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Friday, April 21, 2017

Much Ado About Nothing - Going to the Dentist

I am not a fan of the dental drill. I've had issues since I was about seven. Despite having excellent dental care ever since then, I still cringe when I hear the high pitched whine of that little torture device. In fact, I'm a big scaredy cat when it comes to anything other than cleaning. My darling husband - brave in the face of almost every challenge - had dental work done here and they did it without anaesthetic. It didn't bother him at all, but the thought horrified me, even though I know most of the dentists here are trained in North America and Europe and are just trying to keep their clients' budgets in mind.  

Suffice to say that when a shingle-shaped chip came off my front tooth the other day, I wasn't happy.The tooth is mostly composite, a reminder of a childhood accident between my face and the wooden post of some playground equipment. (Thank you, Tony Nolie. No I haven't forgotten you.) Of course, this happened Thursday night, on the eve of the Easter long weekend. (Why don't these things ever happen when it's easy to get an appointment?) I wasn't going to go around for four days with a chipped front tooth, so I girded up my courage and glued the chip back in. It was a process and during the time, I imagined all the things that could go wrong, but it turned out pretty well, except for the crazy glue film over the tooth.

Imagine the upper front tooth (left) with a chip.
Our dentist had an opening on Tuesday morning, so I spent most of Monday fretting about the drill, not having anaesthetic and all the other things that come with a phobia. (Not to mention the fear that the piece would fall out again.) I had to explain to the dentist what happened and that I'd glued the piece back in place (much eye rolling on her part ensued...apparently the worst thing you can do is use super glue) and that I also can't sit for very long, due to my injured muscle and tendon. I hadn't got to the part where I was terrified of the drill and was working up my courage as she poked and prodded around my tooth. "Which tooth is it?" she asked. I pointed to it again and explained that it was a small piece right on the corner. Well, she couldn't even see the crack. All my hard work had paid off. She wound up just polishing up the tooth and then gave me a cleaning. (Now, what dentist in North America would say: "It looks fine, if the piece falls out again, call me," and then just carry on with normal business?) $40 later and I was on my way - no drill, no Novocaine, sparkly teeth and only slightly sweaty arm pits.

So what does all of this amount to? Ecuadorian dental care is fair, affordable and the dentists are (mostly) responsible. If I ever do need serious dental intervention, I'm going to be brave and confess my stupid phobia and trust that they'll take care of me. (PS, Thanks Ron, for the title of this blog installation!)

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