I’m in the middle of a dental adventure! I discovered I had cracked a tooth on the evening of August 27th, here in Tbilisi Georgia. I called our travel insurance and happily it’s covered! I asked the insurance people if they could recommend an English speaking dentist here, and while they did, the one they recommended is closed till September 10th. Not so helpful. So I went on the local expats forum to ask, and found a recommendation from just a few days ago! Those folks apologized for being closed that day due to the big religious holiday (The Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God) and asked if I could come in the next day at 3pm. I have never gotten a dental appointment that quickly from any of my regular dentists. I’m liking this.
The next day I go to the dental office, get seen immediately, get a digital X-Ray taken and am informed that I have an infection and probably need a root canal, but they need a fancy 3d CT scan to be sure. Which needs to be done at their other office, but they’ll be waiting for me. I hop in a Bolt, zip over to the lab, and they ask if I’ve got Georgian insurance. Nope, and they don’t take the travel insurance so I’ll have to pay and get reimbursed. I foolishly neglect to ask how much it will cost first. But they efficiently do the CT scan (with the standard discussion about how no, my earrings will not come out without special equipment). They hand me the CD-R with my scan and I get ready to go back to the other office when they say “Wait, you have to pay first.” (Uh oh.) “Ok, how much?” “30 Lari” “30 Lari? Really?” (30 Georgian Lari are just over US$10.) $10 for on the spot 3d CT scan of my teeth. Wow. I’m told to come back to the other office at 5pm.
At 5pm I go back, they look at the CT scan, and agree that there’s an infection and I need a root canal and treatment for the infection. Fun. But root canals are sadly pretty routine for me at this point, so we just get on with it. It takes a bit under an hour, including a nice bit of new-to-me technology where they hang an electrode on the side of your mouth to tell when they’ve reached the root tip with the drill. In the past they’ve had to do it by feel, or one time the dentist actually took another x-ray to check that they’d reached the tip! Anyway, this is MUCH better. Yay for technology. They finish up, build me a nice temporary crown, take an x-ray to make sure the treatment is in the right spot, and tell me to come back in two weeks.
Total cost for root canal, x-rays, and treatment was 100 Georgian Lari. $34 US. Retail, off the street, same day service in a modern, clean, English speaking (enough) office. I’m utterly shocked. This is even better than what I was paying in Budapest. If you need dental work done, come to Georgia. I’m serious. The food is great, the accommodation is inexpensive, you can stay a year on a tourist visa. I love it.