All of you who read this and are over 50 will realise that your teeth are a problem in some way. Some may have already lost them all but most will just have an expensive treatment plan worked out with their dentist.
I am an advocate for government assistance here for Boomers as bad teeth will wreck your health and I have met Boomers who have all sorts of body pain and infections that they don’t realise are caused by their teeth.
The exorbitant cost of having your teeth fixed in Australia means that many of us leave it until the last moment when the pain is no longer bearable to have our teeth fixed and therefore probably have related health problems because of it
Indeed, many of us won’t go to the dentist because of a fear we have for the dental chair and childhood memories of the pain that is associated with it.
My teeth in general were deteriorating and I had a real problem with the fact that I had a tooth removed in the upper right-hand side a couple of years ago which stopped my ability to chew on that side. Basically, it means that your jaw realigns and I was gaining a severe cross bite that had me biting my lip.
I had a local dentist quote me for the work and was shocked at the $4000 odd price. A quick search of Google and I realised that many Aussies go to Thailand for dental work so I emailed the Bangkok Private hospital and found they had a branch in Phuket. Several emails later and I had a quote to do the same work for a third of the cost.
We booked flights and an appointment and headed off in June 2013 with the thought in mind that this could also be a bit of a holiday.
Thailand is very third world and we were shocked and a little concerned about the lack of infrastructure when we arrived. We stayed at a garden resort at Karon Beach which is half an hour from the hospital.
There were no footpaths around us and you took your life into your hands dodging the thousands of scooters and motorbikes plus cars that became a daily ritual as you moved about. The place is incredible dirty with waste everywhere and open unhygienic drains so our alarm bells were ringing big time about whether this had been a wise decision to come here.
The next morning after arrival and setting up home at the hotel, a taxi arrived and to take us to the hospital. It was an eye- opener to see the poverty of the country as we were driven there and I was ready to get on a plane home by time we arrived there.
What a transformation it was but once we were greeted by the guard at the door of the hospital who opened our cab door, saluted us and directed us into the hospital. It was not only a first class modern hospital but the staff were incredible friendly, supportive and helpful and we were immediately directed to the registration table. The young lady spoke good English, took our details in a professional manner and had access to the latest equipment.
We were taken upstairs to the dental section as they do all surgery at this hospital and many young Australians are accessing the cosmetic options they offer. Indeed my niece is now a size D after surgery over here in May and she was very satisfied with their procedures and the result.
My wish was for the fears of my childhood dental visits (when I would have nightmares the night before an appointment and hoped that I would be too sick to go) to be alleviated.
From the moment my blood pressure was tested by the nurse to meeting my lovely young dentist I realised I was in good hands. My dentist asked me what I wanted from the visit, took x-rays and prepared a quote for me.
For the same $4000 for a bridge in Australia, I was to have 7 filing replacements, 2 root canals, 2 crowns, a bridge to cover my missing tooth, one extraction ( wisdom tooth that was in the way of the bridge), 6 x-rays, teeth whitening and moulds made so I could continue the whitening at home.
It took one and a half days for her to complete all the work and she was very gentle, compassionate and professional. She used equipment that I had never seen in Australia including mouth protectors and plastic inserts that keep your mouth open while she works so you are not constantly requested to ‘open wider please’.
I actually slept in parts it was so relaxing and even though I will never be completely comfortable with the drill and 100% relaxed, I felt little pain. During breaks they have a small coffee shop that has lunches as well so we were well catered for.
The taxi returned me to the hotel at their cost and it was an experience that I thoroughly enjoyed and the customer service meant I felt valued by them.
To sum up, we had a 2 week stay which was almost a holiday as we waited for the bridge and crowns to be built (one week if you’re planning the trip) and by time we left I had become accustomed to the mad pace of the place (1000 Thais die a month on those scooters we were told) and the gentleness of the people who are mainly Buddhists.
I would recommend it to anyone but particularly the Boomers as bad teeth will ruin your life so here is a cheaper alternative for those who can afford the $1800 air fare or can wait for a bargain package deal to one of their many resorts if you book well in advance.
Footnote: 30/7/13 I have just seen an article where a dentist paid $3.9 million for Boothville residential home in Windsor Brisbane.
Isn't it time we stopped paying so much for dental care in Australia?
Why can't dentists send their work OS for crowns, bridges and dentures to be made.
It would be back within a week at a third of the price being paid in this country.
How You Can Turn Back The Clock & Avoid Many Problems Of Aging!
It may seem amazing, but we can literally turn back the clock as far as our fitness is concerned. In sports, a loss of performance is inevitable, but there are areas of our fitness we can improve, and I will concentrate on what we can do rather than can't.
There is often a great disparity between our biological and genetic ages – and the difference is usually our exercise level! Excluding injury, illness or our own genetic program there is a great deal we can do thwart the effects of aging. Our lifestyle choices such as refraining from smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, good nutrition and a positive mental attitude are critical in maintaining our health into old age. What is often neglected is the selection of the correct exercise and the motivation to maintain it.
Too often, exercise is limited to cruising laps in the pool or a stroll down the road. Whilst these are a good start they will not lead to preventing falls or accumulating body fat. Strength & power training is critical because from the age of 20 we start to lose muscle mass and between ages 40-65 we lose about 25% of our strength.
After 65 the major concern is the loss of muscle power. This has obvious implications for the ability to resist a fall and ending with a fractured hip, hospitalisation or a loss of independence. The good news is that these loses appear reversible.
In a study of 56-70 year old men over just eight weeks there marked improvements and even a doubling quadriceps force development in 90 year olds.
We need to work through a periodised training program starting from endurance and intruding strength and eventually power – it may take longer than in the case of a younger athlete, but we can all get there. The exercise should be functional multi-planer exercise that relates to real life situations, such as getting up from the floor, a chair, shopping or stacking groceries on a shelf. When should you start? Right now! Balance & flexibility and core strength are critical to a good quality of life and although flexibility declines 20-30% between 30-70 years, great gains can be made with a progressive structured program.
Pilates is a wonderful low-impact body conditioning program that can be commenced at any fitness level with gains in posture, breathing and core strength [about the midriff] and balance. A good program should result in greater balance and the ability to work on progressively unstable surface –just like real life!Nutrition is often neglected as we get older with dire consequences. Particularly important is to limit the amount of saturated fats and carbohydrates. Limiting the latter is critical in controlling the insulin levels in the blood – insulin being the driver of body fat retention. Equally important is to maintain our protein intake of up to 1.5 grams per kilo of body weight.
As our joints age we need to protect them from degeneration; Vitamin C;E; Omega 3 Oils; Bioflavanoids; SAAs; Selenium; Zinc and Copper. You can get all these with a good daily selection of green vegetables, citrus fruit [including the pith], eggs meat, poultry, almonds, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, baked beans, onions and lentils.
Training older adults is as different as training children and Fitness Australia, the national registration authority, now has a specialist Older Adults Trainer qualification. It is strongly recommended that you have sight of this qualification before commencing training with any fitness trainer or facility.Meanwhile…keep moving & remember, providing you are doing it right – every minute you spend training will add years to your life. What is that worth to you?