I saw a tooth hanging out on a street corner the other day, waving at passersby. That's right … a tooth ... advertising a new dental office, I imagine. I rolled down the window and shouted howdy and asked it to smile, but if you're just one tooth, without a mouth, tongue or voice, smiling or responding is difficult. I took it in stride.
Anyhow, it reminded me that it was time for our regular dental check-ups and since we don't have a regular dentist … how could we when we're never in a place longer than a few months? … I had the distinct pleasure of finding a dentist that was willing to take on new patients. The “tooth” place was too far away. It wasn't hard to find a suitable dentist. They advertise quite regularly and I found an office close-by that would provide x-rays, cleaning and an exam for $59/each … new patient special. Yowza!
We've had dental check-ups and work done in many countries of the world … Venezuela, Uruguay, Australia and South Africa come to mind. Usually, the offices are in metro areas, pretty upscale and the techniques and equipment are modern. We had a couple of less than adequate visits, like in Ecuador for instance, where the office was in a lady dentist's converted garage and high tech cleaning happened to be Q-tips dipped in some hydrogen peroxide. For the most part, however, dental care worldwide seems to be accessible. As far as costs go, you can't beat South America. The US and Australia are the most expensive.
For our $59 new patient special, we had enough x-rays to last a lifetime. Thank goodness for lead vests or we would have been glowing in the dark for weeks. They always find something more to do for one of us and we always hope it will be on the “something cheap” side, but of course, it never is. This time it was my turn for a subsequent deep cleaning and some gum surgery. Yuck and ouch … to both my gums and our budget. Next time I see a tooth loitering on a street corner, I'm going to ignore it.