But then Life got in the way. I quit my job at MCKL, moved back to Penang, went on a 3-month holiday in Australia, got engaged whilst I was there, came back to Malaysia, started a new job at KRPG in Penang, planned a wedding, got married, turned 27, relocated back to KL, started freelancing for MCKL, and then got pregnant... all in less than 2 years. @_@
So, yes. As you can see, Life really got in the way back then. Haha. I don't know when it happened but I began to sideline my dental appointments – sacrificing them for precious meet-ups with the folks, family and friends whenever I find myself back in Penang with a little free time on my hands. I mean, come on. I'd rather be sitting down enjoying a hearty breakfast with people I love and care about rather than sitting in a waiting room at a dental clinic, waiting to sit in a dentist's chair. Wouldn't you?
When I heard that pregnancy could take a toll on dental health, I didn't know how true it would be until I actually experienced it myself. My teeth really went to hell after my pregnancy la, I tell you. I don't think breast feeding is helping much either. Remember that mysterious nightly toothache I had back in October last year? Well, turns out it wasn't nothing. The dentist just couldn't do anything for me at the time cos I was pregnant. -_-'''
After my son was born and I was done with my confinement, I decided to pop over to Penang Dental Surgery to get my teeth sorted out. I no longer suffered from toothaches but I was dealing with a lot of sensitivity. I assumed it was cos of all the vomiting I did, beginning from my first trimester, right up to the Week 18 of my pregnancy. T_T #morningsicknessucks
This time around, they could finally take an x-ray of that molar that was bothering me last year. And that's when I got the tragic news. Because I was pregnant then and had to put off treatment for a good 4 months, it's now too late to save that tooth. I needed a root canal!! -_-''' What??? Me?! A root canal!? At 28?! NooOOooOoOooooOooo!! T_____T
So, no choice. The dentist gave me two big-ass LA jabs, installed the dental dam and got to work. Or at least she tried to. My tooth just wouldn't numb up! I could feel everything she was doing! So she said she just couldn't proceed and suggested I see an endodontist (i.e. a root canal specialist) and get a root canal done by specialists and under sedation instead. But guess what. There aren't any endodontists in Penang. WTH. -_-'''
She suggested that I see Dr Jac Lam at Wisma Perintis (contact below) and gave me a super ugly, temporary filling to cover up the gaping hole she had put in my molar. :-/ But, me being the professional procrastinator that I am, I ding-dong-ed and dilly-dallied for a couple of months (I wasn't in any pain ma) before I finally made the call. And then I was told I could only see him a month later. So all in, by the time I managed to see Dr Jac Lam, it was already three months from the time my tooth was opened up.
In the mean time, I decided to see another dentist in Penang – Dr Andy at SmileBay Dental Surgery (contact below) – for a second opinion. To my surprise, I ended up really liking his service. He was very pleasant, personable, and knowledgable. Puts a lot of thought into his work, if you ask me. He also ended up finding FOUR cavities (other than that root canal) that he needed to work on. -_-' Told him I needed a breast-feeding friendly LA if he's going to be doing any deep drilling and that's when he said:
Dr Andy: Ahhh... You vomited a lot during pregnancy issit?
Pam Song: *nods slowly* Uh huh...
Dr Andy: Eat in the middle of the night then too tired to brush teeth issit?
Pam Song: *shamefully* Urm... yeah.
Dr Andy: That's why your teeth are so sensitive and you've got cavities now! Quite normal, actually. A lot of my patients also suffer from this after pregnancy. Make sure you take Calcium.
So, now you know. If you plan to get pregnant or are already pregnant, make sure you gurgle with mouth wash each time after you vomit, brush your teeth in the middle of the night even if you're tired, and supplement your diet with Calcium even if swallowing pills makes you want to puke some more. Don't make the same mistake I did. Sigh. =(
Anyway, I got my 4 fillings sorted out with Dr Andy that day – I highly recommend him! – and left the root canal work for the professional. Time went by and before I knew it, my appointment with Dr Jac Lam had arrived. And I must say that after having seen him, I am more than pleased with his work. He was kind, gentle and very professional. His gadgets were really cool and high-tech, too. Haha. Oh, and he was so good at his job that he managed to perform my root canal WITHOUT the use of any sedatives. Only LA. Woo hoo!
Post-root canal x-ray to ensure that the job was well done. The tooth
he worked on is the one that's standing on bright, white roots.
Yay for me, that x-ray showed that Dr Jac Lam did a good job with the root canal. Unfortunately for me, that x-ray also shows a cavity in the tooth next to it. -_-''' HAIH! One thing after another! Rawr! Thing is, Dr Jac Lam doesn't do fillings, or crowns, or any other piece-of-cake dental work like that. To easy for him. Endodontists only work on the heavy-weight stuff. Haha.
So... I went back to Dr Andy's dental chair in Penang a week later, to get my mouth moulded for the crown and that molar next to it drilled, cleaned and filled up. That was last Saturday. Dr Andy was kind enough to rush my crown out for me – in case I leave for KL earlier than planned – so I had it fitted in this Monday morning. That was yesterday.
My new crown.
Well, 5 fillings, 1 root canal and 1 crown later, The Husband is over RM4,000 poorer (T_T) but I'm glad that my dental health is now back on track, my toothache troubles are over, my tooth restorative work is complete and I can finally begin to enjoy going to the dentist again. Phew! What a rough journey. I haven't had this many fillings or this much dental work done since like... ever, man! I tell you ah... my next pregnancy – if there ever is another one – had better be different. I cannot take going through this horror again!
JAC LAM ENDODONTIC PRACTICE
Suite 4-07 Wisma Perintis,
47 Jalan Dungun,
50490 Kuala Lumpur,
Tel: +603 2094 2860
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5:30pm
Saturday: 9am to 2pm, Sunday: Closed
p/s: I highly recommend Dr Jac Lam if you need any hardcore dental work done. He's VERY expensive (my root canal cost RM2,000 – without a crown!!!) but he's worth every penny you spend. Apparently, there are only 4 endodontists in the whole of Malaysia – 3 in KL and 1 in Johor. If you're looking for an endodontist, it might as well be him.
SMILEBAY DENTAL SURGERY
NOTE: They have many outlets in Penang. (See website.) I've only been to two out of the five and both times, I saw Dr Andy. I know for sure that he shuffles between the following two outlets so if it's him you want to see, I'd suggest going to either one of these two outlets:
TANJUNG BUNGAH (HILLSIDE) OUTLET:
No. 1-A, Jalan Tanjung Bungah,
11200 Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: +604 899 3800
Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm
Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays
ISLAND PLAZA OUTLET:
118-M-06, Island Plaza,
Jalan Tanjung Tokong,
10470 Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: +604-8900 600
Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm
Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays
p/s: I actually prefer Dr Andy to any of the dentists I've seen at Penang Dental Surgery. Their prices are competitive anyways. Plus, you never really have to wait long at his clinic, or wait weeks/months to schedule an appointment with him. Having said that, I've decided to jump ship and go to him for all my dental work from now on. You guys should give him a try if you're looking for a regular dentist.