Dental magic (in Thailand!)

I have an impacted wisdom tooth.

Upper, which the dentist said is more difficult, and (apparently) angled in an awkward way towards my palate.

My dentist, some point last year, mentioned that it might be a good idea to remove them (all of them). But as they didn’t hurt, and I had a billion other places to put my money, I let it go. Some people don’t have to get them removed. Some people don’t have any problems with them.

Didn’t work out so well for me.

Now I have to go and get the damn thing removed next Tuesday. The surgeon will probably mention something about getting the others removed also, but I still have a billion other places to put my money. And, having already put my money in so many places, I have even less to work with.

Luckily, dental work can be quite affordable here. Not ALL dental work, and not in EVERY office with EVERY doctor, but in enough places.

My bill today for an exam, X-rays, and medication came to just under $10. No insurance. The wisdom tooth removal should be just under $100. From a bit of research online, that seems to be a bit cheaper than it would be for me in the US. Though, a US job might pay a bit more. (Might, and that is sad.) Or not. If I had a job. There was quite a bit of time, inbetween temp and part-time jobs when I didn’t have work.

Because of that, because of the minimum wage jobs without insurance, and the too-long periods of unemployment between work (embarrassing as all hell considering the degree and all, even knowing I wasn’t alone), I came to Thailand at least two years beyond needing a check up. I had to get a root canal right off the bat, and had at least two other cavities.

Here, not only do I have a job that pays enough to take care of me (and my cats, though, yeah, right now it’s a barely sort of time…), I have access to health facilities where the cost is within reason for the income of the people.

I realize there are dozens of reasons why health care is expensive in the US (like cost of schooling for doctors, which they make up by charging exorbitant rates for gauze and aspirin?)

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I know, I know; you have to pay staffing and facilities and you can’t sell anything at Market, but 50 cents to almost $40?? $2000 to $14000?? Seriously?

But general care, emergency care, dental care, and more are so often priced outside of what people can afford.

That’s depressing.

I got caught in the rain this morning, and almost everything in my purse is wrinkled with the wet, but it’s hard to be unhappy or even mildly upset about the rain, or the pain in my mouth, when I think about how much healthier I am now than I was just a few years ago. I do not like to think ill of my home country. And America is my home, I never forget that for all that I have a tendency (and always have) to criticize it so harshly. I’m not one to proclaim loudly that America is the best country in the world, and my years here have made that impossible. Freedom of speech? Hell yes. An economy that insures a larger number of people are fed, housed, and healthy? Could do a bit more on that.

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2 thoughts on “Dental magic (in Thailand!)

  1. It’s amazing how relatively cheap good healthcare can be in other countries… and a majority of the good docs are American trained. I often equate trying to change American healthcare like trying to boil the ocean… a frustrating task.

    1. (sorry I missed this!)

      I completely agree. I’ve had doctors here who were trained in England and Australia (probably some in America, too), and they seemed to be doing okay financially, even though they weren’t making American-level salaries.

      So frustrating!

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