My first dental experience in NZ
Wah must blog about this coz don’t think imma wana experience this again wtf.
So it was one of those days in September, after work, I was unwinding with TBBT and snacking on some wheat crackers (try to act healthy). In the midst of happily munching them suddenly i felt some hard pieces in my mouth. I immediately thought of stones in the crackers? Cannot be right. Spit it out and homaigod what looks like a half broken tooth. Ran my tongue around and confirmed that i have a broken tooth.
Sighed heavily coz i know how ridiculously pricey it is to fix your teeth in NZ. Sumore that time i just started working so there goes my pay check.
When sayang came back, he suggested that i make an appointment with Dr. Leonard Chia at ToothWorks. If you are wondering, yes he is a Malaysian 🙂
I reluctantly made the appointment and the nearest date available is 6 weeks later. Ok la on la i confirmed the appointment anyway though it doesn’t hurt at all. It just annoys the crap out of me when food gets stuck in my teeth.
Come that 6 weeks later in November 12 (that fateful day) I went in with my heart at the bottom of my feet wtf. I was dreading it not coz i was scared. If anything, I love visiting dentist actually. The regular visit to the dentist during my orthodontic years made me love dentist visit. I was always looking forward to different braces colours and super love the feeling of clean teeth. Sure scaling hurts like a bitch but the pain is so worth it.
Anyway, why i was dreading on this dental visit coz i have a regular dentist at home which i have been visiting for years. To be exact almost 10 years. So i have never let another dentist fix my teeth before and i had my doubts. Out of habit, I scheduled my appointment first thing in the morning and went in with a half-washed face. I purposely dressed very humbly that morning to give the dentist an impression that i am poor. I wore my worn-out sports shoe and burnt holey hoodie wtf. Even instructed sayang not to play with my S4 while he waits for me but can bring out his iPhone 4 out LOL.
So when we arrived, I was asked to fill in the form. I was nervous at this point. The lobby look so posh and sparkly. I was worried for my wallet too wtf. Sayang was looking at the photos of all the dentists hanging at the waiting hall and exclaimed (a little too loudly), “Dr Leonard very handsome!”. I was in my own world filling out the forms when sayang said, “Dr. Leonard Chia?”. I was like,”What’s with Dr. Leonard again?”. Looked up and saw that Dr. Leonard was actually standing in front of us. Don’t know why my auto-reflex was to stand up and shake hand with him. I extended my hand for a handshake, he had this weird look on his face but shook my hand anyway. He then led me into the surgical room.
Ok so in NZ the dentist is the one that welcomes you. In Malaysia, it’s usually the nurse/ assistant.
I went in and he gestured me to sit at the patient chair. Now in Malaysia, out of habit, i will straightaway lie down on the chair. But here, when I was about to lie down, Dr. Leonard asked me some questions so i had to sit back up. I am such an embarrassment i tell you.
After answering some questions about my allergies, medication, health history then i was gestured to lie down. And you know what i saw?! A gigantic flat screen TV hanging on the ceiling strategically placed for the patient to enjoy. I was instantly hypnotized and let myself enthralled with the music videos that was playing. Dr. Leonard asked some questions about our background etc while he was numbing my gum. My eyes were literally fixate on the TV screen and i didn’t even bother to look at the equipment/ procedures Dr. Leonard was doing. He even had to ask me twice if i was okay coz i didn’t answer his question. Shows how TV can really capture someone’s attention, huh?
Anyway, the tooth extraction operation was done professionally and quickly too. 20 minutes to be exact. To be honest, i was kinda bummed that it was such a quick procedure coz i was feeling rather comfy in the chair hahaha. In Malaysia, if you get your teeth extracted, the dentist will bao ga liao (do everything from scaling to extracting your teeth) So i was disappointed that scaling was not included in the procedure. Of course, i would get it if i requested but that would be an additional cost to my already heart-aching-don’t-dare-to-see tooth extraction fee.
The operation was done painlessly and from time to time Dr. Leonard showed genuine signs of concern (I think all NZ health practitioner are trained to be like that unlike Malaysia’s sigh) Before I leave the room, he gave some guidance on the aftermath (coz i’m terrified of pain. I have great threshold of pain but i’d like to minimize it as much as i can, given the chance). Oh he even showed me my tooth and asked if I’d would like to keep it. My immediate thought was to keep it under my pillow for moneh but that is childish. Then I was wondering if it’s instagram-worthy or not. It looks disgusting so I gave him my permission to keep it wtf.
At home, sayang kept doing things for me and treated me like a princess and i thought, “can’t wait when i get pregnant then everything will be delivered to me on a silver platter”. In the evening, we tapau-ed food from Noodle Canteen and drove past Dr. Leonard in the city. At that time, i had the chance to properly look at him (without the anxiety shit) and boy, i gotta say he is quite good looking.
So, if you’re wondering how he looks like, look no further. I’ve taken the liberty to paste his picture here, credit to ToothWorks website.
Lengchai or not? Now go re-read this post with his face attached see got difference or not.
Looking back, I should have asked him more about his life in Invercargill. Coz at Subway, i mati mati wana meet a Malaysian but didn’t have the chance to. But now i’ve missed the chance liao 🙁
Le sigh. Why doesn’t any Malaysian in Invercargill visit another Malaysian in Subway? Maybe I should advertise a meet and greet wtf.
In the end, the total bill was $170. Very steep compared to Malaysia’s tooth extraction fee but it is still reasonable if compared with the other dentist services in NZ. For whatever reasons, i still keep the receipt. Clearly, there’s no sentimental value attached to it, maybe just a reminder on that fateful day – that one and only day i have my encounter with another Malaysian in Invercargill.