Thursday, February 7, 2008

Dental...oh my what a drag...

I finally *blush* made an appointment with a dentist here. You see I am having so much fun with the bureaucracy here, I thought I would improve things and get some dental work done too! It is such a relief after some of the other hurdles we are trying to leap.

You see, as an expat, these things take on a different set of problems. On the boat, we had a choice: dubious but cheap dental care in the islands, or probably good but ghastly expensive dental care in Toronto...I generally went for the latter, but the kids got the lion's share of it, cause that's just the way it was.

I knew I needed to get some more work done here, but it is tricky. Most of the local dentists were trained in South America, and speak no Catalan, leaving me incommunicado....and they are very expensive. There is another dentist, who has been recommended, but his office is ummmm, dingy, and the state of the teeth of those recommending him didn't do him a lot of credit. He seemed to favour pulling teeth as a solution to most problems.

I mean this in the nicest possible way, but the state of peoples teeth here is pretty awful; some horrifyingly so.

A new dentist opened up in town, and I went into see her today; after admittedly putting it off for quite a while out of sheer shudder factor. She had a new clean open office, and a Catalan name so there was some hope I would understand her.

I went in to ask about prices.

Very reasonable, mostly because she is just starting out I would say, and hasn't many clients, so is keeping the price low to get bodies in the door. She is young and friendly, I can communicate with her, she tells me they don't use the amalgam, only the white enamel stuff...no more mercury!!! The kids should like her, as much as anyone likes a dentist. My only worry is that she looks like the ink hasn't dried on her diploma yet.

What to do, an up to date well-trained (can I ask her what her grades were?) dentist who I can talk to, or someone who looks dubious, has patients with horrendous teeth and I can kind of talk to, or a herd of folks with dubious training, patients with horrendous teeth, more experience, and I cannot talk to them at all.

Such a simple choice.

I figure she's better than no dentist, and did make an appointment for the three of us, the Man to follow....and I can talk to her, which is comforting.

One telling thing about the state of dental hygiene in this chocolate-at-three-to-four-meals-a-day-for-most-children country...

When she asked the age of my kids, 12 and 9, she then asked if they had ever been to the dentist; and was delighted that they had! She then asked when the last visit was. I admitted, with a shame filled face, that it was over a year ago. She was delighted! Unlike the usual scolding you get in Canada if it has been more than 6months and a day. I always feel like they are debating calling Children's Aid. No wonder I hesitate before going to the dentist. Not only is it a drag in and of itself, but they make me feel so bad and nasty; incompetent and negligent.

Here she was delighted, and felt that more than a year between appointments was just fine!

I'll let you know what happens. Though in my experience it is hard to tell if a dentist is good or not for at least a year afterwards.....

12 comments:

Lynda said...

Seems we are on the same astral plane. Just this week I was thinking it is time to take Miss 6 to the dentist - and felt sick to my stomach... she can be pretty stubborn and I suspect that local dentists in Cairo may not be up to her 'disney' induced tastes.

Beth said...

Considering your other options, I think you made quite a find with that new dentist.
Having said that, I HATE going to the dentist.
Best of luck!

elPadawan said...

Bwah ah ah. It is the same for me around here. I'm scared about going to a dentist. Simply because I don't know who to trust, I don't know the specific vocabulary, and knowing that it is the only thing that OHIP does not cover, and that you have to rely only on your company health insurance makes me wonder if the business is safe...

coloursofdawn said...

I would go for the nice young one out of school. Hopefully she knows all the new stuff, and she does have a nice clean office.

Anonymous said...

Ask her which School of Dentistry she finished, and don't feel shy about it.
Since she's new in town she'd know you have no one to recommend her, and it's quite normal to want to know something more about the background of the professional you have chosen, I'd think?
Add on to that - ask the locals who she is,i.e. why did she settle in town - is she someone's brilliant and intelligent daughter returned home to roost?
Dentistry is A VERY POPULAR FEMALE PROFESSION - in Northern Europe at least, for the most obvious of reasons.
I'd say try her out.GM

oreneta said...

Lynda, weird isn't it...are there expat buds you can get in touch with for a reference???

Beth, I also HATE trying to go to the dentist, I try to hide it from the kids though.

elPadawan, the vocab is such a drag...I posted on your site, as well, if you want a recomendation for a dentist, let me know...I do know a good dentist in TO....

Dawn, I'm with you, recent training and a clean office are both good signs...if she has to do a root canal though...I may ask how often she has done one....

GM, it's a small town, I know her uncle, I've had him over for dinner. That's why she's setting up here, and her Mom is her receptionist...she''s probably just fine if she figures she can hang her shingle in the town where people have known her since she was an infant...as I said above though, if she has to do anything major, i will ask how often she has done it....

hulagirlatheart said...

Perhaps this means no embarrassing questions about whether or not you regularly floss.

designkat said...

I don't mean to bring in linguistic politics into the discussion, but I was interested in how it came about that you know English and Catalan but not Spanish (as I have gathered from your comment about the South American dentists).
I am actually glad to hear that someone has gone to Catalunya with the intention of using Catalan as their language of communication. It's so often the case that ignorance prevails and people go there to see "Spain" and never realize that they're visiting a stateless nation with it's own language and culture.
I must admit I have not read your other blogs (yet), so please excuse my ignorance and laziness. I will look into them as soon as I get the chance.

sirdar said...

Funny you mention mercury fillings. I think they are outlawed here in Canada. They replaced my mercury fillings with some white stuff. Its probably what you are talking about.

Our dentist send us friendly reminders that we need to come in to see him. He has been pretty good so far. Hope this new dentist does well for you and your family.

Migrating Mum said...

Don't worry about the Catalan dentist - sounds like you've found a good one. We've been here since 2004 and are very happy with our dental service. We do go private but the costs is really not that high. Coming from Denmark to the UK I was horrified at the medieval state of the practice I ventured into there and hotfooted it to the dentist when I went to visit my parents in the States. I'm impressed with the Catalans. Our practice is modern, hygienic and the staff are trained and professional. Good luck!

Theresa said...

We took a while before finding a dentist we really liked here. Now we go to a husband-wife team that has a clinic just five minutes from home, and they're really reasonably priced.

To designkat: As far as I know, Catalunya is part of Spain, although there are some that disagree, and maybe someday that might change, but for now it is offically Spain. Spanish is also one of the oficial languages of the region, so it wouldn't be strange to expect to be able to speak it and be understood.

elPadawan said...

yeah, I probably should worry about finding a good dentist in TO... I'm so scared of it that I didn't even start looking... bad bad me :p. There's an email address on my profile, if you don't want to advertise said good dentist on my blog :)