Travel From Australia to Philippines To See a Dentist

Last week, I wrote about Dental Care in Australia and said it was expensive to get a dental treatment or dental service by an Australian dentist. Those in the “know” such as Filipinos living in Australia or other places abroad knows that dental care in Philippines are much cheaper. But you won’t have a dental plan over there though. Even ex-pats who frequent or live in Philippines knows about this.

Philippines is one of those countries where you pay for dental treatment such as having your teeth cleaned, or cleaned and re-filled a cracked filling. Possibly cheap too on more serious dental care but I did not find out more about it. My dental care needs were simple.

During the month of September 2011. I was in Surigao City for a holiday—home coming to some. I knew I had some holes in my teeth and in need for some dental care. I knew it was going to be cheaper in Philippines than going to a dentist in Australia. The cost of dentist in Australia is simply expensive. I also knew that the quality is as good as what you get here in Australia. Gone are the geographical locations for good dentistry I say.

I planned this all along. The last week, in Philippines will be a dentist week. Have my teeth cleaned and also get my two cracked fillings re-filled. I only have two cracked fillings…so I thought.

Teeth Inspection

Photo by ^@^ina. Licence: Creative Commons

Photo by ^@^ina. Licence: Creative Commons

Inspection day. The first visit is always inspection day visit. The dentist needs to get to know your teeth by probing and checking them out and see what’s there. So she probed and using a mirror, she lets me know of new cavities and cracked fillings.

There were no x-rays, just a manual check up—with a mirror so you can see what the dentist is talking about. Actually, she insisted that I take a look and see it for myself. She was taking out left over morsel from who knows when I chewed them and got it stuck between my teeth causing these food to be the filling! Iew!

All in all, I had six teeth to be done! Four cracked fillings—the ones I thought were just two, but it turns out the cracks that I felt with my tongue were two separate ones from different teeth. But each of those teeth that are close together will be done on one visit. Then I had two new cavities—well old cavities but they have been there for such a long time. Unnoticed.

Everyday At The Dentist for Five Days

The first visit was the inspection day, which also included cleaning. That is getting rid of those hardened plaques that accumulated over the years—which caused my teeth to have a gap in between.

The remainder of the visits were all about drilling and filling… drilling and filling.. you know how it was like? Tiring! My jaws were locking, my jaws were numb. Including legs and brain. Something that I would not want to encounter again!

The next time I visit Philippines again from Australia, I will make sure I go and see a dentist first and see what kind of dental treatment I will need. Then space them all out during the duration of the holiday.

Cost of Dental Care

Full knowing, that the cost of dentist in Australia is expensive—even though we have dental care plans. What do you think my costs will be like? I just had my teeth cleaned, total of 4 cracked fillings—cleaned out and re-filled and two new cavities. That would easily cost my AUD$1,000.00 or more right?

I got my dental treatment in Philippines for less than AUD$200.00.

Mercury Filling

Worth noting. Whilst I was getting a dental care from a dentist in Surigao City . She will not touch mercury based fillings. Apparently, mercury based fillings, or amalgam as she called it requires a special solution that you need to either gurgle or drink—I think more gurgling than drinking. This is for both the dentist and patient. The solution alone apparently costs 8,000.00 pesos. That’s about AUD$177.00. This is the reason why she wants nothing to do with mercury based fillings. It is simply costly and none of her patients will be able to afford it.

How much do we pay again for basic dental care here in Australia? That seems to strike a cord with me—maybe we are being forced to pay for those solutions when we are not using them?

My teeth are not done yet by the way. I have one cracked filling that the dentist will not touch because of this mercury based filling or amalgam. Since, I had no more time in Philippines. I will have to see a dentis in Austra and cough up the costs of dentist in Australia. I know that will be an automatic $200 or more bucks! The Philippine dentist did cover up the holes though—but she says, that’s only a temporary fix. I really need to get a proper dental care, she adds.

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Jojie Certeza

Jojie Certeza is a Sydney based photographer. His passion for photography started in 2007 after being introduced by a friend who is also passionate about photography. He also founded; www.asimplecreation.com— a food photography service. He can be hired for food photography assignments

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