Thursday, September 22, 2011

Be insurance wise when dealing with wisdom teeth

Fortunately for my biological children, I have pass along fairly straight teeth that develop few cavities.  Unfortunately, I have also passed along jaws that are too small to accomodate wisdom teeth.  About three weeks ago, Adam said he thought his wisdom teeth were coming in.  I told him to chew on cold vegetables to ease the pain.  Adam's announcement triggered the Queen of Common Cents into thinking about dental coverage.

I wondered if there was a difference in coverage for teeth that were impacted vs. teeth that had erupted through the gum line.  I called our dental insurance and what an eye opener that was!

Come to find out, if a tooth erupts through the gum line our insurance will only pay $19-$24 per tooth; however, if the tooth is impacted they will pay 100%.  Not even a co-pay!  At hearing this I immediately made an appointment with a reputable oral surgeon.  I explained that I needed a consultation ASAP because it was a matter of paying $2300.00 out of my pocket vs. paying nothing for the surgery.

The recpetionist said, "I know you live in Kaysville, but we can squeeze you in tomorrow if you are willing to drive to our Bountiful office.  Are you okay with that?" At hearing she was concerned about a 20 minute drive I almost laughed out loud and said, "Honey, you don't know who you're dealing with!  I would drive down to Aba Dhabi to save $2300.00."  In reality I thanked her and immediately told Adam not to chew on cold vegetables because we were racing against the clock and I didn't want the tissue to be compressed and his wisdom teeth peeking through the gums.  He started to complain and I firmly said, "MONEY AND OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES EQUAL CODING!  And I needed an IMPACTION CODE!"  Adam just muttered, "Whatever" and grabbed a cheese stick out of the refrgerator.

The next day our appointment went well.  The surgeon said that all four of Adam's wisdom teeth were impacted and would not come to the surface for many months.  Just to be on the safe side, I took the next available surgical appointment because this is our child that grew 4 inches in one summer!

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