An attempt to document current events happening around me as an American expat living in the UK while also writing down memories from the past 10 years of living and traveling around the world...
Monday, March 16, 2009
Mind the Gap?
I went to a new dentist's office this morning looking to get a tooth fixed that a filling fell out of a few years (yes, I did say years) back. I mind was already made up before going inside that I was probably going to have the tooth pulled but I was interested in perhaps having the tooth saved if possible.
I had gone to a dentist to have it repaired not long after I arrived in Birmingham but was told by the dentist that it would first needed a root canal. I have had one root canal before in my life and like most people, enjoyed it about as much as one would enjoy a person sticking toothpicks down into a hole they made in your tooth.
I do not have a bad history with dentists just the methods they utilize to numb pain. I typically require the highest level of local anesthesia allowed legally to a human being and yet I still feel the drill. Once while under general anesthesia having my wisdom teeth removed while in the military (I wanted a few days off) I woke and sat up in my chair scaring the dentist out of his seat.
So the first dentist I went to a while ago couldn't get very far because the pain was too intense. He gave me a prescription for some horrible tasting antibiotics and I never returned but he did put a temporary filling in.
So last Friday I woke up with a bubble on my gums underneath where the said tooth is located and decided that as I will be traveling this week maybe I should have it looked at... And probably pulled.
So I looked on Yell.com for a dentist in the area that could offer general anesthesia or nitrous oxide because I am a scared little girl when it involves drills inside my mouth and found one not to far away in Edgbaston. I called asked if they accept NHS patients and was told much to my surprise by reception that they did. An appointment was made for Monday morning.
I left the house early with my wife because I knew that there would be forms to fill out and what not and because I had a feeling I would be behind a truck that would slam into a white van and so it was. We arrived at the dentist's surgery about 20 minutes before my appointment and I filled out my forms.
I was seen by the dentist only a few minutes late and had my tooth looked at. The options where then laid out to me and I was told that it would cost £300 to perform the root canal and cap it with a porcelain filling. I was quite taken aback by these words as I was told that they accepted NHS patients and after a long conversation that I couldn't be bothered to repeat found out that they do 'accept' NHS patients but that they only accept NHS payment for certain treatments.
And root canals nor porcelain fillings are included. But the anesthesia and the tooth extraction are.
Is £300 worth not having a gap in the back of my mouth?
I am an American in my late 20's living in Birmingham, England. I am married and have 3 children; aged 5, 3 and 20 months. I grew up in the Boston metro area and left America for good at 18 years old on April 8th, 1999