Monday, June 04, 2007

Carry Stress In The Jaw

Longtime readers may remember that about a year ago my mouth exploded. I dutifully staggered off to the dentist who charged me a large sum to do not much, then told me it would cost an even larger sum to fix my teeth. Since I didn't, and don't, possess a large sum, and since the dentist was a bit of a cow, and since my teeth have generally behaved themselves, I never made a return appointment.

So of course now whatever problems I had last year have gotten worse and I've spent the last week enduring a steadily increasing toothache, sore gums, etc. It's not completely foul like last year's bacteria attack - no pus, no ulcers - but it's become impossible to ignore so I've obtained an extension on my credit card limit in anticipation of a financially (and probably emotionally) crippling visit to the dentist.

The question is: which dentist? I'm not returning to the condescending bee-otch I saw last year, that's for sure and certain. So I'm open to suggestions from you, dear reader. Got a decent dentist, by which I mean a dentist who is not an obvious sadist, has pleasant-smelling breath, attractive assistants, and who doesn't actively seek out expensive stuff to do to your teeth? Oh yeah, and is located in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.


genevieve said...

Hey Tim. Michael Farnworth (Mitcham) is a lovely person and a damn good dentist - we have seen him for about 20 years. Send me an email if you can't find him in the business pages.

Tim said...

Thanks, Genevieve. Mitcham is just up the road from me.

antithesis said...

Always good to have a dentist recommendation. I was going to suggest one I saw in East Melbourne a few years back when I had a major panic about my teeth just before a trip to Vietnam - I had visions of teeth being pulled in alleys while dogs howled, etc. Anyway, the dentist told me to settle down and use some antibacterial mouthwash. On the downside, he also tried to get me to sign up for some expensive whitening treatment. And I can't remember his name anyway. All of which is to say, go with geniveve's recommendation. Good luck!

divinetrash said...

Just as a back-up, I thought I'd mention that I have a lovely dentist named Sue King who I've gone to since I was a child. She's really kind and gentle, and actively tries to cause as as little pain as possible. She's in Camberwell, just past the junction.

I might also mention that she has a poster of a tranquil beach on a tropical island on the roof, so you can look at it and imagine that you're somewhere else while she's drilling away. Always a plus.

Kirsty said...

Been to the dentist yet? My brother neglected his teeth for years and ended up at a dentist in a great deal of pain. The dentist thought to give him a lecture, to which my brother responded along the lines of "Yes, well, there's no point going over what's already done, what can you do for me now?" Personally, I think dentists need to reflect on the prohibitory (is that a word?) effects of their pricing structure. Anyway, good luck, hope you don't need to sell a kidney.

Tim said...

Thanks, Alex. Kind, gentle, little pain - these are very good words.

Kirsty, I haven't been to the dentist yet. Maybe this week. (But probably not. It's stopped hurting for the moment.)

Dentist pricing is outrageous, and what makes it even more problematic is you never know what you'll be paying when you walk in the door. When I went to the dentist last year she gave me a quote for all the things I needed doing - or at least all the things she was hoping I'd get done. She told me I could come in for as many as I liked per visit. . I said, "So I can come in, get just one cavity filled, and it will be $140?" "Yes," she said, "unless I get in there and find more to do." So the question becomes: how much money do you need to have on you when you go to the dentist, just in case? I'd be lucky to have $140, let alone extra for if she "finds more to do".

Anonymous said...

Union Dental, on Swanston st (opposite RMIT).
It's handy to get to, and they give you a discount if you are a member of any union, but above all they're a good group of dentists/orthodontists. I go to Axel Ecke. I did have one dud once when Axel was busy but I think he's gone. He (Axel) won't rip you off and he has never pushed teeth whitening etc. onto me.
They have a pay on the day policy which is actually not enforced if you explain why you can't pay! (Counter staff are lovely)

Cast Iron Balcony

Susanne said...

Hi I am a long term patient of Dr Axel Ecke. He is now working from 'Medical One' in the QV building Swanston st, Melbourne. He has been my dentist for more than 15 yrs and I have never been disappointed. The pratice can be a bit of a trick to find, but well worth it.

Anonymous said...

No idea if this thread is still running, but I also go to Axel. He found a spot for me to treat the sudden cracking and loss of a tooth, a day before I went overseas. I wasn't a previous patient, but I have definitely stuck with him since then. He's very analytical and calm, and gives you a breakdown of work that needs doing immediately, and a 'reasonable timescale' for medium-term work so that you can budget in advance. I have just sent 2 other friends to him. Let us know how you got on...!