Last week was the second installment of what I like to call “Adventures in the French Healthcare System” (the first was the Great Mono Experience of 2010). I woke up with aweful tooth pain and a fever on Wednesday, but still dragged myself to work to stare at a computer screen for a few hours. When Max and I went home for lunch, my wisdom tooth was making my entire face swell up, so I decided to try to rest until the pharmacy opened at two. Max talked to our boss, who helped Max find a dentist who would see me that afternoon.
Once we got to the office, we waited only a few minutes to see the dentist, who spent ten minutes looking at my teeth and writing prescriptions. He assured me that it was an infection, and that I wouldn’t need to have emergency surgery to remove all my wisdom teeth – yet.
Next, he sent me across the street for an x-ray, where the office was able to see us immediately. Next door, we picked up all the prescriptions at the pharmacy. The entire process took about an hour (including driving time), and cost 75€ ($97) total for the x-ray, dentist, and four prescriptions. Unfortuntely, I don’t have a French social security card yet (or most of this cost would’ve been paid by French national health insurance), but once I receive the card, I can still be retroactively reimbursed.
By the next morning, my fever was gone, and I was able to get back to work. Here’s the “Carte Verte” that provides access to French healthcare: