Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Day 188

Okay this is going to be a HUGE RANT!!! I am soooooooooooooooooooo angry right now.

One Saturday a few months ago I was eating breakfast and got a huge jolt of pain in a lower left tooth. I though it was a one off but the pain increased over the weekend so I knew I needed to see a dentist.

Now we here in Britain pay a huge amount of taxes for among other things, the "privilege" of having a National Healthcare Service which is supposed to means that we pay no or little money out of pocket for any form of medical attention.

The last time I went to the dentist was last November so I was due for a check up but I moved to a new neighbourhood last December and hadn't gotten around to finding a new dentist yet. So I went to the NHS website and printed off a list of dentist in my neighbourhood and started to make calls to find one. Each dentist I called told me they were no longer part of the NHS. Don't ask me why they were listed as NHS dentists if they were not longer part of the service.

Finally I found a practice that said they were part of the NHS. Relief! I went along and they did a basic examination and two x-ray for which I paid the standard NHS co-pay rates of £15.90. The dentist told me that the tooth was just sensitive to hot or cold and I just needed to use Sensodyne toothpaste. This didn't feel like just a sensitive tooth to me but I was willing to go along with this story after all he did take x-rays right and saw nothing there. Just as well, because if I'd needed further treatment, I would have had to pay as a private patient because the practice only offered basic examinations under the NHS and everything else you had to pay for yourself as a private patient. In other words they offered NHS basic service to attract patients and then once they'd reeled them in wham!

Anyway, I bought the Sensodyne and used it but eventually stopped chewing on the left side of my mouth because of the discomfort, so all my chewing was being done on my right side. Well over the weekend I started to get a sharp pain in one of the teeth on the upper right as well. The pain got so great that I couldn't chew on my right side either and I started to take a pain killers.

Yesterday I started my search for an NHS dentist all over again because 1) obviously there was a greater problem than just sensitive teeth and 2) I couldn't go back to dentist No. 1 because I would have to pay big time for whatever was wrong. So I went back to the list and started to call and got the same story that I got the first time around. Then I finally called a practice not far from where I live that said they participated in the NHS. I was careful to ask if they just gave NHS rates for the first visit or for subsequent visits if one needed more work as well. The woman I was speaking to kind of hemmed and hawed and said that some payed NHS rates and some paid private rates. Well how do you decide, I asked. It's up to the dentist she said. Say what? That just sent my bullshit antenna way up, but crippled by pain I was not in a position to argue too much. I grabbed an appointment and hoped for the best.

So today, appointment day, I got a basic exam and two x-rays on the same teeth that I had x-rayed just months ago and guess what? Both have full blown cavities that the dentist said had to have been developing for a while. That's why I've had pain not because I have sensitive teeth. So that other charlatan completely misdiagnosed me. Goddam him! That's three - four months of decay I didn't need. But that's not all.

The examination and x-rays were at the usually NHS rate of £15.90 but if I want this dentist to treat me then I have to pay as a private client which means that instead of paying the NHS rate of £43.60 per tooth, I would have to pay a whopping £100 per tooth. Now that's ridiculous to me but I can deal with it. What I couldn't believe was when he told me that the decay in both teeth was pretty advanced and so close to the nerve that when he goes in he MAY find that the teeth actually require root canals and crowns. Under the NHS, these would cost me £194 but as a private patient, I would instead pay £950 for one tooth and £1300 for the other = £2,250 for the two teeth. WHAT!!!

Let me break that down for you folks:
£2,250 = €3,226 = US$4, 558 = Can $4,443 = AUS$ 5, 191 = NZ$6, 153 = BD$ 9, 116

Now I have 32 teeth in my mouth and although I haven't had a cavity in years, I have in the past had fillings and 2 root canals and crowns(not done in Britain). I find dental work costly wherever I've lived, but I am sorry
£2,250 for two teeth is just F**KING RIDICULOUS. The day I pay £2,250 to a dentist to fix two teeth, I hope a huge lightning bolt comes down from the sky and fries me on the spot.

So folks, if you hear a really loud blood curdling scream coming from the direction of London, it is me pulling my own two diseased teeth out with a pliers as other Britons you can read here in this Guardian article have been forced to do in this the fourth riches country in the world that refuses to properly fund its National Healthcare Service, but is happy to waste money dropping bombs on innocent people in countries they have no bloody business in.

I think I'm going to write to Gordon Brown and ask for 25% of my taxes back so I can buy my own damn medical and dental insurance. Urrrrrrr!!!!

Oh oh oh I forgot, this dentist ... this Satan also expects me to live on painkillers for the next two weeks because his practice doesn't have emergency slots for patients in pain.

B - 435
52 g oatmeal - 200
250g of soymilk - 155
20g raisins - 80

L - 550
200 g of cheese & onion quiche - 500
2 cups of salad - 50

250g of soymilk - 155

28 g cheese - 113
112g Dal - 291
3 cups of vegetables - 110

Calories - 1654 calories
Exercise - 1 1/2 hrs of tennis
H2O - 40 oz water


  1. You have every right to be angry Nona. I have posted several times over dentists, as I, myself, CANNOT afford crowns and root canals. I had a tooth pulled recently, which I have since found out wasn't a wise move, as now the other two teeth surrounding that one will overcompensate the loss of the tooth and wear out much faster. However, considering no dental service in Australia appears to offer a payment plan (you would have to get a loan from the bank and pay it off) I really had no choice. I was in agony, and other than footing a bill for $3000 for a full root canal, I had the tooth pulled out WITH PLIERS for a cost of $200.
    My husbands front tooth is almost completely rotten, and we are having his teeth looked at in early Novemeber. I have put some money aside for this, but know it won't be enough, and we will have some big decisions to make as to what we do and what our options are.
    You have every right to be pissed off. Here, we dont' have a choice where we go, many of the dentists are dodgy and charge like wounded bulls just because THEY CAN. What choice do we have but to pay? Our problem is actually finding a dentist who can fit you in.
    Being on pain relief for 2 whole weeks is bloody unbelieveable. If I lived there, I would pop over, and we could make some phonecalls together to make some serious complaints!! But, hence, I am in Australia, so can only a virtual hug and say that SUCKS!!

  2. That is CRAZY!!! I hate anything to do with dental work!! Absolutely paranoid!! Depending on what teeth they were I'd probably opt for having them pulled out ... hmm ... maybe!!

  3. Holy smacking arseholes, and I thought my $900 AUD for a root canal was expensive, no wonder you are pissed, I would be as well.
    Hope your pain is not too bad as you wait for the extractions. Hugs to you my friend.

  4. If you want to make money, go into dentistry. We have dental insurance for all the good it does us. I haven't been to a dentist since 1989. I was going to start going this year, but my husband has had to have work done and we've spent so much money on his "insured" work that I can't afford to go - even WITH the insurance! My son goes regularly and we have to pay the full pop for that.

    Pisses me off, too.

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