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Wisdom Teeth Economics

When people under the age of 40 are asked what invasive surgical procedure they have personally experienced, it will likely be having their wisdom teeth extracted! Surgical extraction of third molars is the most common invasive surgical procedure performed on adolescents and young adults age 15 to 25. Consider the following facts regarding the demographics and economics of wisdom teeth.

Wisdom Teeth Formation Demographics

  • 75% of all teenagers will form all four wisdom teeth by age 15. 75% 75%
  • 93% of all teenagers will have at least one 3rd molar. 93% 93%
  • 7% will naturally have complete wisdom tooth agenesis. 7% 7%

Wisdom tooth bud formation can start as late as age 14.4

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Demographics

Over 50% of general dentists refer nearly all their wisdom tooth extraction patients to oral surgeons for treatment. 5

Estimated number of oral surgeons who account for nearly 80% of all wisdom tooth extractions each year.

Estimated number of patients in the US that have at least 1 wisdom tooth extracted each year.

Estimated number of wisdom teeth extracted in the US each year by oral surgeons and general dentists combined.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Economics

  • Cost to Remove a single impacted wisdom tooth: approx. $700
  • Cost to remove all 4 wisdom teeth at once, with all exams, IV sedation & x-rays: over $3,000
  • Cost to remove a wisdom tooth with actives disease in a patient over age 25: $1,997 (2011 dollars)

Furthermore…

  • When health insurance companies previously covered wisdom tooth extractions in hospitals it was reported that reimbursement for wisdom teeth extractions was their #1 reimbursement item…even more than hysterectomies.11
  • Annual US expenditures for third molar extraction fees alone has been reported to exceed $3 billion.12
  • Total annual US expenditures associated with extracting 3rd molars has recently been reported to be nearly $5 billion when imaging and sedation costs are factored in.13
  • It is estimated that over 30 million days of school or loss of work and income occurs due to wisdom tooth extractions.14

Comparing Wisdom Teeth Treatment Costs, Risks & Outcomes*

*Includes all exam, x-ray imaging, sedation, procedure fees and costs associated with treating complications and lifelong chronic conditions following treatment.

1 Kajii et al Presence of third molar germs in orthodontic patients in Japan Am. J. of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics, March 2001, Volume 119, Issue 3, pp 245-250.
2 Blankenship, J. et al Third molar development in the estimation of chronological age in American blacks compared to whites J. Forensic Science, 2007, 52(2) pp 428-33.
3 Blankenship, J. et al Third molar development in the estimation of chronological age in American blacks compared to whites J. Forensic Science, 2007, 52(2) pp 428-33.
4 Sarnet, H. et al Developmental stages of the third molar in Israeli children Pediatric Dentisty, April 2003; Vol 25(4): pp. 373-377
5 Wealthy Dentist, The – How Dentists Refer Wisdom Tooth Extractions To Oral Surgeons Survey 2007 retrieved from: http://thewealthydentist.com/surveyresults/36_wisdomtoothreferrals_results.htm
6 Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Professionally Active Dentists by Specialty Field Oct 2018; https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/dentists-by-specialty-field/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D
7 American Public Health Association Opposition to Prophylactic Removal of Third Molars Policy Num 20085, Oct 2008; https://www.apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/public-health-policy-statements/policy-database/2014/07/24/14/29/opposition-to-prophylactic-removal-of-third-molars-wisdom-teeth
8 Friedman, J. Prophylactic extraction of third molars: A public health hazard Am. J. of Public Health, Sept 2007, Vol. 97, No. 9, pp 1554-1559.
9 Friedman, J. Containing the cost of third-molar extractions: A dilemma for health insurance Public Health Reports, July-Aug 1983, Vol. 98, No. 4, pp 376-384.
10 Authority Dental Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost 2018: https://www.authority dental.org/wisdom-teeth-removal-costs.
11 Friedman, J. Containing the cost of third-molar extractions: A dilemma for health insurance Public Health Reports, July-Aug 1983, Vol. 98, No. 4, pp 376-384.
12 ADA Survey of Dental Services Rendered 2005-2006.
13 Friedman, J. The Case Against Prophylactic Third Molar Extractions 2012 National Oral Health Conference; May 2012: p. 36; http://www.nationaloralhealthconference.com/docs/presentations/2012/05-02/Jay%20Friedman.pdf
14 Friedman, J. The Case Against Prophylactic Third Molar Extractions 2012 National Oral Health Conference; May 2012: p. 38; http://www.nationaloralhealthconference.com/docs/presentations/2012/05-02/Jay%20Friedman.pdf
15 Koumaras, G.M. What Costs Are Associated With the Management of Third Molars? Proceedings From The Third Molar Multidisciplinary Conference, J. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Volume 70, Number 9, Supplement 1, Sept. 2012, p S8-S10.
16 Friedman, J. The Case Against Prophylactic Third Molar Extractions 2012 National Oral Health Conference; May 2012: p. 38; http://www.nationaloralhealthconference.com/docs/presentations/2012/05-02/Jay%20Friedman.pdf
17 Koumaras, G.M. What Costs Are Associated With the Management of Third Molars? Proceedings From The Third Molar Multidisciplinary Conference, J. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Volume 70, Number 9, Supplement 1, Sept. 2012, p S8-S10.

Pro Forma Website

This is a pro forma website based solely upon animal study data. TriAgenics’ Zero3™ 3TBA procedure is not approved for human use.