Sunday, April 10, 2011

Trip to the Dentist

So as part of living here in the U.K. I need to do all the mundane things like going to the dentist. It had been six months since I had the root canal so it's not like it was something that I could put off either. Whether I liked it or not I would need another interaction with the U.K. medical system.
Making the appointment was easy. I had heard the stereotypical finding a dentist would be hard so I had asked the local dentist months ago, and they just looked at me weird. I only needed to request an appointment a few days in advance. From what I have talked to with my British friends the dental system has changed a lot in the last 10 years so all the stereotypes of British teeth being bad from not being able to find a dentist are no longer true. And, since everyone is covered there was no reams of insurance papers to fill out or make sure this dentist accepts my insurance.
The actual visit was different from what I am used to, but fine. Instead of the normal eight x-rays I only got four, but the dentist poked and prodded all my teeth, was happy with everything and seemed a little shocked that I said I flossed every day. (I have never had a checkup in the U.S. where the dentist didn't chastise me for not doing something better.) There was no polishing but I've never been sure if that was necessary or not. And the final thing was the request that I come back in 9 months instead of 6.
I felt like the dentist did their job but there were a lot of little things that were missing from the same exam from the U.S. Admittedly I don't know if it is because the national health care system does not cover as much or if the litigious U.S. society causes more checks then are really needed, or if dentists in the U.S. are doing everything they can charge the insurance for. Total cost for the x-rays and checkup: £17.00.

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