The low cost of dentistry

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.

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13 Responses to The low cost of dentistry

  1. Shubham roy says:

    Hi Cash,

    Interesting Blog n very interesting post on ur root canal treatment!!!

    Caught up with vasu some days back.Told me bout the coorg trip.In regular touch with nikhil.

    Presently am in bangalore , with wipro tech..finished my mba from symbiosis pune…Joined as a consultant in the retail vertical….



  2. Mujib says:

    7 teeth to be filled, one that requires a root canal treatment, and a broken tooth that requires a crown.”

    Whoa, that’s a lot of dental work.

  3. hpn says:

    first off, welcome to the club! 😉

    what your dad thinks is right, atleast in an Indian perspective. Its costly as per Indian standards :)

    Having said that, prices that you’ve mentioned are a bit lower when compared to Bangalore prices. But Dentists are in plenty here and you can find one in almost any notable street – donot need to wait in long queues (usually).

  4. Even in Russia the same work would cost far much. $500 at least, depending on the clinic: is it commercial or state-owned…

    India is a great country. And you don’t have winters there! :)

  5. admin says:

    This is the private practise of a dentist, so, no, it is not state operated. If it were a government hospital, I could have got it done for free, but would have had to wait for a month or so.

  6. Jose Andrade says:

    You are lucky!… my wife is having almost the same work done by our dentist here in America… WITH INSURANCE, total cost $3,500 USD!!… $125 was just for them to tell me I gotta pay $3,500!!

  7. tech dude says:

    I got to say that its still way cheaper in India. When I went to the US for the first time, I still had some root canal/fillings to be done. Was stupid enough not to get it done while in India.

    When I got the bill, I realised that it would have been a whole lot cheaper for me to take a flight back to India, get the dental stuff taken care of and fly back :).

  8. sunny says:

    hey can u tell me where u got this treatment. can u tell me the adress of that clinic plz man its so urgent. u can send me email on my id its

  9. geetha says:

    Please reply to this email where this clinic is located ASAP

  10. Carthik says:

    Hi Sunny, geetha – take your pick of the dentists in Trivandrum. I don’t remember the dentist’s name, but his house was close to Puthenchanta in Trivandrum.

  11. Prabhakar says:

    I have a question ?
    Can Half broken tooth be fixed as it is or else they need to be replaced with a new one?
    How can the tangy sensation in your broken tooth be reduced?

  12. Carthik says:

    Prabhakar, they usually cap it after filling in the holes. The best way to figure out the best way to fix it is to visit a dentist. :)

  13. Pushpak says:

    Root Canal also requires Crown similar to a broken tooth.
    I paid 3000 for root canal recently.
    I also have a broken front tooth which need a 1500 Rs cap to hide it.