February 1, 2013

Beginning of a new month.  Seems like only yesterday I was in Taipei for New Year’s.

A few years back, I had to go see a dentist here in Tainan.  I’ve never really been a proponent of dentists, but as I get older, well, the body starts to surprise you.

Being in Taiwan, I didn’t have any kind of insurance coverage for dental work.  At least back in Canada, I did.  As I’ve discovered over the past couple of years, Taiwan does have a national dental care plan, which is covered in the same manner as health insurance.  Then again, I didn’t have health insurance coverage for the most part of the past 10 years either!  That’s all changed now.

Anyway, I had to go to the dentist because one of my back teeth had chipped.  As it turned out, some of the older fillings I’d had done many years ago, are coming loose because the teeth are deteriorating.  The benefits of age…

Another thing the dentist told me, was that one of my teeth was a baby tooth.  After cleaning, the baby tooth just popped out.  He did X-rays of my teeth, and told me that there was no root for an adult tooth, so now I had a space where a tooth should be.  He suggested having a bridge put in.  The cost was going to be in the neighbourhood of $25,000nt!  I started to get the work done, one month at a time, but after 2 or 3 visits, it was apparent that it was beyond my budget.  So I ended up not going back.

This past few weeks, I’ve noticed that I’ve been having problems with my teeth again.  A little sensitive, and just generally not liking the overall look of my teeth.  I relented, and gave him a call.  I was actually surprised that he could see me the very next day – TODAY!

I mustered up all the bravery I could, and kept the appointment.  After about a half hour of cleaning, we talked about fixing my teeth again.  Luckily, there are no cavities this time around, and other than a couple of teeth that have cracked over the years since my last visit, he said my teeth were not too bad.  However, a bridge and a few crowns are now part of my dental work.

This dental work (bridges and crowns) are not covered by the health care system in Taiwan, so that means, again, the money must come out of my own pocket.  The decision is this:  do I get the work done, or would it be better just to have the teeth removed?  I’m not an overly vain person, but the idea of having empty spaces where there should be teeth, is not too appealing to me.

I’ve opted for this:  with the rear teeth, that are not overly visible when I speak or smile, I will have titanium crowns put in.  With the teeth and/or space where they would be visible, then ceramic-coated titanium crowns.  These would look the same colour as the surrounding teeth.

Not sure how much all this work will cost, but if it means being able to eat my fave foods without any problems, then it may be worth it.  The only thing I don’t like, is having to visit the dentist.  He is a nice guy, but the idea of visiting a dentist is just not my thing.

When I was in Vancouver, I had a bit of work done on my teeth.  The dentist there basically put me ‘under’, did all the work at once, and then I was done.  I’ll just have to get used to and get myself into the mode of visiting the dentist every 6 months as is suggested.

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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