Sohailia, How I Miss Thee

October 24, 2013

posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

There is one more American thing we miss — good dental care. Specifically, good preventative dental cleanings.

En Amérique un dentiste au travail [soignant un molosse] : [photographie de presse] / [Agence Rol]
En Amérique un dentiste au travail [soignant un molosse] : [photographie de presse] / [Agence Rol]
Source: gallica.bnf.fr

We were spoiled by Sohailia. She was such a good dental hygienist that I looked forward to my cleanings. With her range of picks she would carefully clean each and every tooth with such a light touch that it tickled. She would examine each tooth for problems and evaluate the state of the gums. When she finished, she would report to the dentist any and all problems that she observed.

American dentistry is amazing. It comes complete with guilt trip. You can count on being asked how often you brush and if you floss. If you admit that you don’t floss, you’ll get a little lecture about how important it is. The last time I was at an American dentist office, they took a swab of my mouth and showed me the bacteria from my mouth under a microscope to try to shame me into spending more effort on my oral hygiene.

They also go to extreme lengths to retain teeth. I had the root canal done in one tooth three times before a dentist finally admitted that the whole thing had to go. The truth is that I would have been a lot healthier if it had been extracted instead of remodeled.

In the UAE, dentists are everywhere, but hygienists are few and far between. Every “cleaning” I’ve had so far has been done by the dentist with an electric powered tool. This cleaning tool experience is unpleasant, at best. It sure doesn’t hold a candle to Sohailia’s light touch.

The first two dentist experiences I’ve had in the UAE were unpleasant. I specifically requested anesthesia for any drilling to be done and the dentist blatantly ignored this request. I did not go back for more. Our insurance makes it even more annoying, because everything has to be preauthorized, even diagnostic x-rays. So, the first visit is a bit of a waste, because nothing can be done unless you are willing to pay for it out of pocket.

I seem to have finally found a good dentist. The cleaning still involved an electric power tool, but I survived. Before working on fillings, she asked if I wanted anesthesia and then actually gave it to me. Hoorah! She rebuilt a broken tooth rather nicely.


One comment

  1. Root canals, I sometimes wonder why they were ever devised, other than by an impoverished dentist one day sitting down with his banking pal!

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