Friday, 14 September 2012

Tooth Hurty

It was just another night. You know making a pizza, eating it, then finding a hard, small stone in your mouth after finishing the last bite. I didn't remember adding anything like this to my secret recipe?

A piece of my tooth had broken off.

Before this happened, I noticed that if I bit on the left side of my mouth, I felt the slightest jolt of pain. Touching the teeth there was nothing, so I couldn't exactly locate which tooth it was.

It was before I came to Japan that I last saw a dentist. Yeah I know, bad, bad me. If it isn't scary enough seeing a dentist in your native country, imagine how bad it could be in Japan?

Like I said in a previous post, it's HIGHLY advisable to find an English speaking doctor before you get sick. And so too, a dentist is a very good idea as well.

As my never-ending "luck" would have it, this happened on Friday night. I thought finding a dentist on a Saturday would be close to impossible. The following Monday was a public holiday, and I didn't feel comfortable to wait till Tuesday. Fortunately there was a fluent English speaking dentist available for an appointment at 430pm.

Only problem was I finished work at 415pm, and making my way from Tokyo station would be a challenge. I didn't have any students from 350pm, so I asked if I could leave a little earlier to make my appointment on time.

Instead of making it a simple, "ok, go ahead, get better soon", it was such a difficult task. They HAD to call HQ, no one "in charge" was available. Instead of an easy executive decision, I was questioned relentlessly so much that by the time I got off the phone it was my normal punch-out time. What a runaround!  Only in f*ing Japan!

Anyway, enough of the that rant for the time being..

Dental clinics in Japan are a little unusual in that they usually see more than one patient at a time. Here, there were three chairs in close proximity. Although in the same room, no-one faces one another. Luckily no one was screaming in pain while I was there.

The head dentist was the only one that could speak English, but I didn't have too much trouble. When it needed explaining he told me what was going on. They even let me hold two mirrors to see what was the problem. Nice.

For an X-ray, a filling and a little clean, it cost about 3,700 yen. A follow-up appointment cost 550 yen. Pretty good!  The dentist is covered by my National Health Insurance, so it's a rare moment that I am very thankful for having it.

He did ask me to recommend him to my friends, so if you're living in Tokyo, it's Yamaguchi Dental in Yotsuya. Their address is , 東京都新宿区四谷1-5 東交ビル3F(put the address in Google Maps), and their phone number is 03-3358-0894.

Keep um, smiling!