A piece broke off the side of one of my molars, while I was eating some popcorn this morning. As the molar had a filling, it seemed likely the filling would fall out before the trip is over. Remembering the saying of Murphy: anything that can go wrong will go wrong at the worst possible time, I decided to visit the dentist now in a large urban centre rather than when the filling falls out in an isolated location.
A phone call to the Canadian Embassy in Beijing gave us the telephone number of a dentist in Beijing, who recommended a dentist here in Urumqi. We took a taxi to the dentist as soon as practical. The dental hospital was efficient and gave us an appointment 45 minutes hence. As we waited for that appointment, a kind nurse explained we were in a queue for the extraction room, so we rearranged our room assignment. Within 5 minutes I was in the chair. The dental equipment was Japanese and the dentist’s supervisor spoke enough English that all went smoothly. No anesthetic was used, but the drilling was limited as I think she only attached the new amalgam to the old filling. The bill was a remarkable 59 Yuan, about 12$ Canadian. Not many countries offer such fast service for a tooth that does not even hurt!
This temporary measure has improved the situation but we are not certain how long it will last.