I’ve been having pain in a tooth, and it is getting worse. So, I called all the dentists in the local phone book (all six of them) to get prices for a drill and fill for a cavity. Locally, they are all priced about the same. So, I looked on the internet and called four other dentists further away, in the bigger cities, thinking they would have lower prices. Surprisingly, the locals charge less than those in the big cities.
So, I made an appointment and went in and met the dentist, who introduced himself as Roger. I’d never called a dentist by his first name before, and I wonder if this is common here in New Zealand or special just to Roger.
I showed him the x-rays that my Mexico dentist took a few months ago, but he said he needed to see the roots of the area more closely. So, he took another x-ray. He tested the area by having me bite down on a cotton swap and by touching each tooth with a bit of cotton made cold with an aerosol spray. Until he touched one tooth with the cold, he wasn’t sure which tooth was the problem. But when that cold cotton swab touched one tooth, I literally jumped out of the seat. Well, okay, leaned way away and bounced around. Man, that hurt!
So, it turns out that the problem tooth is the one with the crown on it. Bummer. That makes fixing the problem much more difficult. To drill through the crown and then remove the nerves from that tooth (Why weren’t the nerves dealt with before the crown was placed?), Roger would refer me to a specialist. The other option is to simply pull the tooth, which will cost around $200.00 ($166 US). To drill and fill it after removing the nerves will cost around $2000.00 ($1660 US). I wish I could get Mexico prices for this work.
We aren’t sure what we’re going to do. It would be nice to keep the tooth, but $2000.00 is a huge amount of money.
In the meantime, Roger gave me a prescription for an antibiotic, which he said will temporarily soften the pain I feel. The cost of the prescription was just $7.70 (about $6.40 US). The cost of seeing Roger the dentist for a whole ten minutes? $108.00 (about $90 US). Yikes. Again, I wish I could get Mexico prices here.