The Dental Tourist

Today MB got anaesthetic at the dental clinic. Tonight MB’s nose is still frozen. Yes. His nose. Over one year back MB’s dentist grabbed MB’s attention. It was occasion of some checkup and MB was expecting the usual nonsense. Brushing needs to improve. Small filling required back right molar. Are you flossing or using dental brushes at all MB? The kind of rubbish every dentist spouts on very visit the world over.

There are some fifteen to twenty standard lines and the dentist selects the five or six he prefers most on any given day. Before unleashing them on the innocent patient in the first stage of the (cash) extraction. If you do not get some major work done very soon MB you will lose most of your teeth and will require dentures. You are, as we say in the trade, a candidate for ‘whole of mouth’.

WTF, screamed MB, inwardly to his silent self. Are you serious doctor? said MB politely, knowing that dentist was not serious, and thinking that the Dental Association had just issued some new more dramatic guideline phrases to use against patients. Then patients would take out even larger bank loans to increase the cash pile of the already bloated dental bank balances. MB thought dentures were something only seen in old movies at this stage, where some old granny dropped her false teeth into a glass of water beside her bed each night before she dozed off.

Do they still make dentures doctor? asked MB. Yes MB, they sure do. And you will be buying some real soon if you don’t take some drastic action. I give you one year at most. Gulp, said MB, inwardly to his silent self (again!).

Knowing a bluff when he heard one, old poker player MB booked an appointment with a different dentist to take a second more correct opinion. MB’s open mouth was probed and poked for ten or fifteen minutes as MB gazed into the bright dental light over MB’s head and into the truthful eyes of new dentist. OK MB, said new dentist. I think you will require dentures real soon if you don’t take some drastic action.You are, as we say in the trade, a candidate for ‘whole of mouth’.

Is this guy a parrot or what? thought MB. Parrot dentist then detailed all the problems that existed and in all certainty would only get worse. And in the not too distant future MB would need two glasses of water beside his bed each night rather than one. One for drinking. And another for the soon-to-be-acquired dentures. WTF, thought MB, not for the first time that particular week.

But life gets busy. Day-to-day stuff happens and life goes on. MB made mental note to sort out this dental business at some stage whenever he could get around to it. Then one day a piece of one of MB’s molar teeth broke when he was eating some normal food. Not hard difficult-to-bite food. Just normal food.

MB went sheepishly back to dentist. Dentist informed MB he would put in temporary filling which he hoped might stay in place as there was not much tooth left to fill. And the day-day stuff kicked in yet again.

Next up MB got a gum infection that required antibiotics to cure. MB must do something about this dental stuff when he gets a chance, thought MB to himself yet again. More months followed. Another infection. And some months later yet another one. Cavities, resulting in food traps, needing attention multiple times per day. And more. Enough of this torture, said MB to himself finally. Action time.

So MB got a quotation from his Middle East regular dental practice. And another from parrot dentist for comparison purposes. Both were similar. MB calculated that if he got decent prices for his wife & daughter, cleaned out the bank account, sold the house in Ireland and the family car, then he could just manage to avoid the second glass of water by the bed. MB tried to think very laterally for a solution. MB remembered that a family member had traveled from Ireland to Budapest in Hungary for some dental treatment. MB had previously thought that female family member had used the dental treatment as excuse for a jolly to engage in some shopping at a cheap but relatively cosmopolitan destination. MB was now having a rethink on that particular theory, and would now investigate the whole dental tourism business himself.

Contact details of the Budapest clinic were taken. Prices in Spain & Ireland also looked into. Two clinics in Krackow, Poland had many recommendations from international patients online. A clinic attached to the dental faculty of an Istanbul University also looked impressive. MB got normal Dubai dentist to take panoramic x-ray to enable MB to take approximate quotations from the various possibly ‘solution’ clinics. But all informed MB they could not confirm any quotation until MB appeared in person and they could actually place MB on the chair and take a real close-up good look.

MB then looked up flight costs to the various destinations and used the Trip Adviser bible to research various accommodation options at each venue. MB arrived at his final decision, informed colleagues at work that MB was departing with one way ticket in hand and would advise return date as soon as chosen clinic firmed up the treatment plan.

Gate Nr 42 has just opened to destination Dental Solution. Please take your seats and fasten your seat belts. Please listen carefully to the safety instructions – as nobody at all listened. Sleep for few hours. Landing gear down. Touch down. Arrival.

The good thing about dental tourism is that if your chosen clinic happens to be in good location, then you get to add in some sightseeing and some photography, if the notion takes you. So traveling on a Friday allows you to get to know the location, find out how to get to the clinic and just get comfortable with the whole new dental scenario, whilst taking some photo shoots and seeing the sights at same time. It may sound as if the flights and accommodation make the whole business financially unfeasible, but consider that the saving on one single implant can amount to over Euro 1,000 when comparing the price of treatment in, let’s say, Britain or Ireland versus Hungary.

And what’s an ‘implant‘ MB? You are starting to drop dental words into this blog post as if all your readers are dentists or parrot dentists!

Sorry lads. Implants are small screwlike gadgets made from titanium, generally speaking, that are drilled into your jaw bone to accept a new crown/false tooth where no tooth exists at present. The gum tissue is cut back to expose the bone, a large diameter hole is drilled into the bone to same depth as the implant, which is then fixed into place. Once anchored correctly, the gum tissue is then stitched back over the implant which adheres to the bone tissue over a three month period (or six months for top jaw). Three (or six) months later you return to have the crown/false tooth screwed into the implant. It all sounds more gruesome than it actually is. You actually feel very little of anything during the whole procedure. The sound of the drill during the large diameter drilling is very unlike the normal dental drill and has an almost therapeutic calming sound, as long as you ignore what it’s actually doing.

MB is having two implants as part of the planned procedure at destination Dental Solution this week. MB could also at this stage write a thesis on implants: American v Swiss makes, root canals of molar teeth versus those of other teeth, root removal, bone grafting, sinus lifting, temporary teeth, crowns of porcelain versus crowns made from oven-baked zirconium, dental anaesthetic & its many means of application, and a whole host of other dental stuff that can make a grown man cry like a baby.

MB did not cry. But he came very close to it during the root canal treatment of some molar teeth on two particular days. Did you all know that a molar tooth can have three roots and other teeth generally only two, and they are very close to the nerve? What other blog teaches you shit like this lads? None MB. Thank you lads.

So that’s MB’s story for the mo. He is half way through the treatment with most of the nasty stuff now behind him thank God. MB will write a follow-up piece in a week or so when all is complete to let you all know how it turned out. Fingers crossed for successful conclusion. Go MB! Some pics will follow next week from some MB sightseeing at destination Dental Solution, as MB is experiencing problematic uploading at present. Until then.

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