To make a long story short, the bridge on my lower four front teeth broke while eating dinner Tuesday evening. I called my dentist the next morning and I was in to see him the same day. He stayed after hours to take care of me.
The bridge work is 13 years old. One of the supporting teeth had cracked and the other showed root deterioration. So the decision was made to pull them both and do a new six tooth bridge.
Price tag? $6872. With a discount if I pay cash only $6000.
He did the extraction of two teeth, the bridge prep and a temporary appliance right away. I paid for all of that, $500, at the end of the visit so I would not have an open bill.
He wants to wait at least two months for full healing before doing the new bridge. However, given his vacation time and our travel plans, the next possible date for an appointment is in mid-September.
What if we sell the house by then? It could happen. Would I want to come back to get this done here?
I've been mulling over alternatives. I'm in no discomfort and as long as I avoid things that are hard or tough to bite, the temporary bridge will be serviceable for some time.
Should I go to Mexico? I know of several people, including my sister-in-law, who have had work done there. I have the names of a couple of places that are said to be reliable.
Should I go to Thailand? My son is currently teaching English in Thailand, and although I probably would not want to go to Bangkok where he is for treatment, I might consider Phuket. My daughter's brother-in-law has lived there for many years and as a retired New Zealander would be able to help me find a suitable dentist. My son will be going back there in a few months when he finishes his first teaching contract to get his final certification. I'm not sure exactly when that would be, but I'm quite sure I could fly to Thailand, get a new bridge, and fly back for less than $5500. Phuket is both a tourist and a medical procedure destination for many Europeans, Australians and New Zealanders. I would not feel uncomfortable there. If I waited until we sell the house Craig could go too and we could make a nice vacation of it.
Anyway, it is something to think about over the next few weeks.
However, this emergency has made me wonder what I would have done if this happened while we were full timers. I don't wonder about medical emergencies. If something really serious happened, there are ERs everywhere. If either of us got sick or suffered a minor injury, we could find an urgent care center to go to. We have good insurance and are not tied to an HMO.
But what about finding a good dentist and getting in to see him or her quickly? These things happen at the most inconvenient times, and when you get a toothache, a broken tooth, or abscess, you want to be treated as soon as possible! My bridge did not come out, but it was not right and my teeth hurt. I could not bite and could only eat cut up or soft food. Our teeth are old.
Are there emergency dentists? How would you find one?
Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'd rather ask now than when I am in need.
As for the new bridge, Mexico, Thailand, or my regular dentist here in California? Any opinions?