A Surgeon Seriously Lacking In Wisdom

, , | Healthy | November 2, 2017

(I was born with what is called lateral incisors anodontia, which means I am missing lateral incisors, the teeth in my upper jaw on either side of my front teeth. It’s all over my dental records and quite clear from X-rays or just looking inside my mouth that thing’s aren’t quite normal.)

Oral Surgeon: *looking at an X-ray* “The lower wisdom teeth are impacted, so they definitely have to come out. I see the uppers have come through, but we should take those out as well.”

Me: “Are you sure the uppers need to come out? I was born without lateral incisors, so the wisdom teeth came in fine are far enough forward to meet the lower molars.”

Oral Surgeon: *looks in my mouth for a few seconds* “Yes, they still need to come out.”

Me: “Okay, fine. How much will this cost?”

Oral Surgeon: “Extracting the impacted teeth is covered by your insurance, but it will cost $300 to extract the other two.”

(My family and I are royally ticked off about the out of pocket cost, but don’t see any way to avoid it. We decide to pay for the extraction up front and return in a week for the surgery. I choose not to get put under so I am (thankfully) awake and aware when, after the oral surgeon injects Novocaine into the root of an upper wisdom tooth and starts to grip it with a tool, this happens.)

Oral Surgeon: “What the h***? What the f*** is going on here?”

Nurse: “What is it?”

Oral Surgeon: “Are there missing teeth?”

Nurse: “Let me count.”

Me: *through the tools and the drugs* “Yes.” *I reach up and tap where my lateral incisors would be* “These.”

(The nurse and oral surgeon walk a way for a moment to talk. When they come back:)

Oral Surgeon: “It looks like you are missing your lateral incisors. Your wisdom teeth are far enough forward that they meet your lower molars. There is clear wear on them so you’re obviously using them when you chew. Since they are being used, would you prefer to keep them in?”

Me: “Yes! I told you all this during the consultation.”

(On the plus side I got to keep two wisdom teeth. On the down side, we still had to deal with this office for over a month, since they were very reluctant to give back the money we paid for extractions that never happened despite telling us immediately after surgery that everything would be refunded in full!)

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