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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Tooth, The Whole Tooth and Nothing but the Tooth!

Awhile back, I wrote that UruguayNow listed our blog (along with 5 others) as a best of the Web Site.  I'm not mentioning, it this time, to brag, (no really), but because of their review or synopsis of our site.  I found it amusing.

"Wally Glass details his ongoing struggle, against mosquito, brushes with officialdom, a recurring tooth problem, etc....  with honestly & clarity of his observations..." 

Okay, the recurring tooth problem is mine. It's been going on now for 5 and a half months and it's amusing to me that, this statement would be a reason to read our blog! So now Honestly and with too much Clarity I bring to you the Tooth, The Whole Tooth and Nothing but The Tooth!

  December 2, 2009, I broke my rear upper Molar. I decided to try using my Medica Uruguaya Insurance and go through the "System" I was able to go to an emergency clinic by going First to my Doctor in our local clinic (Salinas) where she wrote a note saying it should be looked at right away!

The "Urgency clinic" is in the town of Solymar, fronting the ruta (the highway). An on site Dentist looked at it and filled it right away with a temporary filling, a Paste or "Pasta" as it's called in Español.

Before an appointment can be made to Permanently fill a tooth a "Revision" or review must be made in the main Clinic in Montevideo.  APPOINTMENTS for Revisions can ONLY be made on the first of each month (business day) That was 3 weeks away! but I was assured that if my Temp. filling came out  I could immediately go to The Solymar Clinic & they would again fill it. Two days later the Pasta fell out! All in all I had 3 temp. Pastas put in.

January 2, 2010. I got an APPOINTMENT for January 31, Revision in the Montevideo Clinic.

January 31, 2010. My Revision was a 5 mins. examine (or less) The Dentist said YES you can get a permanent filling put in (covered by my Insurance) I learned the insurance only covers 1 filling a life time.  With the okay to go, I now needed to be given an appointment for the Permanent Filling. The next available time slot was March 18! Meanwhile my Pasta fell out again but I just left it out and waited for the permanent filling to be put in at the now familar Solymar Medico Uruguayo Clinic.

March 18, 2010.  In a matter of minutes my new PERMANENT filling was in! No Dinero was charged. The only cost was my time and since I was retired, what did that matter?

March 20, 2010. My PERMANENT filling fell out!

Okay, FORGET THIS,  I'm going to see a Commercial Dentist because these fillings aren't staying in my tooth and I WAS being careful, even chewing on the other side of my mouth!

April,  I'm bummed out and I don't do ANYTHING for the entire month with a hole in my tooth!

May 6, 2010.  I go to Atlantida (5 kms away) to a Dentist recommended by an expat. This Dentist speaks English! He actually takes an X-ray my first! He recommends the tooth be PULLED! The other choice would be MORE than just a Root Canal or A Cap but a FALSE TOOTH! taking about 7-8 visits of Dental work to anchor it in! I asked the cost. The total (estimate) would only cost 5,600 Pesos UY but since it was a Back Molar near the ex Wisdom tooth, guess what I decided to do?

May 11, 2010.  I had my back upper molar PULLED! Cost 1 x-ray  200 Pesos ($10 US), 1 Tooth Extraction  750 pesos ($40 US) and 50 pesos ($2.50) for some non-aspirin based pain pills purchased from the local pharmacy. 

So you tell me, $50 US or for free (with insurance) Which was the better route?? LOL. I hope this recurring tooth problem saga is now no longer a major theme of our blog.

PS. As a lark read #5 on the post extraction care guide. Only in Uruguay!


Anonymous said...

Well the "free solution" didn't work out...I thought medical/dental care was top notch in Uruguay? I guess yu get what you pay for....

Denise said...

Exactly! Free is not always a good bargain. The medical side of our plan is touted as being top notch.
This was MY experience using the Dental portion (60 pesos additional). I have to say many,many expats have had excellent Dental work done here in Uruguay. The Dentist, I went to did 3 crowns for my friend with no complaints. This narrative ended up being just my experience of going through the "SYSTEM" the HMO equivalent.

Everyone was very kind,helpful and guided me thru the process even though I speak very little Spanish.

Christina said...

Hi! My name is Christina and I write for

I am looking to do a number of features about retiring in Uruguay and am wondering if I can pick your brains? How should I contact you both?

Mike said...

Your blog has been recommended to us as a interviewee's favorite blog!

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Anonymous said...

Dude I'm officially searching for as sticker to go with the Krispy Kreme on your fu'ca - "I survived #5!"


Wally said...

Hmmm. Krispy Kremes and maté. Now that is an original combo.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you've gotta read this account of Uruguayan dentistry....

I couldn't stop laughing!!

John Charles DeWitt said...

Hi Denise,
funny reading your post because I have been complaining about the 'hole in my tooth' (about 2mm wide) for the past month. I'm in the States now but moving to Montevideo in two weeks. I haven't been able to get a dentist appointment here so I figured I'd get it done in Montevideo. What do you recommend? You seem to have had a lot of hassle over the hole. Also I doubt my insurance covers me there, but I think I just need to get it done there. Who would you recommend? Thanks!!