Tuesday, May 01, 2012

It's All About The Smile

I was reading through my news feed in my Google Reader when I came across a headline mentioning how the Public Dental Scheme (PDS) is in a horrifying state. You can read about how bad it is HERE if you'd like.

This prompted me to make a phone call to my 'local' dental service. I use the term 'local' very loosely here because the dental service that handles the phone calls & inquiries for my area is 40km (25 miles) away.

I just wanted to see if my name was still on the list and how much longer I would need to wait. I spoke about my initial phone call with them HERE when I had broken my front tooth and I was placed on the waiting list last year in March. Back then I was told that they would see me in 7 months time. So I ended up going to a private dentist and paying $160 to get my tooth fixed.

When I had a toothache last September I phone up for an emergency appointment. I managed to get in to see them in October. When I made that phone call I was told that it would be 10 months from when my name went on the list. That's okay I thought that's not too bad so next February I'll be able to get my teeth checked & fixed. I was kind of looking forward to it. February came and went.

So here we are today and its the first of May. I thought that I would ring up and see if my name was still on the list and when I would be able to get my teeth done. The girl I spoke with was very polite. Said my name was still on the list and that it would still be at least another 12 months before I get in. Yep 12 months! Not bad considering I was told 7 months in the first place.

I totally agree with the newspapers stating that the PDS is in a horrifying state. The system sucks! You need to be in agony to get an emergency appointment. Too bad if you have broken teeth that are getting worse because you have to wait. Too bad if you don't have the money to see a private dentist. You just have to suffer with bad teeth for years!!

I know I shouldn't complain. There are people who are worse off than we are. Maybe I should create myself a challenge just for fun & to help pass the time .. something like how many crochet/knitting projects can I get done before I get in to the dentist to get some general work done? That doesn't sound too bad really .. I think I'll start counting from today!


Vireya said...

I think it is outrageous that dental work isn't included in Medicare. Dental care should not be seen as a privilege, it should be a basic right of everyone. No-one should have to be in pain, or lose teeth that could be saved, just because of low income.

Jo-anne Blossy said...

I know Vireya. It is ridiculous that it isn't bulk billed by Medicare & that we can't just got to any dentist we want to. The politicians need to get this sorted out fast!

PoetessWug said...

WOW!!! I can't believe it takes that long!! O_O I broke a front tooth a while back. Just thinking about the prospect of waiting over a year and a half to get it fixed makes the whole rest of my body hurt! No! I went into the dentist the next day!...It took 3 or 4 visits, with bonding and X-rays and stuff, to come outta there with a smile I could be proud of again. A year and a half?!....I would've been bald-mouthed and have no self-esteem left!! LOL...By the way, I think the crochet and knitting projects to waste away the time while you wait is a good idea! ^_^

Jo-anne Blossy said...

Poetess, I know what you mean about the no self-esteem. I don't want to even think about how bad it was when I wasn't able to smile.

You don't want to really know how long the minimum waiting time is to see a dentist? It's two years :( I think I was fibbed to the first time I phoned either that or the lady made a mistake.