Here’s a quick update on the progress of my dental situation with Dra. Monica Sanjur of downtown Boquete:
Monday morning, bright and early, we all convened in her dental office for the fitting of a temporary that will see me through until a replacement crown is put into place. Over the weekend, in just two working days, the lab had created a sort of tooth retainer. A partial tooth was fitted with a plate that laid against the roof of my mouth with two wires that “grabbed” each adjoining tooth, front and back. Sorry for the overly detailed description, but I want you to get a sense of what was accomplished in the dental lab in just two days! (And, no, I’m not going to show you a picture of it….it’s weird looking!)
At the end of the fitting, while we were paying the $140 that was due for the temporary, Dra. Sanjur then outlined what would be happening: the next step is for a periodontist specialist to come up from David to perform a “gum-ectomy”. My words. Don’t look it up, people. The decay in this tooth is so bad they’ve got to cut back more gum in order to expose more tooth in order for a crown to have something to hold on to. After that, then a root canal (Yes, Valori, you were right!), followed by the insertion of a post to help hold the crown in place. I’m hearing a cash register ca-chinging in my head each time Dra. says “After that, then we’ve got to….”.
So off to Decameron Resort I went for 3 days of golf and fun with our new group of friends. (A future post on Decameron Resort is forthcoming.) My little retainer went with me and it worked fine for the week.
Once back in Boquete, Pilar of Dra. Sanjur’s office phoned to tell me the periodontist from David would be in their office on Tuesday and my appointment is at 4:00 pm. Tuesday comes and John and I report for duty. Shortly behind us comes the specialist, Dra. Vanessa Landis of David and her assistant. “Hmmm,” I’m thinking to myself. “A specialist, an assistant, 45 minutes up the road to Boquete, and hour in this office, 45 minutes down the road back to Boquete. Scale all costs down from U.S. standards down to Panama costs and I’ll still bet this is 3 or 4 hundred.”
Before they take me back to the office to begin the procedure, John asks Dra. Sanjur what the bill is because he wants to handle payment while I’m in surgery. Any guesses? If you guess $150, you are right.
I know, I know, I’m picking myself up off the ground, too.
Dra. Landis is wonderful. Knows her stuff, speaks perfect English, describes the procedure, tells me how long it’s going to take and says that the only part that will hurt is the anesthetic needle.
And she was right. The needle hurt a bit. Other than that, I felt nothing. In 30 minutes, it was over and I was out the door with a couple of sutures in the area where my tooth had been. But not before Pilar scheduled me for a root canal this Thursday at 2 pm. Wow, they move fast! Two days from gum surgery to root canal!
On Friday I’ll post Part III and let you know how the root canal goes. Oh yeah, the cost for the root canal? $250. Sigh….I’m loving this place.