(Picture source: http://www.taranakicareers.co.nz)
My tooth is just fine though…
Last Saturday as I was just finishing washing my car (which has been neglected since I went overseas), my wife came to me, complaining about a toothache. She been having a toothache for sometime now but often put off the visit to the dentist. She would normally subdue the pain with pain killers but this time, nothing was doing. By then, it was already five something in the evening, so the clinic that she normally visits was closed. We had to look for another dentist. I recalled seeing one dental clinic near my grandma’s house, so we tried our luck there.
As we took the roundabout near to the clinic, my wife spotted another clinic and insisted on going there. The pain must have been unbearable. Luckily the clinic was opened until 6.30 pm and we had the time.
We walked up and saw one guy at the counter, playing solitaire – there was no one else in the clinic. Then we found out that the “guy at the counter” was the dentist himself. A quick fill up of the forms and my wife was ushered in for the checkup. What we thought was a swollen gum was not swollen but rather was just a tooth which has not fully developed yet – this was according to the dentist. The only way to reduce the pain was to do a minor surgery there and then which my wife dreaded. She asked for painkillers but the dentist replied that a pain killer only provides temporary relief. Surgery was still the best and he wanted to perform it immediately.
We asked how much the surgery will cost and he said RM400 – best offer! RM400 was a bit of high end especially towards the month end. I did not have enough cash, so I asked whether he accepts credit card. He said unfortunately he does not – he does not have a machine for the credit card.
We asked for pain killer and wanted to come back in couple of days for the surgery. At least I could bring extra cash then. The total charge was RM35 (the pain killer was free of charge).
We drove up to my grandma’s house where my wife took the pain killer and went to sleep as I was playing with my niece. Less than 30 minutes, she came down still with the pain, so we decided to go to clinic that I wanted to go earlier (the first clinic was closed by then). The second clinic was opened until 9.30 pm and they accepted credit cards – so, I thought we might as well do the surgery.
The second clinic belonged to a Malay dentist, so when we registered, the lady at the counter asked to wait for a while as the dentist in prayers (I wonder what will happen in an emergency). Anyway, it was some time before the dentist was ready to see us. She had a look at the teeth and agreed that the pain was due to tooth which has not fully developed yet but unlike the 1st dentist, she said that it was not possible to do the surgery as the gum was indeed swollen (the 1st dentist said was not). She prescribed pain killers, antibiotics and another medicine to bring down the swelling. When the swelling goes down, then it will be a good time to do the surgery. Total charge was RM30 (including for the medicine).
Surprisingly, after my wife took the medicine given to her by the 2nd dentist, the pain went down almost immediately. So, my confidence on the 2nd dentist was higher than on the 1st dentist (who seemed to be desperate to get our cash).
But there is a new problem cropping up…high dose of pain killers cause stomach upset causing us to make another trip to the clinic for alternative medicine.