So you’re wondering why I’ve got my mouth wide open? Well my molar and gums were beginning to hurt and I went to my regular dentist. Before I could even get comfortable into the seat (like that is ever possible) and after I’ve clicked my selfie, he turned and said, “It’s the top left tooth that’s giving you trouble right?” So I was wondering if I he’d recently become a clairvoyant!! Apparently he remembered that this was the tooth that had given me trouble in the past. And his parting words were, “Go get the root canal done and then I’ll fix the decay. It’s the root canal that’s the problem. you had one done for the other tooth beside it and get this done too.”
That was my shortest and least painful trip to a dentist ever.
But I was a little uncertain about going back to the root canal specialist as I really didn’t feel like parting with $1800.
But I was a little uncertain about going back to the root canal specialist as I really didn’t feel like parting with $1800. So I decided to get a second opinion and went to the government run dental clinic. The dentist did a thorough check and as she couldn’t see much from the surface, she did an x-ray. Lo and behold! The tooth that my regular dentist wanted me to have the root canal filled, was already filled!! The x-rays were clear. I was shocked! Much later the anger seeped in as I thought about the time, trouble and money that would have been spent on knocking off my crown only to find that the root canal had been filled!
Lo and behold! The tooth that my regular dentist wanted me to have the root canal filled, was already filled!! The x-rays were clear. I was shocked! Much later the anger seeped in as I thought about the time, trouble and money that would have been spent on knocking off my crown only to find that the root canal had been filled!
As I finally calmed down (it’s been 2 weeks) and been referred to the government specialist and will have the (subsidised) treatment by June, I wanted to share some important learnings I’ve had from this experience.
First, treat your body like a machine. Just as machines need to be regularly sent for service maintenance, we too need to send our body parts for “service maintenance”. When you wait for something to go wrong, you end up spending more money. At the slightest discomfort, do your research, speak to your doctors. Get treatment early.
Secondly, prioritise and maintain a schedule for your regular checkups. While waiting for my turn at the dental clinic, I discovered that the polyclinic also had a physiotherapy clinic. So now I’ll also be scheduling regular appointments with the physiotherapist for my tennis elbow. Once my tooth has been fixed by the specialist, I’ll be setting regular appointments with the dentist too.
Thirdly, keep a record of your treatments. Know which bone, tooth or knee was fixed. Bring your records to the next visit. If in doubt, don’t budge until you have clarified all the information. If the expert is unwilling to go into details and is impatient, CHANGE to another one. Take CHARGE of your health and well-being. Be an acitve participant.
And finally, by doing the above, you will ensure good financial health as well. Just like machines that are regularly serviced, you will avoid spending large sums of money to fix a bigger problem. I had neglected my tennis elbow for 2 years and now the problem is so severe that I have to spend LOTS OF money to fix it. Yes, I know, sometimes we think the problem is small so it really is nothing to worry about. That’s what I thought too about my tennis elbow and not it is so bad that I have to limit the use of my right arm.
So time to step up and hold the remote control to your health! Take charge!