Thursday, 26 February 2015

The ripoff dentist

As ex-Singaporeans (but still Singapore citizens officially, I'm just nitpicking between citizenship and identity here), we have heard a ton about how expensive dental care is in Australia. The Singaporeans we knew who live or work in Oz would try to schedule their dentist visits whenever they went back to Sg to visit.

So we waited, and waited. After all, we've gone for extended periods between dentist visit while living in sg. We've been living here for 15 months now, without having visited a dentist. Until today.

A few days ago, I started developing a toothache at the back of the left of my upper jaw. Right where a wisdom tooth could be expected to emerge. Indeed, it was on its way out.

Being currently underemployed and having quite a bit of spare time, I decided to bite the bullet and face the exorbitant cost of visiting a dentist here. So I traipsed over to the medical centre not ten minutes walk from where we live to enquire, and made an appointment on the same day (today). Turns out that there was a "special" for dentist treatment, and being the perennial tight arse, I decided to go for it as my teeth were long overdue for "servicing" anyway.

Fucking expensive dental treatment in Australia
The dentist was such a ripoff that two $15 "single X-Ray film"s and the dentist's tender mercies couldn't ascertain if I needed the offending wisdom tooth extracted.

So I had to go for an X-ray upstairs. It took about 15 minutes and I was presented with two copies of film and goodness knows how much my fellow Aussie taxpayers had to pay for my X-ray. Don't worry, A pays more than enough tax to cover it. At least there were no charges to me. At the rate I've been having X-rays here (this is my 3rd, the first two were to rule out fractures on two separate occasions), I'd be broke if I had to pay for them like in some other countries.

The ripoff dentist then examined the film and told me that I should get my two upper wisdom teeth removed. "The sooner, the better", she said. Of course she would. She must be on commission basis or something

I was quoted $120 for one, and $150 for the other. The nerve!

**Not a fair comparison, but I remember surgical extraction of my two lower wisdom teeth in sg cost me something like $2,400, most of which was claimed back from Medisave. But it was a highly-recommended surgeon, not some random ripoff neighbourhood dentist.

-S

10 comments:

  1. Hi S, my wisdom tooth need to be removed too. May i ask if you use medicare card or all the costs are paid in cash? Do you mind sharing address of the clinic privately with me? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just so that I don't have to explicitly reveal our home suburb...

    Google "Primary Dental". They have a number of outlets around Melbourne. Dental is private only and I paid cash. Can't be stuffed with private cover at this stage and why should we be, at this pricing?

    -S

    ReplyDelete
  3. Apparently if your wisdom tooth removal requires surgery, it might be possible to get it under medicare if you are willing to queue. But I'm not too sure. I'm sure you will find out, and do share with us!! Meanwhile, take care

    -S

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hear hear. As an international student, compulsory health insurance does not cover dental, though there are dentists who offer student and senior citizen discounts.

    I too had to make a very reluctant visit to a dentist in Melbourne when a toothache (not a wisdom tooth eruption) became too difficult to concentrate on my work. Despite the discount, my bank account put on a brave front but nonetheless shed invisible tears of sacrifice:

    [IMG]http://i59.tinypic.com/1zp70w2.jpg[/IMG]

    I wouldn't go as far to say that the dentist was a total rip off but I definitely had to negotiate against a root canal procedure. I still feel that it should not be suggested as a first-line treatment for toothache of uncertain cause. If I had trusted the dentist's first recommendation I would have lost a functional tooth for nothing as time later helped to shed light on what was going on. But without her knowledge input, I wouldn't be able to reason through the possibilities and select the most appropriate option. Being an informed consumer is important anywhere, I'd think, with a private practitioner anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi All,
    Just some input on dentists in Oz. Many like to do wisdom tooth extraction and whenever they see one, they always asked you to take it out and always schedule surgery almost immediately. You do not always have to extract your wisdom tooth unless there is ingrowth. Dont listen to dentist in total, use your own wisdom. First line of defence, gargle some salt solution to see if you can get rid of the toothache.

    Ann

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thnks Ann. I found it somewhat ironic, your second last sentence ;)

      I'll keep my wisdom.... teeth, for the time being. They aren't giving me any issues for now. I guess regular cleanups and check ups are a must, albeit bearing what you said in mind

      cheers

      S

      Delete
  6. Hi S, I didn't removed my wisdom tooth but its already decayed does it cause a bad breath?

    ReplyDelete
  7. The fact that you found "$120 and $140" a rip off for upper extraction but said you felt the $2400 you paid for lower wisdom tooth extraction in Sinkapore is justified based on its "location" (when Sg is a microstate where everything is urban) goes to show the depth of your stupidity. Usual sinkie dumbness you think because a dentist is in orchard it's somehow better when most of the difference in fees are due to rental overheads. Its the typical suaku mentality that comes with being born and raised in a small microstate masquerading as a real country. It's a hallmark and branding of Singaporeans. It's really embarrassing especially those frog in the well from Singapore move overseas.

    I disassociate myself all anything Singapore in the USA. The people are mostly so gross like you and fools.

    - proud to be ex Singaporean

    ReplyDelete
  8. The fact that you found "$120 and $140" a rip off for upper extraction but said you felt the $2400 you paid for lower wisdom tooth extraction in Sinkapore is justified based on its "location" (when Sg is a microstate where everything is urban) goes to show the depth of your stupidity. Usual sinkie dumbness you think because a dentist is in orchard it's somehow better when most of the difference in fees are due to rental overheads. Its the typical suaku mentality that comes with being born and raised in a small microstate masquerading as a real country. It's a hallmark and branding of Singaporeans. It's really embarrassing especially those frog in the well from Singapore move overseas.

    I disassociate myself all anything Singapore in the USA. The people are mostly so gross like you and fools.

    - proud to be ex Singaporean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems that you took this post quite literally :p...

      -S

      Delete