Friday, November 28, 2014

The Oral Maxillofacial Practice/ Dental surgery for braces (Part 3)

Hello beautiful ones! I am back with part 3. After weeks of seeking for braces treatment, I'm finally settled down to Alfred Cheng Orthodontic Clinic. Dr Wee referred me to The Oral Maxillofacial Practice for my dental surgery. Unlike most people who need to remove just 4 premolars up and bottom, i am a little different from them. haha. 

Thing is, i am only doing the top braces. So whatever that needs to be done at the bottom won't be done for now. (I still have to remove my wisdom teeth and an ingrown tooth at the bottom perhaps years later). For now, I am only extracting my top 2 baby canine and 2 adult canine that are stuck inside my bone. 

So it is a surgery and thus i am given sedation. 

Located at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, Specialist Centre. It just right outside Novena MRT station. Very accessible! I came for the surgery accompanied by my boyfriend :). 



Dr Wee gave me a check on my teeth. And then i went to do X-ray and CT scan. The CT scan is for him to see easier the position of my adult canine during operation. It costed $120 but it was waived off cause i am a student and he said since i am referred by Dr Wee. haha. Don't get confused. Both the orthodontist and surgeon are called Dr Wee. 

Then i waited for a while and went back in with my boyfriend into the consultation room. He then explained thoroughly what i will expect after operations and the risks involved. He is very friendly and patient! He even told us that his wife is from the same University as him. haha. That's because i met my boyfriend in University too. And he told me not to make any major decision after surgery as i will feel drowsy SO in case my boyfriend suddenly proposed i won't say YES. LOLOL. 

Ok end of joke and time for the operation! 


Last time seeing my two little cute baby canine that have been with me for over IDK how many years. 

Inside the surgical room, I was greeted by Adrian who is the anesthetist. He is super friendly too! haha. Pain level when he poke the needle into my hand? ZERO. ZERO PAIN LEVEL. I have zero pain lvl tolerance btw. So for me to say that it is no pain it really means you feel nothing. I didn't even feel a needle inserting into my hand actually. Ultra professional i must say.


One Two Three I told Dr Wee "I think i am going to fall asleep...." AND I SLEPT. 

When i opened my eyes, i saw a nurse preparing some equipments. I was like damn i woke up already the operation haven't start??? Or wait did i even sleep??? The whole thing is like you close your eyes this second and the next second you are awake. So you don't know what is going on. 

But after about 5 seconds, i regained my conscious and YUP THE OPERATION IS DONE cause i felt big cotton rolls in my mouth. 


Looks scary but it isn't at all even though i felt scared then but didn't feel scared after knowing there's no pain. lol long english.

Was very drowsy. Almost had no energy to speak. 
But i regained my strength shortly after.



Overall, I was very pleased with their service!!! Everything is clean and neat haha. 

Alright, i know you must be dying to know the cost. HERE IT IS: 

Anbicyn (Antibotics) $17 
Arcoxia (Painkiller)       $17.52
Panadiene (extra pain killer)   $10.50 
Facility Fee                 $80 
Professional Fee- Anaesthesia $750 
Anaesthetic Drug $180 
Professional Fee -surgery $1536.64
Orthopantomogram (the X-ray)  $235.36
PLUS GST $197.89 

So 

Cash payment: $874.90 (the amount i pay on spot) 
Medisave: $2150 

One tooth surgery is like $800 but can be claimed with medisave. And normal tooth extraction is $80 per tooth before GST. 


TIPS to reduce payment amount: Tell the staff that you don't need Panadiene. Well at least for me i didn't eat a single panadiene pill. I stop eating arcoxia which is a stronger painkiller on the third day of surgery. So you save $10 here! 



And then, tell the staff that you don't need the Pearlie White Mouth Wash. That cost $12 in the clinic and you can buy it from NTUC at $6.50 or Guardian at $6.90. So you save another $12 !!! Well technically you save almost $6.  

But it is really up to you. I can just take out another $16 since you are already paying hundreds for the surgery. But anyway i won't cause $16 can eat 2 pepper lunch meals. LOL. 

Alright, i hope my post helps to understand better the procedure and cost of dental surgery before braces treatment. 

BTW i saved almost two years for braces. I am paying everything out of my own pocket except Medisave. This helps me appreciate everything that i am doing now and also start to really cherish my teeth. I am drinking milk everyday and also doing decent brushing of teeth and mouth rinse too. I don't want to end up with denture when i grow old!!! 

Ok thats all for now. 
xx


Recovery period: On the third day, my face was super swollen. My nose was stretched both sides and everything just swell. I stopped bleeding after a few hours on the first day of surgery. I had nose bleed for an hour or so on the first day too as one of my tooth was very near my sinus area. After about 7 days, one side of my wound tore as i smiled too hard. You literally cannot move the upper part of your lip or else you will hurt your wound. The removal of stitches was supposed to be a week after surgery but it got extend to one more week due to the torn wound. 

Teeth was very 'sensitive' on the first and second day so i ate porridge the whole time. I got better after the 4th day and by the 5th day, i started eating nice food again. haha. On the 10th day, i can eat crab and prawn and all kind of food. However chocolate was a bit tough because it was still quite hard. 

I just removed my stitches yesterday and i am ready for braces this coming Monday. Overall, i would rate the pain 3/10. It was just uncomfortable that's all. Advise is please do not watch any comedy or laugh because you shouldn't be stretching your wound area :( . I started to bleed a little every time i smile due to the torn wound but now all the wound has healed! So i am ready for laughs and jokes. haha. Ok la i still can't laugh VERY LOUD though. 

Things to eat/do when recovering: I had pumpkin porridge almost everyday. Just buy pumpkin from NTUC, chop it into pieces and dump them inside rice grain to cook into porridge. I also eat a teaspoon of manuka honey every night before i sleep. Elevate your head when you are sleeping. Put on ice pack on your swollen area. Get lots of rest. And that is all! Not sure if it works for you but i just do the best i can for a fast recovery. 

If you are just removing normal tooth then your healing process won't be so troublesome and you can well go for braces on the second day after extraction. But for me, i'm taking almost 16 days. 


Click on My Braces Journey under Labels below this post for other parts. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

ALFRED CHENG'S CLINIC/BRACES/FIRST CONSULTATION (Part 2)

Alright! Last post i said i decided to go for an alternative dental clinic for braces because the price that Unity Denticare quoted me was too expensive. 

It was when my friend introduced me to Alfred Cheng's clinic that i decided to do it at there! YES. IM GOING TO ALFRED CHENG ORTHODONTIST CLINIC for my braces. 

I have heard of this name when i searched 'braces' on google. I have also read posts about doing braces treatment there. Initially it didn't cross my mind that i wanna put this in as an option until Unity quoted this bomb price for me. My friend also told me that they are quite good and i can go and try it out! 

I was like 'OK i know they charged $4066 (inclusive of GST) for full braces and the first time payment if you are doing the treatment will be $535.' and 'yeah... plus they are specialist i will just do at there.' oh ya plus subsequent instalment is only $107 every month. So i went ahead and called them for an appointment. 

FIRST CONSULTATION 

I was consulted by Dr Wee instead of Dr Cheng as Dr Cheng's next available slot is next month Dec 4th. lol. I didn't want to wait so long plus i don't really mind who is doing my braces as long as they are professional. 

Called them on Saturday and went for the appointment that coming Tuesday. Pretty fast right?! Just a few days of waiting!

Dr Wee looked pretty young but he had a mask covering his face so i really am not certain. haha. He was not very hyper and was pretty calm kind of person. 

So i sat there in the room, he examined my teeth a little. OH YA BTW I ASKED THE STAFF IF THS CONSULTATION WOULD BE FREE IF ITS JUST A SHORT CONSULTATION. This is because i have a X-ray photo ready and i just want to know about the prices that's all. So there is nothing much for him to do if say i don't want the treatment. So it will be quite unreasonable to charge me $60 for consultation fee for just a simple examine right? So she said it would be free if its just a short 5 min one. 

First question from him was 'Why do you want to do your braces?' 

I told him i wasn't satisfy with the top part of my teeth. The whole consultation was pretty fast as i know most of the cost from them and i know which teeth i need to extract as well. Its just that i want to double confirm that my information is up to date! haha. 

'Can i just do the upper part of my teeth? How much would it be?" 

"$2600" 

"But..." he continued, "It depends on your bite. If your bite is not good, we have to do the bottom part too." 

"Then upper and bottom braces will be how much? How much for downpayment? How much is the cost of my extraction? Which teeth do you suggest me to take out? How much will the instalment be?" 

That was pretty much the questions that i asked him. 

So pretty simple 

Full Braces: $4066 after gst
Half braces: $2.6k 
X-ray and mould: $535 (it is included inside the braces price) 
Instalment: $107 after gst 
Extraction: About $800 per tooth (those that need surgery) but can use Medisave. Normal tooth is $80 per tooth. 

I was counting that i need to extract 3 teeth inside the gum and that would be like 2.4k. But can use Medisave. But.... Medisave is also your money right? haha. And i'm using my dad's medisave. 

OK. So i went ahead to do the x-ray and mould. He said he need a copy of the x-ray and the one i took in the phone can't be use. 

So my first payment was $535 after GST. That is the X-ray and Mould. Included inside the braces price. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The next day, i changed my mind and decided to go for half braces instead because i only don't like my upper teeth that's all. Plus i can save close to 1.4k! The only thing i was worried about was the bite that he told me. Now i just pray that nothing goes wrong and my teeth be good. Don't play tricks on me. 

So i was confused with how the extraction will be now that i opted for top braces only. Do i still have to extract the bottom ones? So i called them back and it took quite a long while to get Dr Wee. It was after 4 phone calls back and fro that i managed to get Dr Wee. 

Anyway one of the staff was quite rude. There have a lot of dental assistants in the clinic. The first one i talked to was pretty nice. But the second one i talked to was .... SEE

I called

"Hello Alfred Cheng blahblah (talked too fast but u know what she was trying to say)"

"Hi, i called just now and i think one of the staff asked me to call back an hour later."

"And then?"

"Ah... and then?? erm... I think she said she will get Dr Wee."

"What is it about?"

"Oh, ytd i came for the consultation. Now i changed my mind i want to do just the upper part of my braces. So i want to know about how the extraction will go now... Do..." (I HAVEN'T END MY SENTENCE)

She interrupted, "Have you done your treatment?"

I wasn't sure what she meant, "Sorry what treatment?"

She did a quick sigh and sounded pissed off and said,

"Wait" and held my line. Thinking she was trying to get Dr Wee.

Came back 1 min later. She said like in a du-du train manner "Dr Wee is not around. You can call again later. Ok thanks bye bye." AND HUNG UP THE PHONE.

I WAS LIKE .... WHAT???? I haven't even said finish "oh ok thanks bye-bye." haha. Plus, her 'and then' was total rude i think. What do you expect me to say? One of the staff asked me to call back later and i do as per instructed and you asked and then? Your and then was as if you were pissed with me. Plus, i don't get what your treatment means? Does it means I'm having the braces on already? Or does it mean the first consultation? Sorry but i'm not an expert in braces and i really don't know. You don't have to let out your pissed off sigh right? 

BAD BAD ONE TIME EXPERIENCE FROM THEM. 

Well, guess they had a busy day. Nevermind. 

So when i finally got in touch with Dr Wee. He explained the bite thing patiently to me. The connection was pretty bad and it got cut off 3 times. LOL. I thought he would be pissed in the 3rd 're-trial' call but he didn't. So it was all 'GOOD' GOOD? 

SO YES I WILL ONLY BE DOING THE TOP PART OF MY TEETH. 

Dr Wee referred me to Oral Maxillofacial Practice. Called them immediately after the braces appointment and managed to book the braces to be done on Thursday. So the consultation to the extraction all happened in that week. 

OH MAN THAT WAS SO MUCH FASTER THAN UNITY I SWEAR. I'm not saying Unity is not good but i don't feel right doing the braces with them that's all. haha. 

OK. Stay tune for the extraction surgery. Will have some bloody pictures. 

xx


Part 1 braces consultation with unity denticare
Part 3 Dental Surgery at The Oral Maxillofacial Practice
Part 4 The end of my braces after 1 year 3 months

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

BRACES/CONSULTATION/UNITY DENTICARE (part 1)

When i was in Secondary School, i had asked my father if he could sponsor my braces cost. He told me my bunny teeth was perfect and my teeth was perfect too. Then i asked my mother and she said braces are too expensive. So the idea of having braces dropped off my mind, UNTIL RECENTLY. The idea of having braces has always been at the back of mind but i thought i can live with my current teeth. 

My current teeth: 
See this picture, my teeth looks okay right? It is not as if it is unpresentable. But do you notice a small little tooth at the right side of my upper teeth? 

THAT SMALL TOOTH IS MY BABY CANINE! I HAVE TWO BABY CANINE IN MY MOUTH THAT HAVE NOT DROP! hahaha. Later on i will show you my x-ray and u will be shock. 

In this picture, my teeth look okay too but i can still see the shape of a V in my upper set of teeth. 

Ok in this picture, u can definitely see my bunny teeth are not balanced. They are not the same size. One is bigger than the other. The other is a little slanted. And both are resting on my lips. I look like a squirrel here. 

Ok in this picture, it is getting obvious. My baby canine plus my bunny teeth! 


Won't you be thinking now "YOUR TEETH IS FINE IN ALL THOSE PICTURES! YOU ARE TOO DEMANDING!" 

Nonono... Look at the next 2 pictures. 
Ahhhhhh! Now can you see clearly that my front two teeth are not balanced? And i have very small canine (that's because they are baby teeth) 

So it totally affects my smile, in some ways. 

AND NOW COME THE CONSULTATION PART. Mine is gonna be pretty long because i went to see two different doctors!!! 


UNITY DENTICARE (@AMK HUB) 

FIRST CONSULTATION

As this clinic is very near to my house and it looks really decent, i decided to seek consultation at here. 

The first consultation was mainly checking of my teeth and explaining the types of braces available. I was interested in invasalign first. But changed my mind to metal braces as the doctor told me metal braces get a better result and it is also much cheaper than invasalign. 

I had an x-ray done too because i need to know what is inside my gum first before anything ahead can be done. 

And he went on to tell me that i need to get filling for 6 teeth first BEFORE I CAN GET BRACES ON. So even before i had my braces on, i spent close to $250 for 6 fillings already. 

Doctor whom i see
Braces Specialist: Dr Alex Wenden 
General Surgeon: Dr Gregory  

Both are caucasians. lol. Is that why the fee is so high??!! 

Consultation fee: $85 +  
The staff told me it is gonna be $60 ++ but somehow the fee becomes $85. OH WELL... 

X-ray: $120 
(It is around this price) 

Metal braces cost: $3900 +++ (Only for one arch) 
Add $500 for complete braces treatment. So total cost would be $4400 for both upper and bottom. 

So I pay about $200++ for my first consultation.


MY X-RAY WAS DONE IMMEDIATELY ON THE DAY ITSELF AND THE RESULT IS SHOCKING. 

So i had a missing tooth at the right bottom teeth and my adult canine are inside the bone. GOOD JOB! WHY ARE MY TEETH SO NAUGHTY?!  

The missing tooth explains why my bottom can't align with my center teeth. 

Alright, and after that i went back home to decide whether i really want to have my braces on because the price that he quoted me was too high. My 2 years of savings is not enough to cover for everything. :( 

Yeap, i am paying from my own savings. No sponsors from parents. And i am still a full time student, it was really a struggle deciding whether to get the braces done. In the end, i decided that i will just save more and also work more since i can pay by instalments. 

ALL IN ALL THE WHOLE PROCESS FROM THE  FIRST CONSULTATION TO THE FILLINGS TO THE SECOND CONSULTATION TO THE THIRD CONSULTATION TOOK ME CLOSE TO TWO MONTHS. 

Dr Alex is a very busy man and he comes to amk branch only on Tuesday and Saturdays. I waited 3 weeks for my second appointment. 




SECOND CONSULTATION

Second consultation costed me a bomb which i regretted a lot !!!! I thought he was gonna to discuss with me more about the braces and probably about the extractions. I was expecting to pay for the braces cost already. And i prepared $2000 cash on that day. Enough to pay for downpayment and whatsoever. 

He did a mould and another x-ray for me and told me the prices again. 

Because my budget was only around $3900 for the braces, i totally forgot about the cost for extractions. My budget was actually $3900 including the extractions. haha. 

I paid $222.60 for the second appointment. 

Says Diagnostic Records: $222.60 

AND THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE THE PRICE OF BRACES HOLY MAN.... I paid an extra $222.60 for i think the mould and x-ray. I honestly don't know why but argh as i said i regretted i have nothing to say. So poor me took my savings from braces of $3900 to pay for the fee. I was left with $3677.40 when i left the clinic. :( 

WHY DON'T THAT INCLUDE IN THE PRICE OF THE BRACES?!! 




THIRD CONSULTATION

After a week, i went to my last appointment with Dr Alex. I had pretty much made up my mind that i most likely WILL NOT have my braces treatment done in Unity Denticare. But i just went for it to know all the prices first before i 'regret' not knowing precisely all the fees i 'am going' to pay for (if say i really need to do at unity). 

So the day before the appointment, i called the clinic (actually i can't call through because no one will pick up the call. I went to amk hub myself and asked over the counter.) and asked them if i have to pay anything for this visit. I am expecting no payment already. They said no and i went down the next day! 

Dr Alex showed me my mould and here it is 


My pretty mould. wahahaha. Can see the unbalanced front two teeth and the baby canine. Think one of my front teeth is bigger than the other. Sigh why must my teeth be so complicated?! Like this after my braces i may have to do a cosmetic filling for it u know? Complicated max teeth. Think it is because i didn't drink enough milk last time. 


Break down of the costs: 

Extraction cost per tooth in my gum: $700 ++ each 

He says i need to extract 4 teeth inside my gum. 2 adult canine, 1 wisdom and the missing tooth that is stuck in my gum. Calculating in my mind $700x4=$2800 omg but can be paid by Medisave but also omg. 

Normal teeth: $75 ++ 

Need to extract 2 baby canine and 1 bottom teeth. So calculating in my mind again $75x3=$225 ++ . 

Damon Treatment Downpayment: $2222.60 
and instalment of $222.60 for 15 times. 

Metal Braces downpayment: $1112.80 
and instalment of $222.60 for  15 times. 

Just calculate lor... I was calculating all the way. I bet you are calculating now too. $222.60x15= ??? Calculate yourself. haha. AND PLUS THE DOWNPAYMENT PLUS THE EXTRACTIONS. 

Then he went on and say i might need to do 2 cosmetic fillings afterwards for two of my upper teeth because they are significantly smaller in proportion to my front two teeth. Then calculate again lor... maybe $80 per cosmetic filling? 

YUP, JUST KEEP CALCULATING. REMEMBER MY BUDGET WAS ONLY $3900. 

So i know immediately that is it, i am not doing at Unity already. The prices are way too high for me. 

And that point of time, i had actually already made an appointment somewhere else and it is an orthodontist! My teeth need an orthodontist because it is too complex. 

I think you have read enough and i have typed enough. I will continue in my next post! Will share where is the final clinic that i decided to do at and what you need to ask and know before you go for consultation. Don't be like me and spent a few hundred dollars and ended up not doing at there. 

See you in the next post! 




Saturday, November 1, 2014

Progression of my Chilli Plant

I always feel happy whenever i see my babies growing day by day. They were just seedlings two months ago and now they have grown so big!!! 

This is just a short post featuring my plants. haha. Scroll down if you have time to see. 
About 2-3 weeks old 

Nearing end of September 

Somewhere 2-3 days after taking the previous photo. haha. Im so obsess with my plants. Took quite a few of their pictures!


And this was yesterday's!!! Aren't they getting bigger? I am wondering if i should separate the two chilli plants that are in the red and green pot. But i don't have enough space already. Plus then it means i am having 5 pots of chilli plant!!! I won't be deprived of chilli from now on. Don't have to go NTUC to buy them too. hahaha. 

I am also growing Mint!!! The picture is on my instagram. 

Alright, that's all for today. You may be wondering how come i am not uploading my selfies anymore. That is because i am getting a braces soon. LOL. I don't think i will be interested to take pictures when i have them on. Ok actually that's not the reason. The reason is that i am too lazy to doll up. I don't even put on make up when i go to school now. Everything is just kept pretty simple! 

Perhaps you will be able to see some transformation of me (my teeth in particular) two years later. HAHA. I am also getting quite health conscious lately. Drinking either a cup of water or cucumber juice every morning. Sleeping before midnight. Waking up around 8am. Start to eat fruits. And i'm brewing soup every 2-3 days JUST TO KEEP MY BODY HEALTHY ! Learn a lot of chinese soup recipe and all of them are good for the spleen and skin and eyes and blah blah... Can't wait to see if theres any difference 3 months later from now.

Ok. That's really all for today. Have a happy Saturday!
xx