Posted by: daradoodle | November 14, 2008

Minus One Wisdom Tooth

The time has come...

The time has come...

Believe it or not, before I moved to China I did not live in fear of government censorship of media, or the unreliability of food safety, or living in a communist country, or the massive environmental issues. My biggest concern was the likely chance that I would have to undergo dental treatment while in China.

For someone who has regular dental checkups every six months and flosses after every meal, the thought of having a Chinese dentist freaked me out. It’s hard enough finding a reliable dentist in the U.S. Not only that, but anytime I need a standard procedure, I’m usually set back a couple hundred dollars.

Well, a month before I got on the plane to Shanghai, I noticed that something was poking out of my gum in the back of my mouth. Sure enough, it was one of the wisdom teeth that I was told three months prior wouldn’t be coming in anytime soon. I went back and forth about dealing with it before leaving the States. I did some Googling and came across a few Chinese dentist success stories, so I wasn’t too worried.

Cut to three months later and the whole tooth has come in, crooked. For the past two weeks, every time I take a bite, I’m chewing on the inside of my cheek. It was time to remove this puppy.

Thankfully, I recently I met a gal from Tennessee who chipped a tooth during the National Holiday. She mentioned a clinic that she had gone to once before that was efficient and inexpensive. I took down the name and number of the place incase my tooth reached the point of no return.

My awesome Chinese gal pal, Jue, called the dentist yesterday to ask about appointments, costs, paperwork, etc. They basically said that I didn’t need an appointment, just show up, and when I arrived I would have to register with the clinic. We woke up early this morning and took the Fudan Medical School bus to the middle of town. We walked for about two blocks before reaching the clinic. Jue did all of the talking and filled out six lines of my “Medical Record Card.” We were told to go upstairs where I was taken strait into the Oral Surgery room. My butt never even skimmed the surface of a waiting room seat.

The doctor took one look at my tooth and said that it was impacted and removal was necessary. She shot me up with Novocain and 15 minutes later, the tooth was out! Never have I EVER been in a dental office for a procedure that lasted less than 15 minutes. The best part though was paying the bill. You won’t believe this because I still can’t.

Registration fee: 11元 = $1.60

Tooth extraction & three different antibiotics: 135.80元 = $19.87

Total cost of the visit: 146.80元 = $21.47 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whether you love him or you hate him, everyone should take a look at Michael Moore’s film “SiCKO” that puts the U.S. healthcare industry under a microscope. There’s no need for Americans to be paying, literally, an arm and a leg for procedures that cost next to nothing in other countries.

Dental clinic in Shanghai

Dental clinic in Shanghai

Jue talks to the dentist

Jue talks to the dentist

Post-tooth removal, and I'm still alive!

Post-tooth removal, and I'm still alive!

If you or someone you know is in need of a dentist in Shanghai, call…


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  1. OMG Dara that’s who I’ll be calling when I arrive in Shanghai!

  2. my sister gets to pay $900 for that next month, that’s after her insurance. she’s really excited about it.

  3. man, i’m going to china to get my dental work done!

  4. OMG!! You are so brave!! Did it hurt?

  5. Ummm…I totally got ripped off! I paid like $900 for a DEEP CLEANING…after insurance. Yeah it involved novacaine but you had a whole tooth removed….for $21.

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