Thursday, 14 July 2005

Dentist with the mostest

I came out of the dentist after an hour and a half having felt pampered and inclined to go again. I hadn't had any treatment, just a treatment plan, and was £62 the lighter. I am not complaining, just merely observing, but I know that when I give a client an estimate for work I don't charge them for giving them a quote. And I know I can easily take an hour plus doing my research and estimate.

Before my appointment with the dentist I had 15 minutes with my Patient Care Co-ordinator. The loveliest of kind and sympathetic people, Ann had been working in the dental field for 15 years, and is to be my main contact. Apparently I can ask her anything about my treatment at any time. Ann will give me as much time as I need and will hold my hand and cry with me if I needed to do that! She took my history, dislikes and concerns about dentists and then went and talked it over with the dentist. After I had my time with the dentist, Ann saw me again and discussed my treatment plan, organised my next appointments and took my payment. I also have a brief synopsis of her life history; her computer quirks; her previous employers and her future plans for the surgery which her current employers do not yet know and worst of all, her holiday plans. Ann is going on holiday for three weeks which I noted was about the time of my next appointments. Arrrrgh. How can she go away on holiday. She is my therapist now!

The dentist was the nicest I had ever met, called me 'honey' and made me feel we had all day together if I wanted. She spoke to me and asked me what I would like, giving me all the options and rough price bracket. After the x-rays, I sat back on the dentist chair with a mirror in my hand looking at the various teeth and the issues. Oh my, that was very scary and disgusting I thought but she reassured me she had seen much worse.

Through our discussion, I opted to have three teeth removed. They have had so much conservation in the past that I think the time has come to have them out. They are all near the back: one each side at the bottom and one at the top. I've discovered what a "bridge" is... it is a false tooth that is held in place by being connected to a crown on the next tooth. The bridges will then cover those horrible black fillings in the very back teeth. Hooray, I might have a mouth of whitish gnashers :-)

Well, almost. My teeth are very slightly discoloured from tetracycline staining as a kid. Every dentist I have been to, up to now, has explained my banded yellowish teeth to the assistant as if I am some classic curiosity. Thanks mate! It seems that whitening, as well as being temporary, would still leave the banding. Veneers are the only way but as the discolouration does not bother me that much I'll be giving them a miss.

I have sundry fillings and little bits and bobs to be done. And the hygienist to beat me into submission with daily flossing. I just can't manage flossing. I've tried but I can't seem to get my hand into my mouth to hold the other side of the floss. The angles all seem wrong and my head just gets in the way. There has to be some knack to that which eludes me.

The cost? The removal of the three teeth will be done by a specialist who comes in just to remove teeth. At National Health (NHS) prices which is about £13 per tooth plus £35 for the anaesthetic. I have to wait six months for the gums to settle down before the bridge work which will be about £500 per bridge. And then the sundry fillings plus a couple of hygienist visits is about £800. Totalling, including today, about £2,500. I know this compares well to, say, having just one implant or perhaps US prices. If I was to do this all on the NHS then it is about 70-80% of the total, assuming all those treatments would be available. White fillings are generally considered a luxury on the NHS.

In less than a year's time I shall have teeth to be proud to show. They may not be the whitest but I'd feel good about them.

Original Comments:

Milt Bogs said...
You're very brave Doris. Do you have adequate life cover? Please ignore the last part of the comment. It was even more stupid than usual.
Thursday, July 14, 2005 9:19:00 PM
jane said...
You've almost given me the courage to call a dentist! I wish I could find one like you found though. Sounds like you're definately on the road to a brighter smile! :D
Thursday, July 14, 2005 9:27:00 PM
Red Mum said...
while I live in Dublin, like many others I travel up north to the dentist where it is definitely much cheaper than here.

My own dentist in Belfast is the business, very gentle and aware of the nervous patient....
Thursday, July 14, 2005 9:42:00 PM
Bernadette said...
I'd walk a mile for one of your (soon-to-be toothsome) smiles!
Thursday, July 14, 2005 10:13:00 PM
trine said...
oh no I am TERRIFIED of dentists! not a great first visit, I'll try again tomorrow ! ;-)
Thursday, July 14, 2005 10:17:00 PM
zandperl said...
Wow, how long's it been since your last dentist appointment? It's been over a year for me, but I'm not likely to have anything to worry about except fillings at the worst. (Though I have different dental insurance now, so I've no clue what I'll be paying.) I haven't even had my wisdom teeth removed, as they seem fine enough as is.

As for flossing, look at the grocery store or drug store for those single-use plastic flossers that're kinda "slingshot" or "Y" shaped with the floss prestrung between the arms. It costs more, but it's more convenient than normal flossing. Plus they're cute, making me more likely to floss, and give more control than doing it with two hands.
Thursday, July 14, 2005 11:36:00 PM
MrsDoF said...
Have you tried those self-contained flossers that sort of look like a letter F with the floss strung nice and tight between the arms?
Those are what I use most of the time because my hands are very uncomfortable doing regular floss ever since the surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Wow....that's a run-on sentence.
My sister has a bridge and likes it better than the painful regular teeth.
I have many crowns, and one fake tooth anchored in front, where no one even knows which one when I smile.
I love my dentist. Have been going to him since he graduated dental school, and he tells us he is going to retire in 3 years. Say it ain't so!
Thursday, July 14, 2005 11:57:00 PM
Lynda said...
Thanks for stopping by my site - I am glad you did - it let me find yours! The dentist experience is not my favorite, but I have learned it's better to stay on top it rather than let things slide. Good luck to you!
Friday, July 15, 2005 2:28:00 AM
MissMeliss said...
Can you ship Ann to the States when you're done with her, please? And your dentist as well?

My ideal dentist would knock me out completely, do all the work at once, and never make me visit again.


(Not that I have issues or anything).
Friday, July 15, 2005 3:38:00 AM
Cheryl said...
Wow how the other half live.
I look forward to affording the NHS treatment, but thats becoming so expensive now, that you make it sound like private treatment is a bargain by comparison - hugely better work for a small amount more.....
Friday, July 15, 2005 7:57:00 AM
doris said...
Thanks for all your comments :-)

In my defence I have to say that for someone who is nervous of dentists I have actually been quite a lot. The only trouble is, at those times only the emergencies get sorted. Since 9/11 (I was on the dentist chair when the World Trade towers came down. The radio was on and the tears just flowed.) I have been to the dentist at least 4 times, possibly 6 times with the last couple just a year ago. In that time I had begun this whole "getting it all sorted" process with two separate dentists and each time I lost confidence. The NHS costs were less but not by that much.

This time, I almost cried with relief when Ann was explaining the support she would provide.

I shall try your flossing tips!
Friday, July 15, 2005 10:55:00 AM
Neutron said...
Thnaks for your visits to my blog. Having read this I would keep the advisor and get rid of the dentist! ;-)
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 10:55:00 AM
doris said...
LOL! I've now done the hygeinist which was an experience in itself and worth a blog! BTW - I didn't say on your blog.... your new gnasher looks good :-)
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 10:59:00 AM

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