Tooth Pulled by a Chinese Dentist

I had my tooth pulled by a Chinese Dentist today. It’s a long painful process leading up to it (finding courage), but once decided, it happens fairly quickly. One the the great fears of an American in China is having dental work. More specifically, we are afraid of having a tooth pulled by a Chinese Dentist.

The Guizhou Provincial Government has a medical college and a hospital connected to the college. It’s called the medical college hospital. have a friend that is a leader. I’ve had work done before, getting a root canal, filling a cavity, but the pulling of a tooth is another level.The dental clinic is on the sixth floor and the dental surgery is on the fifth floor. Even one of my language tapes had a reference, “Hope you don’t have to go to a dentist while you are in China.” So when I had a broken tooth I knew it had to come out.

So my friend, Dr. Ma, introduces me to Dr. Tan, who is quite a nice young lady with good English. She confirms what I knew, that the tooth needs to come out.  She answers all my questions, and she knows I was more than a little frightened.  I asked her if it is difficult surgery, and she said that it was very easy. It’s the right upper front molar tooth, with the pain going up into my eye socket. It took real pain before I broke down to have the procedure. They gave me some antibiotics and the appointment was made for the next day. When we parted I asked her in my best Chinese if she would hold my hand during surgery. I had to tell her I was joking before she broke out laughing. So I went into the surgery section with a lot of confidence.

The anesthetic was effective and it was actually more trouble than I expected. I’ve never had a tooth pulled, except the baby teeth that just fell out. I didn’t know what to expect. I don’t remember the name of the doctor that did the work, but she was quite small, maybe eighty or ninety pounds. She seemed to have a lot of trouble getting hold of the tooth and giving it some good yanks. The tooth was broken near the gum line. Just when I was thinking, “Oh God, I should have asked for a man.” She got the hammer out. We had a signal planned that I would raise my hand if I had pain.

Holding the tooth with a tool and swinging the hammer made a loud clang, but no pain. The other Chinese dentist kept telling me to relax. The dentist hit the tooth several times, not just a couple. She was generating a lot of power. I thought she was holding a small sledge. I suspect that one of her feet was coming off the floor during the swings, maybe both feet. Still no pain.

Finally, when she was done swinging, she went back in with the pliers and started tugging again. Then I felt some pain and I actually raised my hand.  The second dentist said “Pain” in Chinese, a couple times, but the first Chinese dentist kept tugging. Two minutes later it was over. I got the tooth hole filled with cotton and there was little pain. It has been twelve hours since the surgery, and very little pain. The pain compares with a skinned knuckle. I am impressed.

So there you have it. The surgery is a total success, and I am happy the dentist didn’t stop when I raised my hand. She was almost done and knew it. She just finished the job. That pain shooting toward the eye socket is gone, and baring complications, I would say everything is a success. When I finally looked around it turns out that the dentist had more help than needed. There must have been ten doctors and nurses watching! Foreigners are still uncommon in Guiyang, especially in a Guiyang oral surgery clinic.

In retrospect, I had confidence in the place because of the root canal and crown that I had had previously. My dentist in the USA confirmed the procedure in China was the same as used in the USA. So it was a totally modern situation. To the uninitiated, it is surprising to see several dentist chairs and several doctors working together in the same room on different patients. In the USA, perhaps we are a bit spoiled with our medical privacy. Other than that, and the language barrier, things seem pretty standard on this side of the world.


Massage Therapy

I have had low back trouble for many years, kind of a misaligned disk, which is usually livable, but acts up periodically. I went to a local massage a couple days ago and got a pretty good half hour massage that helped. It wasn’t enough. So today I went to the massage hospital, populated by blind doctors.

China has a policy of training many of the blind in medical massage so they can find work. They know where the trouble is by touch. Today I got a nice lady named Su Ye. She was absolutely tiny, but what a grip. When I walked into the massage room there was a woman working on a woman that was laying down. She was pushing her around pretty good. I laid face down on the next bed and Dr. Su began work. She was talking to the other doctor and I was getting one hell of a massage. Both ladies were joking and I realized that I had more than two hands on me. I looked up and both doctors were massaging my legs and were joking about how strong (maybe how fat) I was. The lady that had been getting the prior massage was standing there watching me and saw me smile with I looked up and saw the second doctor. Everybody laughed.

Anyway, I was amazed at the power that little Doctor Su has in her hands and elbows. She took care of the back, and the arthritic left wrist and I walked out of there feeling like I had been in a hell of a fight. Anyway, my back and wrist both feel really good now. If you have muscle pain or an injury, these people really seem to know what they are doing. I’ve been there several times and have never been disappointed. Some are better than others, and Doctor Su is exceptional. She told me that it is very difficult to massage a person so big that doesn’t speak the language well.

This place is located across from the Hunter Plaza at Dongmen. It’s just below the Rooftop Cafe (see: )  It’s on that little hill across from the City Mall (Zhiryue Jie). It is on the 4th floor and looks like a hospital from start to finish. No tea is served. The cost for the massage seems to vary from 60 to 68 RMB for a little less than an hour (about $10 USD).


The Introduction of Hospitals in Guiyang

By: Doctor Lisa Xu of Guiyang

As I read the story about Ray with TB during his staying at Guiyang, I think it will maybe useful for the foreigners living in Guiyang to introduce some information on hospitals in Guiyang in English. Let us see the description as the below:

The Affiliated Hospital of Guizhou Medical University (贵医附院、贵医,in Chinese characters; Guiyi fu yuan or Gui Yi in Mandarin pinyin), is the best grade III-A general hospitals in Guizhou province, which is located at the Beijing Road with the detail address as No. 28 Guiyi Street in Yunyan district of Guiyang. The hospital consists of 52 clinical departments, including the emergency department, the internal medicine department, the neurological department, the general surgery department, the Department of Stomatology (the dentists), the comprehensive intensive care unit and so on. There has been average1,740,000 outpatients per year around in the hospital, and discharged 68,000 patients per year. With the development, the hospital hold some advanced examining instruments such as CT, 3.0T MRI, PET. It is recently that the authority of the hospital built the system for making an appointment in advance with doctors online, which can be available on the following website

On the homepage, if you need make an appointment with doctors, you could see several button below the the name of the hospital, then dub the button as “就医导诊”(jiu yi dao zhen in Pinyin), clicking the downward menu at the button as “预约挂号”(yu yue gua hao in Pinyin), then the appointment system is presented in front of you. One could use the system to make an appointment with the doctor who you need. If you don’t make the appointment with doctors, you could go to the outpatient department directly and ask the guiding nurses for helping. If there is something happening suddenly for first-aid, one could call the number “96999” to get a hand from the emergency department of the hospital.
The Guizhou Provincial People’s Hospital(贵州省人民医院、省医in Chinese characters; Guizhou sheng ren min yi yuan or Sheng Yi in Pinyin ) is another grade III-A general hospital in Guiyang. This hospital locates at No.83 Zhongshan dong lu. If the first-aid will be needed around here, one could call the number as “0851-85922979”. The website for the hospital is

If one live aroud Dusi Road (Dusi lu), he could find the No.1 People’s Hospital of Guiyang, which is one of the grade III-A general hospitals in Guiyang. The hospital also is the First-aid Center of Guiyang city with the first-aid call number as “120”. If one catches the TB (tuberculosis) unfortunately, he could get helping for diagnosis and treatment in the specialism hospital, named as Guiyang Fei Ke Yi Yuan (specialism for lung diseases, such as tuberculosis, specialism infection of lung). The hospital’s addresse is No.128 Northern Huaxi Avenue(Huaxi dadao beiduan), Nanming District, Guiyang. The No.5 People Hospital is specially for contagion or communicable disease, such as HIV infection, HBV or HCV infection and so on. There is also a special hospital for women and children, named as Guiyang Fuyou Baojian Yi Yuan (Women and children health care hospital in Guiyang), and located at No.63 Ruijin Nan lu, Nanming District.

The above is the simplest introduction about the well-known hospitals in Guiyang. Hope useful for the foreigners living in Guiyang. When you unfortunately get sick, maybe you could get helping from these hospitals before you have to return to your home countries.

Visitors are encouraged to provide additional health care information as comments in this site.

Ray’s TB Status

I just confirmed with Ray that he has a one month visa, after confirming several housekeeping items with the Chinese Government Doctors and Immigration officials.  He can live in his own apartment and will be checked next month for changes in his medical condition, at which time he should be elgible for another visa.  It is hoped and expected that he will be able to work in a teaching position within a couple months.