Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just Like Socialized Medicine

Yesterday I had some emergency dental surgery. I thought I was going to have to do it myself, I was so reluctant to spend any money. You know, stare into the mirror with a pair of pliers and a flashlight and wish that I has an extra set of hands.
I decided to go over to NYU Dental School. I've heard about this for years. You go there and let some students work you over and the price is a fraction of the sticker price you'd pay anyone with a shingle. I mean, I have in the past gone to barber schools to get $5 haircuts in the past and that always seemed adequate. The student barbers were always grateful and tell you things like that they wanted to learn how to cut "White Hair" and other bits and drabs of info that made the whole experience kind of entertainment too boot. I certainly don't blame those guys for my male patterned baldness....
Anyway, I've been having pain in my mouth all weekend and I remember from my last visit to a dentist (not that long ago, actually. I can still remember paying that motherfucker $275 to get his fucking hygienist to clean my teeth.)He looked into the crystal ball (x-rays) and told me I would have a wisdom tooth issue sometime in not to distant future and I guessed that the future is now. So I was not going to go back to see that guy and pay him an arm and a leg to be sent to his friend, the oral surgeon and pay that guy the other arm and leg and tooth just to get the extraction, so I went over to the school.
Going to the school is sort of like getting your mouth worked on in a bus station. There are people milling all about. Cubicles lined up on after another with dentists.
I got my mouth checked out by a cute dentist who had an nice chair-side manner and sent me over to the oral surgeons. There I ran into this steamy Russian woman dentist who claimed to have practiced for years in Moscow before immigrating to NY. She said that training was much better there than here, even though she took my blood pressure and told me that I was having a heart attack which was later corrected by a faculty member. She, with the aide of this guy pried my tooth out, boot on my chest, and shoved a bunch of gauze in my mouth and sent me on my pain-free way all for $95.

Now I know that this isn't exactly socialized medicine but it is probably as close as you can get in New York with out going to the emergency room and giving them a fake mailing address. And having the work done by a woman who grew up behind the Iron Curtain just confirmed my suspicions that this is what it must be like. Not bad. I only wish I could have gotten a prescription for Vicadin. But they seem well aware of their clientele over there, and the type of people willing to experiment with their bodies just too save a couple of bucks.


Liz said...

How weird is that that both of us had teeth extracted in the last week??? Something's afoot. I blogged it, too. No Russians in my story, though. You win!

ak47 said...

One time I got a filling from a dental student. You can see a picture of it at pearly-whites.com!
Pretty sweet.

david kramer said...

AK47-is that you on the banner?

Martin said...

i have been going to the nyu dental student for a month or so, and was even used for exam day and they paid ME $100 after filling a cavity.

david kramer said...

Martin- you are the dude!
That is so awesome.

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