Two visits to the dentist yesterday. Appointments don’t work here. “Be here between 10 and 11 in the morning”, said the dentist’s assistant. I was there at 10. I wrote my name down in the pad on the table. I was third on the list. I waited in the small busy room. The assistant popped out of the inner room, every once in a while and called people farther down the list, about 3 of them, before he called me in.
The dentist was an aging man. He had two or three other dentists to assist him. After getting my teeth inspected by two different dentists, I came to know that I have 7 teeth to be filled, one that requires a root canal treatment, and a broken tooth that requires a crown. I broke that tooth waiting in line at the Tirupati temple. There was a guy there, in the queue, selling something like peanuts. “Time pass, time pass”, was his signature selling note. After I was done with the exceptionally hard peanuts, I noticed I was missing a quarter of a molar. So I have grown softer, at least, my teeth have.
So, to get back to the dentist, after the inspection, I was asked to return in the evening. After an x-ray of the fractured tooth, a young dentist went to work on the tooth requiring the root canal treatment. I am promised a perfectly functional set of tooth in the next ten days. I have to keep visiting the dentist everyday until we are done. I have some pain killers to keep me numb for the stretch.
Now comes the best part of this post — the total cost of the entire treatment:
Rs. 1500 for the new crown
Rs. 1500 for the root canal treatment
Rs. 2100 for filling the cavities in 6 teeth
Rs. 300 for cleaning all the teeth.
At 43 Rupees to the Dollar, that is a total of $125! I cannot beleive it, almost.
My father however has something else to say — he thinks the dentist is ripping me off because I told him that I am studying in the U.S. I hope to God my father never learns how much a root canal treatment alone costs in the U.S.