Saturday, August 15, 2009


it's more complicated than i thought. i don't know if my dentist in the states is at fault or it's the dentist here, but i'm thinking it's the dentist in the states.

the tooth that i need a root canal on was fine until 2007. in 2007 i had a small cavity that was filled. only 2 years later the filling cracked, the tooth became infected and killed the nerves. in order to keep the tooth i needed a root canal.

last week when i went to the dentist, a root canal specialist came to the office to do the procedure, my dentist here didn't do it, she's a generalist. when the root canal specialist looked into my mouth she said i had nice fillings. i asked "the metal ones or the white ones". she said the metal ones (the ones i've had since i was a kid).

when i went in a couple days later my dentist told me that the tooth was worse than she thought and that i would need a minor surgery to fix it. my heart sank. surgery? she explained that it would be simple, and quick but it needed to be done if i didn't want to have a sensation in the tooth when i ate.

a day later i called my dentist in the states. why did a 2 year old filling crack and will the other white fillings crack too? is this surgery really necessary?...unfortunately he's on vacation so i'll have to wait until monday for my answers.

in order to have the surgery i had to have a blood test done. my dentist here gave me all the info: where to go, what time, how much it would cost, etc...

so, this morning (saturday) i woke up at 7:45. when i walked out the door the air was warm and the city was quite. i took a bus to the laboratory that wasn't too far away. some people on the bus still had their party clothes on from the night before, i wasn't sure what the other people were doing on the bus so early in the morning on saturday.

i arrived at the lab at 8:25am. i showed the man at the front desk the paper my dentist gave me, pointed to my arm and said "blood" in spanish. he pointed to the back and told me to make a left. when i entered a small, but clean and modern room a woman gave me a slip of paper with the time i arrived. i grabbed a ticket (like one you see at the deli) and i sat down. i noticed a sign on the wall indicating that the pregnant ladies, people with children and those in wheelchairs did not need to take a number, they could go straight up to the cashier. (pretty nice i thought). just a couple minutes of waiting and my number was called. i gave the slip of paper to the woman. she asked me a couple questions and i gave her 70 pesos($18.50). she gave me another slip of paper and told me to listen for my last name. i didn't even sit down for 2 min and my name was called, my blood was taken and i left...all within a 1/2 hour.

(from stories i've heard about the quickness of medical care, my story is not normal) just lucky i guess.

so, so far i've paid:
450 pesos for the root canal ($118)
370 pesos for the post and temporary tooth ($97)
70 pesos for the blood test ($18)
more to come....


krebiz said...

Aaaah, dentistry. Never simple! I don't have many fillings, but the ones I do have are the white jobbies (got my first at the age of 29), and they're going on 5 years now with no problems.

It could be the tooth also- have they checked it for any occlusion type trauma? What a bummer that you couldn't have a nice, simple painless root canal.

What exactly does the surgery entail?

I'm glad you went with the dentist with whom you were most comfortable, btw.

If you're ever unsure of your US dentist, and want the contact info for mine, let me know. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to recommend this guy; he's wonderful, and I completely trust him. I've been seeing him *4* times a year for cleanings, for 5 years now, and I STILL really, really like him. Very considerate, patient, thorough and skilled. (Having graduated from the top dental school in the US doesn't hurt, either). If not for him, I'd be losing some teeth by now.

Tom said...

Hi Yilla,

Post and temp tooth? Did you have an implant? Very cheap for that.

yillabean said...

no, not an implant. just a regular root canal. the temp tooth is there until the crown is made.