Dental fillings

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
7 replies 1.2K views
becky4131becky4131 Forumite
164 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
Hey guys!

I'm currently in Australia backpacking and unfortunately I need to possibly have some dental work done.
I chipped a molar last week and although it wasn't causing any pain I thought I should get it sorted...I went to the dentist today (in Sydney) and had the tooth filled at a cost of $255. They also took xrays and told me I have a further 4 fillings replaced as infection present under my current fillings, this would cost $205 each filling :-(

I don't really know what to do as I am not currently feeling any pain although I know the problem will get a lot worse left untreated. I'm just not sure I can afford to spend that sort of money (it would mean cancelling some of my travel plans to pay for it). I'm planning on going to Thailand in March before returning home in May so contemplating getting dental work done there to cut only worry is leaving it 3 months when there is already evidence of infection.

Either way I will need continuing treatment when back in UK due to gum disease :-(


  • I'd wait until you get home. Clean, floss and mouthwash well each day in the mean time.
    :j Trytryagain FLYLADY - SAYE £700 each month Premium Bonds £713 Mortgage Was £100,[email protected]/6/08 now zilch 21/4/15:beer: WTL - 52 (I'll do it 4 MUM)
  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
    8.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Can you claim on your travel insurance for this? Did you ask the dentist who actually saw your mouth about the prognosis for leaving it a few months?
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • I have up to £500 dental cover on travel insurance for emergencies only. I contacted the company and basically because I'm not feeling any pain its not deemed necessary treatment.

    I was happy to wait until I got home (or Asia) but when I asked the dentist the prognosis of leaving it he said the infection could spread quickly and I'll end up losing my teeth or needing root canals which I want to avoid. Also worried about the prospect of having infection in my system for that long...can't be good for the body.
  • j.e.j.j.e.j. Forumite
    9.7K Posts
    I might be completely wrong here, but my cynical side is telling me this dentist in Sydney has 'seen you coming'. English back-packer, not too clued-up about Australia/Australian dentistry.. hmm could be a nice little earner!

    If your teeth were fine before you left, I'd leave it till you get back and then go to your usual dentist.

    What if they replace these fillings and you then get more problems?
  • jbainbridgejbainbridge Forumite
    2K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I be inclined to agree that he's 'seen you coming' and is playing on your doubts / fears. Probably very aware that you're on the move and they'll never see you again! I'd probably wait ... if you have any pain get the necessary treatment and claim on you insurance.

    I know hindsight is a great thing ... did you have any checks before you went?
  • edited 27 December 2014 at 4:19PM
    brook2jackbrook2jack Forumite
    4.6K Posts
    edited 27 December 2014 at 4:19PM
    When did you last have a dental check up and x Rays? If you REGULARLY see a dentist and told them you were about to travel and had x rays taken not so long ago phone up your regular dentist and see what they say, if they have recent x Rays that show no problems then they may advise you can wait awhile.

    However a chipped tooth normally chips because there is decay, and gum disease (particularly if you are young ) makes me wonder how regular and careful your dental care has been in the past. If you have one decayed tooth you may well have others and there is no guarantee that they will not blow up and cause problems in a place where you are unable to do much about it. From your previous posts you have been aware you have gum disease and have lost a front tooth in the past and you have had abscesses , root filling and other treatment including a crown. All of this makes it more likely what the dentist is telling you is an accurate picture of your oral health.

    Certainly I would ask for copies of the x Rays to pass onto the dentist who is seeing you regularly (you could e mail them and ask their opinion) or to pass onto the next dentist if you are travelling.

    How will you source a dentist in Thailand, yes it is cheap but are the cross infection controls etc rigorous , have you someone to recommend you a dentist there?

    The moral of the story is always see a dentist in plenty of time time before travelling to get all your treatment done, but also be aware when travelling it is very easy to get problems (drinking lots of fruit juice ,sugary drinks, difficult to get fluoride toothpastes in some countries) and finding a dentist in an emergency in a foreign country is entering into a lottery in terms of quality and safety of treatment particularly in places such as Thailand where regulation is somewhat less than in other countries.
  • Yes I have had dental problems in the past and its been an ongoing issue for the last 10 years really (since I had braces). My oral hygiene now is brilliant but I feel like I'm losing a battle to jeep my teeth despite good care of them, unfortunatly the damage has been done.

    I saw a dentist in April before I started travelling and didn't need any work completed, they didn't take xrays though. I was seen an NHS practice at home and although always been brilliant the last year they have had a high turnover of dentists and I've list some trust in them. When I get home I plan on seeing a private dentist to get regular treatment to keep my gum disease under control and any necessary work.

    I do trust the Australian dentist...he even suggested getting work completed when I get home but had to make me aware that problems could occur before I get home.

    I'm heading to NZ in 3 weeks until March then onto Asia before home in May so I could get work done in NZ but its not ideal as I'll be moving around alot. As far as Thailand goes, someone at work here recommended Bangkok Smile as they have had work completed there. Its common for Australians to travel to Asia for medical care as its so much more affordable there.

    Still torn on what to there anything I can do to prevent the infection getting worse?
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