Oral surgery on the cheap?

A friend of mine, who has pretty much zero money, needs to get her wisdoms out, or at least one (it's infected).

I've read that you can get regular dentistry work done when they're up for licensing for free/super cheap. Will they even do wisdom teeth? Also, according to her, she got a filling done like that and supposedly they fucked it up such that she ended up having to get a root canal later on.

If not, what can she do? Looking at free health clinics near her, nothing mentions oral health. (Allentown, PA, if that helps.)
is there a school of dentistry near you? If so - they will typically offer extremely discounted rates. The catch is that the procedures can take all day, as students are doing the work - so they're not up the the speed of professionals.
Don't be afraid of these schools, my two aunts swear by them - extremely cheep dental care plus the added bonus of helping students out (they are fully supervised during procedures by professionals/teachers, so you don't have to worry about them messing up your mouth)
Not to mention it can take 6 mos-1 yr to get an appointment around here.....
And my appointments are taking 4 hours each! :-)

The fillings and such that the students do are at reduced rates, about 30% or less of what a regular dentist would charge. As I am time rich but cash poor, it works out for me.

Also, I am in their pool for board exams. If I happen to have the right type of work that needs to be done, I can sit with a student for their board exams. These would be free, and they pay me for my time. But, its pretty rare, they look for very specific things to do.
And, it did take me a while to get in. I did my initial exam in May, because they were looking for board exam patients. I got my student (3rd year dental student) in August, as they "graduate" in July. My appointments are whenever I want to set them, I am doing them about two weeks apart to let my mouth feel better :-)
You can usually call a school and ask about urgent/emergency dental care.
Wisdom tooth extraction is generally covered by health insurance policies, if that helps at all. I'm not too familiar with PA health insurance laws/options, but in general I find it easier to get health insurance of some sort than dental.

Good luck!!!
I haven't found that to be the case at all. Wisdom teeth are a specific policy exclusion on both of my insurance plans.
They were covered under my insurance as a kid, which didn't cover any other dental work. It's worth checking, at least.
The only things I know of is to look for a dental school in your area. Sometimes dental schools run low-cost clinics for their students to learn how to do fillings and checkups. I have not, however, ever heard of them removing wisdom teeth.

Honestly, if it's oral surgery, I would probably suggest your friend going to a real oral surgeon. Having it fixed, if someone who's doing it for free and messes it up, is a lot more expensive. It's cheap for a low-cost filling, but root canals are very expensive. Or having very serious infections with expensive antibiotics.

Some dentists do financing. My dentist does payments via Care Credit, which has worked out well for me. Some offices do their own financing. I'd suggest your friend tries that route... It's probably safer in the long run.
List of Dental Schools in the United States

My family gets all its dental care at a dental school. Generally you're in the chair for a long time since the students are less experienced and they have to get each step vetted by a faculty member before they can continue. But we've been very happy with the quality of the work (the faculty really know their stuff, and they make sure it's done right) and from comparing to friends and family who go to "real" dentists, it seems we are paying about 1/3 as much.

It may take a few weeks to get accepted as patients, and they'll want to get initial exams and X-rays and cleanings out of the way first, but after that you are clear for any major work you may need done. I just got an impacted wisdom tooth extracted there last month. Total cost was about $250.
I'd personally be hesitant to get something like wisdom tooth extraction done by someone who is still learning.

That said, a lot of dentists will not do payment plans (around here anyway) so if you're comfortable with having a student do the extraction, then that's probably the best route.
My dentist pulled out both wisdom teeth for under $200. I checked the insurance coverages and they covered most of it, but was stunned to see the procedure was so cheap. I had about $1500 worth of work done, but he charged like $800 total, and I only paid $175 of it.

It took about 10 years to find a dentist who wouldn't screw me, but it's been worth it ever since. I had to carry around cavities and one infected wisdom tooth for 10 years, but now I'm glad I did.

In the meantime, Mentadent whitening trays kept the cavities and such at bay. Baking soda instead of toothpaste helped too.
PS: So I know what it's like to not have insurance, no access to a dental college, and have a mouthful of pain and suffering. I have more tips if she's interested.
Re: Dental tourism?
yep. I just had a mouthful of work done in Honduras (I was there anyway visiting family). Even factoring in travel expenses, it was still considerably cheaper than getting it done in the U.S.
If they're actually impacted deep enough to be causing problems, you don't want it done by a dentist. Wisdom tooth extractions can lead to complications like permanent nerve damage if they aren't done right.

This might be the sort of situation where it's more of a poor skill to figure out a way to come up with the cash to pay for it, or to switch to an insurance plan which will cover it, rather than to try and get it done more cheaply. I don't know for sure, I'd just be very wary of that.
as someone with the nerva damage you speak of from wisdom tooth extractions this post makes me cringe a little.


all though my procedure was conducted by the #3 best oral surgeron in maryland. so.. i guess name and reputation doesnt mean much either.
Alot of times you can go to the county medical/dental clinics and the fee is based on income and they accept payment plans. They are real licensed dentist and do the same thing any other dentist does other then they work for the county.
There's some dental testing places like SCIREX, which pay YOU to get your teeth out, typically $200-500. They do medicine testing, and give you placebos, or painkillers. If you say it hurts, they give you the real medicine, but it's real doctors that take it out, not students, and they pay you.. I don't know if that's just where I live though. Lots of college students do it for the money.
Our Community College nearby has a Dental Hygenist school and you can get routine cleanings and xrays and such done there for dirt cheap. I imagine if you can find a school for Oral Surgery it would be about the same.
ehhh I got a serious infection from getting my tooth removed by a guy who was still in school. My face was the size of a grape fruit all full of infection. that came in a day and oh the pain because he didn't give me pain killers or antibiotics even though the tooth was infected when he took it out. I had to be on an iv for a few hours of pain killers and antibiotics. I mean as long as she has agreed with the dentist prior to surgery that anti biotics and pain killers will be prescribed she might be okay.
I don't reccomend having a wisdom tooth removed while its infected. From my experience and from the words of the surgeon, its going to be one of the worst pains your friend will ever feel. I'd say let her treat the infection with antibiotics while searching for an oral surgeon. I also second using Care Credit. I used it for getting 3 widsom teeth removed along with another dentist check up that I couldn't afford. Care Credit offers different payment plans that involve no interest rates for certain periods of time, too.