Wednesday, February 16, 2011

If you have a sweet tooth, make sure it's not crowned!

When I posted the blog 'Life in Cambodia - Part 4 -Healthcare', I mentioned I'd been to the dentist here. 

Right around Chinese New Year, I did a totally foolish thing -  I bit down on a hard candy.  I should know better, but my sweet tooth got the better of me...and 'Crack!' All of a sudden, my previously strong crowned tooth felt loose.  I tried to ignore it, until a couple of days later when my entire crown (and the attached post) came out while I was eating....on a Sunday, no less!

Fortuately, my friend Jess, who's living in Siem Reap, knows a reputable dental practice, the Kampuchea Dental Clinic.  It probably sounds strange to think of dentists as anything but reputable, but remember, Cambodia is a country where anybody can hang up a shingle and open up a practice.  And I sure didn't want any old quack sticking their fingers in my mouth! 

Even though it was Sunday, I decided to take a chance and headed over to the clinic.  (If anybody takes days off in Cambodia, I'd think it would probably be a dentst).  Surprise!  It was open, with no waiting or appointment needed!  It's a nice, clean, modern place too.  I filled out some forms and was sent right into the examination room. 

I sat down in the chair filled with anxiety, and prayed for a miracle.  For those of you who know me, I've had the same dentist for 30 years, and even though I now have to travel over three hours to see him, I refuse to find a new one, because he's the only one I trust.  But in an emergency half-way around the world, and four weeks from flying home, I had little choice.  I have to admit, this lady dentist was very good.  She spent a lot of time cleaning the crown and the remaining root, and cementing the tooth back in place (temporarily).  She gave me her assessment and some advice, and reassured me that I could call and return for more help if I needed it.  Back in the waiting room, she spoke in Khmer to the receptionist, who made up my bill.  It was at this point that I almost needed an ambulance, because I almost died from disbelief when I got the bill!  Total cost? Eight dollars!

My dental bill!
When I get back home, I know I'm going to need the tooth extracted, and a bridge made.  I don't even want to think of the cost, but I can guarantee one thing, it's going to set me back a lot more than $8.00!  Geez, in Canada that won't even buy me a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. 

Want to save some money?  Come to Cambodia!

1 comment:

  1. Want to save some more money? Have the extraction and bridge done in Bangkok. You might even trust your Siem Reap dentist enough, but if not, the care in BKK really is excellent, and prices are good.