’s procedure cost $100, and prescription medication for pain, and potentially a special mouthwash for pre-and post procedure care, total cost~$10, I was surprised in our Rx plan 20 Hydrocodone pills cost less than $2 (specifically $1.82.)

Keep in mind when I’m costing out care or prescriptions, I’ve been trained to rely upon what a person would pay out of pocket (which means no health plan insurance, no collateral resources such as Medicare/Medicaid, nope, not even VA benefits).

Arin agrees, and I somewhat recall from way back when I underwent the procedure in my early 20s, the recovery process is “a lot worse” than the actual procedure and really, as is similar to all rehabilitation, always involves healing time.  Rehabilitation follows basic self care, including how to de-stress your body when it’s trying to heal itself.

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Thankfully, we have a good dental plan through my husband’s employer (and Arin is still on it) and just as importantly, she is really good with making and saving money. She paid using her debit card the $750 that insurance didn’t cover. The explanation of benefits from Delta Dental arrived in our mail box recently, and the total for the procedure:  $2,015.

One reason I am costing wisdom teeth removal in this post is to let you  know I like doing it (costing out care) and can help you help a client who does not need a full blown life care plan. Perhaps, a  specific cost of care report would serve beneficially during litigation.

Here’s just a little bit about a recent case I was involved in:  I was hired by an attorney to help a dentist who had (well because I’m not a doctor, I’ll describe the diagnosis in lay terms): one bad shoulder. To not go into any detail, it was a lawsuit because the bad shoulder was caused by getting broad-sided while driving in traffic. 

Keep in mind for this case, I wasn’t involved vocationally because the bad shoulder didn’t impact the dentist’s vocational earnings. This was because prior to the traffic incident, he hired or referred out and had not been performing surgical procedures, so his income was not affected. I was asked to find costs of a shoulder surgery and any associated future care which was was needed for litigation purposes.

Image result for costs of health care testing cartoonDuring my initial research I found out that leading up to a shoulder replacement procedure involves several steps and communication to determine if the person would be a good candidate for an outpatient program, considering the person goes home the same day.

The treating doctor prospected the dentist may require a left shoulder reverse total replacement surgery within the future (10 years).  It was determined the dentist more than likely would have outpatient surgery.  Here’s where I came in, to cost out what this surgery and the rehabilitation would amount to. I’m not going to give you all I found, well because I was paid to do that work. So, I’ll just give you a bit of my report and what I found, for free here on my blog!

There is a pre-assessment teaching appointment with a joint coordinator (included in the $18k outpatient procedure cost). A simple online health admit walks the patient through their medical history (for anesthesia purposes). The physical exam pre-operative is usually with the PCP and would include a standard physical with typically a CBC, BMP and EKG. X-rays at pre-op and post-op may not be necessary, and an MRI may not be. All testing and recommendation depends on the patient’s needs, and is dictated by the surgeon. Followup would likely involve physical therapy and home-based exercises. 

So then what do I do next, cost it all out!? Well, yep! And I included research and rehabilitation goals. Want more examples of cases? Let me know!  Want my help in helping your client with a case involving work and disability?  Again, let me know.

Contact me to discuss your case!



 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.









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