Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The Pain in Spain falls mainly... - by Theo my mouth.

It's been quite some time since I last went to the dentist. I don't trust the drill-happy buggers; the last one I had in Clifton (the Mall) talked me into having my wisdom teeth removed (expensive, painful, unnecessary) and filled my mouth with so much silver paste you wouldn't think there was enough tooth left to actually support a cavity. However, over the past few weeks one of my molars has developed a bit of an ache so, after the obligatory prevaricating and procrastinating (I was an arts student after all) I finally booked myself an appointment at a nearby health centre.

Typically my tooth then broke and stopped hurting. However, I felt I shouldn't see this as good news, so still went along to my appointment having learnt the Spanish words for 'filling' (empaste) and 'cavity' (carie). After a cursory glance the cheerful dentist said, "Yep, there's a cavity. So do you want me to pull it out for you?" When I replied in the negative, she explained that if I wanted a filling I'd have to go private as I couldn't get anything other than an extraction on the Health Service. I should expect to pay between 30 and 50 euros for a filling.

The dentist across the road from us quoted me €90, which I shied away from rapidly (it didn't hurt that much!) but I eventually found one nearby that would do it for €50. Still the top end of the scale I'd been quoted, but definitely better than the first place I went to.

Now, I'm not so sure. They immediately decided I needed a tooth reconstruction, which would be an extra €65; they are damned good at getting money out of you these dentists. Twenty minutes later, after lots of painful drilling despite the injection, I was done and €115 poorer. Still at least my tooth was fixed.

Later that night, while brushing my teeth, the pain from my newly fixed tooth nearly made my eyes water. The dull throb has been transformed into a searing pain when combined with a cold liquid. Great.

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