If you have "no place to go," come here!

Common Household Remedies Request

Well, I went to the dentist (thanks for all the help). You can tell the picture that Thai dental professionals have of dental care in the United States from the English they know: Picture me vibrating quietly about six inches above the dental chair, totally rigid, plank-like with tension, and meanwhile the dentist and her assistant chatting as they work away, musical Thai interspersed with "No pain... No pain...." and "Relax!" and "Breathe deep!" (because I would forget to breathe). And they were quite right; there was no pain. Which is what I went to find out!

I had what I believe to be "gingival recession" treated by covering the exposed dentin with a composite. Some US dentists think that presents aesthetic issues, but I'm going with the Thais on any question of aesthetics, and in any case the alternative treatment seems to be "soft-tissue graft surgery," no fucking way.

Anyhow, I only did had two teeth done. "Just a test," I told them. So tomorrow I'm going to go in for X-ray and make a plan. I'm basically planning on another 25 years or so of blogging, on one topic or another, and so I'd better get my teeth fixed with that spec in mind!

So, not really a request, here, but anybody who wants to weigh in with dental advice, do feel free.

Here's how I selected the place: I got personal recommendations of dentists to go to, but they contradicted! The place I'm going to comes up high in Google, got a vivid and good review, and it's in a humongous shopping center downtown; this last weighed especially in its favor with me, since I felt it would be easier for people to gossip about a clinic in a highly visible and high-rent location ("Oh yes, the one in...."), as opposed to one in a more low-rent location or storefront away from the center of town. Also, they have a massive wall of file cabinets with patient cards in them, which reassures me. And from the location and who's in the waiting room, this clinic is much more for the locals; it's not an operation devised to separate stupid farangs from their plentiful money. Finally, they didn't try to upsell me.

Though I am told gold is best for molars. My grandfather had gold teeth, and I always thought they were an important part of his distinguished, though tricky, persona. And he lived to a ripe old age...

NOTE One of the best things about dentistry here is that there's a price list! Yes, I'm not kidding; you know how much they're going to charge you before you sit down in the chair. Our system of dental care, like our health care system generally, is brutal and barbaric in so many ways!

UPDATE I forgot the most important part, after pain! Two fillings, $50. If I had to have significant dental work done, like implants or root canals or a lot of fillings --- which may happen -- the plane ticket would pay for itself. Fix your teeth and eat Thai cuisine every day.

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hyperpolarizer's picture
Submitted by hyperpolarizer on

One of my simple rules for life is:

"The ennui of flossing is more than compensated by the convenience of having teeth."

Flossing every day is a simple thing you can do to help keep your gums from recessing.

Submitted by lambert on

I am only now getting the exam done; I expect it to show actual cavities, problems with my well-aged amalgams, and perhaps issues with my dead-nerve (??) molar, the one bits fell off of during my first year in Maine. Maybe once a year I get tooth pain back there that also clogs up my sinuses on that side, which I make go away by using a lot of red wine as a mouthwash; so sounds like a little infection back there that recurs for some reason.

* * *

It didn't seem useful to me to have an exam done at a place I didn't trust to do the work; so I had something simple and easy done, as a test, to make sure there was "no pain." And there wasn't!!! So today, I can go ahead and get a sense of the real scale of the problem...

* * *

I know about flossing, but I hate flossing; I have an actual physical sensation of resistance and cringing when I try it, something to do with maneuvering an instrument in a very small space that I get with other, similar small-scale physical motions. I'm just not going to do it....

psychohistorian's picture
Submitted by psychohistorian on

I suggest dipping your index finger(s) in Listerine and massaging your gums vigorously as I was told to do long ago when I had gingivitis....and on regular/daily or more basis to start out. I even do it now occasionally when I feel the need.

YMMV but you asked.

paintedjaguar's picture
Submitted by paintedjaguar on

I'm confused. Sounds like you went to Thailand for this? Or just to some Thai dentist working in the US?

I'm interested, as I need significant work done myself and don't know what to do about it. Trust issues aside, US dentists have gone the way of their MD counterparts, with prices and policies designed for people with good insurance coverage. I've already been hammered for just an exam and a couple of minor fillings. I already had crowns, but have developed decay underneath more than one of them, which I didn't realize was a possibility.

Submitted by lambert on

... I am in Thailand, with one of my agenda items getting dental work done (see linked post for horrible US experience, from which I am fleeing).