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.....