Day 7: Chinese Dentists

My husband has been refusing to have his wisdom tooth pulled for months saying that American dentists are too expensive. Excuses. So here we are in China getting his tooth pulled. Through a little guanxi, he’s getting it pulled for around $10.

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So how are dentists in China?
The dental industry is not very developed, though it is a common destination for dental work for people from other parts of Asia. When I lived in Japan years ago, I broke a tooth and my host family almost took me China to have it repaired because it is more affordable. Years later when I broke the same tooth again, I had it repaired in Xi’an. The dentist was great, he’s the reason I can understand Sichuan hua. The office was very clean and they imported all of the materials for quality. He told me that most of the people who come in for cleanings are foreigners. The majority of Chinese people simply don’t think about dentists until it’s too late. The Chinese patients that do come in are generally older and have major dental issues. My husband certainly had never visited a dentist until he met me.

If something happens in China where you need to see a dentist, rest assured that the dentists are clean, professional, and affordable.

I’m not entirely convinced it’s worth buying a ticket to China for dental work though. From what I’ve seen, the dental technology in China doesn’t keep up with America so some of the procedures are a bit dated like the type of crowns they use. Even with dental insurance in America, Chinese dentists are often cheaper, but I feel American dental work still comes out as a better value.

For my husband’s extraction, I must admit that I am impressed with the hospital. It is probably the cleanest public hospital I’ve ever seen in China.

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It smelled like Chinese herbs because of the pharmacy.

It was a simple procedure, but they found out he has two lower wisdom teeth that are impacted. I’ve heard that can be a pricy procedure in America, but I personally trust American dentists a little more. Perhaps not so much trust as it is a concern about liability. If we were still living in China, I would be ok with him getting the operation in China, but since we have the choice, I chose from him to wait and have it done in America.

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2 Comments

Filed under October Holiday, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Day 7: Chinese Dentists

  1. I had a wisdom tooth removed in NYC by a Chinese dentist who didn’t have a license to practice in the US, but did in China. Cost $50. A year later I had another one removed by an American, licensed dentist. Cost $735! The only difference was the license. This was back in 2005, by the way.

    • Patrick

      The current fee rate for the removal of an impacted lower wisdom tooth, in the province of BC in Canada, for 2013 is $370CDN, or about $350USD. Many dentists don’t have the skills or comfort level to remove difficult impactions, and thus will refer you to a certified specialist (oral surgeon) who will typically do the extration for somewhere between 50-80% more than the “posted rate”. American rates, prior to the economic slowdown, would have been significantly higher. The closer you are to an urban centre such as NYC, the higher also.

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