Mine weren't packed. My teeth were completely in and had been for years so that may be why my experience is atypical?
Health insurance is...complicated. Especially when you throw the whole debt trading industry behind it into the mix. But just on the front side, yes you have choices...sometimes...kinda.
For example. My employer offers health insurance to employees at no cost to myself. The company is massive (UL) and has major facilities in multiple states. I only have the one choice through them (High Deductible Plan with an HSA through company X). Due to different state laws (looking at you CA), the office in that state has a second option but only if you are in that state. I could, theoretically, decline the coverage through UL and go to the marketplace to get one I prefer. In my case, this would be an incredibly stupid thing for me to do due to the prices and plans that are available on the marketplace. Basically, I would be paying more (I pay nothing currently) for the same (or worse) plan and I would lose the HSA. Working for a large company has benefits since they can negotiate their plans in bulk. I do have another option, which is to not have health insurance at all. If I were to do that then I would have to pay a tax penalty at the end of the year for not having health insurance.
Dental and eye are separate from health. I have both (yay glasses and terrible terrible enamel) but that costs mee like $200 a year combined. That's what going to the dentist twice and getting my eyes checked once would cost, which I have to do anyways, so it is basically free for me and it saves me tons of moola (around $1,500 saved on my wisdom teeth extraction for example with around $150 saved each filling if I need one and I will).
My health plan comes with an HSA though, which is money that comes out of my paycheck before I get it but before I pay taxes. So the money reduces how much I would pay in taxes. It then goes into an account that generates interest tax free and when I use it on health related expenses I can withdraw that money tax free again. Triple tax free is great. It is also able to be used to by prescription drugs, pay for my health costs (during my deductible for example) and I can even use it to pay for the dental and eye expenses that insurance doesn't cover. I just can't spend it on things that are not explicitly allowed or the tax man is going to come knocking on my door with a big stick for tax evasion.
I recently had my wisdoms out as well. Went under general and all was hunky dory. Did't use the pain pills and had no swelling though I had light bleeding for a bit longer than is really normal. No complications or anything though. Had a little bit of nausea the day after but I had meds for that so it stopped right there.
Totaly quoted was around 1900 ended up paying close to 800 out of my HSA for it. Would have been waaaaay cheaper if I did dentist extraction instead of surgeon, but one of mine was really close to the nerve and I figured dropping the money was worth negating the risk of permanent numbness in my jaw. Then I just got a letter and check in the mail from the surgeon saying I had been overcharged and got a $500 check in the mail. Say what? Now it was the same price though I have to go through the trouble of getting the money redeposited in the HSA in order to not upset the tax man.
Now I have these cool holes in my gums to play with with my tongue when I am bored.