Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tale of the Twisted Tooth

After 2 years without a teeth cleaning it was time. Like everything else in Puerto Rico it is always a challenge to make initial appointments. This time it was very easy though - the wonderful office gal (Myra) at the Endocrinologist's office (where I was done with an appointment) called for me and made an appointment for the next day at 11. What we always wonder 11 a "real" appointment or a "show up at eleven and get seen before bedtime" appointment. Well, 11 turned out to be 11:15 and I was in and had teeth cleaned and had a suspected cavity in a back tooth. Dr. Oliver thought it might need a root canal, and he referred me upstairs to an Endodoncia who does that sort of thing. A root canal? Never had one and didn't want one. He didn't like how the x-ray looked and every dentist I've ever had has pointed out that tooth and that problem.

The appointment at the Edndodoncia was a real time as well. She didn't like how the x-ray looked so took a couple more that still didn't help. She did a couple more tests and decided the only way to tell if something was going on was to open it up, remove the old filling, and have a look. She did that and determined it was a weird, concave twisted tooth that made an odd shadow on the x-ray but didn't have any problems. While I was still numbed up she called downstairs to Dr. Oliver who took me right away to put in the permanent filling. How's that for service? Everything was resolved by competent people for a $30 copay (20 bucks at the specialist and $10.20 for the filling and cleaning) without any waiting. In Seattle it would have been 2 weeks to see the Endodoncia and a week with a temporary filling. Am I just lucky? I'm really happy with doctors and dentists here - far more satisfied than in the states and I've never had health problems before. Here the problems get solved!


Anonymous said...

You know I have heard some people talk so bad about Dr.s appointments in PR too, but I also have been way happier. (i dont live in PR but I have family there & stay for a while sometimes). I just figured since we go to the central area maybe things are less crowded therefore better.

Once my son who was 2 years old got a fever & we called the Doctor they told us to come right in. It was $25 for the apt. with no insurance. WOW! in Philly that would have been atleast $65 probably more for pediatric. Then he had to get tested for Dengue so they told us to go to the lab down the street & they tested his blood for $10. We went back to the doctor an hour later, he said it was a bacterial infection & he gave us a prescription (which cost $8 at the pharmacy) he also gave us a whole carton (12 bottles) of panadol (childrens tylenol) for free! He also told us emergency room visits in the hospital cost $50. That blew my mind. I have a $2,000 ER bill from years ago that I am still trying to pay

Anonymous said...

Oh & I should have added that the service was good too. I fell like atleast where i live in Philly the Doctors rush you so much & they dont care. Its like they never believe you the first visit. Its always oh well come back if it doesnt go away. Hello! Thats why I am here in the first place.

But in PR from what I experienced the doctors try to find the problem and fix it the first visit. The only thing I see as a downside is that the offices are usually older & not updated. Sometimes the technology isnt up to date also.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - The hospital Conception is new and clean and seems pretty good. We have heard that Bella Vista if also good, maybe better. Jeff had a "virtual" colonoscopy. We haven't needed any surgeries so we don't know if they do a lot of stuff laproscopically or not but they seem to know what to do and lab tests seem up to snuff. I agree with you that they take time and really do things. I fought to try to get a bone density screening in the states since I am thin, have no kids and near 50 and never got one. Here - one of the first things they did along with a full blood panel! I won't be flying out for medical care unless I require brain or back surgery or something and maybe not even then! katrina