On everyone’s list of things they want to do, getting dental work done is about #3,478, right between taking down Christmas lights and getting your fingernails pulled out during an interrogation.
However, unlike those other two (although your neighbors may disagree), it’s also completely necessary so that you won’t have a mouth full of jacked-up chiclets.
While I was in the United States, going to the dentist was a simple, yet costly affair, usually undertaken once every six months, when my mother’s incessant nagging became too much to bear, or a tooth started falling out.
However, since I’ve lived abroad for more than seven years now, getting dental work done in foreign countries and locales ranging from chaotic and crowded cities to remote tropical islands can be an adventure.
But that’s why when you find a good dentist and he or she does a great job, you stick to them like glue. Luckily, I’ve found a few of those, but I’ve had to endure a few bad experiences (and inflated bills) to get there.
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For instance, one of my teeth has been giving me some serious issues for a while now. About a year ago, a filling just popped out when I was chewing on something (probably Cracker Jacks, caramel toffee, or cold pizza, knowing me).
The exposed tooth caused me some discomfort but it wasn’t too bad, so I took my sweet time getting it fixed. Eventually, I went to a local dentist in Dumaguete who put in a temporary filling, which was not unlike filling a pothole with spare rocks and then gooping pavement on top.
Of course, that only lasted so long, and I planned on getting a better replacement when I was in Thailand. I went to a horrible dentist there who turned a routine cleaning into a body cavity search.
I ran out of there as fast as I could and put getting the tooth fixed off as long as I could, but it’s been killing me.
So, I’m in the big, modern city of Manila now, and started asking around for a good dentist. Before I ventured an hour wait in rush hour traffic to get to Makati from the Fort Bonifacio neighborhood I’m staying in, I was lucky enough to see a small shop called Dental Hub, located in the Grand Canal Mall right across from the Gold’s Gym where I was working out.
I made an appointment and went back today, and had a great experience remedying a significant dental problem. The short story is that my tooth is all jacked up, and I’ll probably need a root canal sooner than later. But Dr. Christine (she works there with her sister manning the front desk), did everything within her power to fix the tooth without that, adding a barrier over the nerve and then replacing four (four!) fillings on the same tooth, just to avoid the complicated and time-consuming root canal.
I can’t say it was pain-free or pleasant, but Dr. Christine did a fine job and explained everything thoroughly. Furthermore, I found her equipment and office to be all the latest in technology and dental medicine, as well as spotlessly clean.
In the end, the bill was only 3,200 – Pesos – or about $58.
Since I will be moving to this area soon enough, I’ll definitely keep visiting Dr. Christine at Dental Hub and using her for everything (except taking down my Christmas lights).