Last weekend I had a very bad tooth ache. Clove oil wouldn’t work. And it got so bad that I actually went to a dentist. Oh! And getting a dentist appointment in Singapore is next to impossible – I guess every one is fixing their teeth at all times. After quite a few failed attempts, the wife managed to land an appointment in one clinic.
Dental treatments in Singapore are a luxury. It has a reputation for being overly expensive. Maybe people are mostly getting their tooth to look good than fixing aches or root-canals. And usually dental treatments are not covered by group medical policies or insurances.
So I went to the dentist. He looks at my teeth and has a bingo moment within a couple of seconds. My wisdom teeth needs to be removed. It has a hole about 80% its size. I wonder how that happened – I thought I brushed it. Or maybe I brushed it so hard, I wore off 80% of the tooth? The diagnosis is quite simple and straightforward. And he says there aren’t much other alternatives anyway. Even if he gave some temporary fixes, this pain would just haunt me. Ok. I agreed to have it removed. Then I told him about my situation and how I cannot quite afford dental treatments. He then told me the split up and what it would cost to get it done etc. Expensive but not unmanageable. I could do with a simple credit card loan (I was expecting a Personal Loan).
I considered the option of going to India to get it done. Well, its not that easy. Firstly, I need to fly immediately. That cost of return flight booked at the last moment is rarely cheap. Even on budget airlines. Maybe if you went to the counter and haggled you could get lucky. Next, I need to work out vacation days. I am running quite close on MC days as well. This year has seen me take quite a few MC already. Working out all this, and assuming everything goes well, India could cost me about 10% less than what it would cost me here. So, its not quite worth the effort or the wait. If I had planned a vacation already, then getting my tooth removed would almost come free – ~90% cheaper. But if I travel just for that, it doesn’t save me much.
I asked the doctor for some time to decide. So he put me on a painkiller dosage. If I skip the painkiller, it pains. That is how bad the situation is! Right now I have decided to get it done here. I don’t want to work out a lot of stuff. But next time I travel to India, I’ll make a dentist visit and ensure my teeth won’t need to be treated when am not in India. Or I’ll have to try and see if I can get my office to cover portions of the bill for me 😀