This morning was another trip to the dentist. This in itself is amazing. I stopped going to dentists about 35 years ago. My last adult venture with dentists got all my cavities fixed. I'd had braces as a teen, and everything was fixed and filled. And, I was done, emotionally and nerve-wise, with dentists. The few times since that I'd gone to a dentist, they just pissed me off. I didn't like the attitude of they 'owned' my teeth, would tell me what they were going to do to them, and my only part was to pay huge amounts of money to them and be so very grateful they had taken their precious time to deal with me at all. I might, just maybe, have some baggage from the years of having so much work done as a kid...
I tried to start the process of getting my teeth back to optimal condition when I was back in Washington State. It went like a lot of things there. Very pleasant female dentist, clean modern office, and more money and extra charges than I could even fathom even with very good insurance. The estimate came to over $30K, after insurance, and oh, in 3 weeks at the end of the year her prices jumped 100 percent. And, can't even start on the simple stuff until I have a full 'scaling' (they really should rename that...), even pulling my one tooth that needed to come out was iffy until then. The receptionist treated my like I was one of the unclean to even suggest that an appointment could be made for anything else before the 'scaling' to bring me up to the level of someone they would work on. That ended badly for them, in that I didn't go back.
Down here I really needed to get some of the work done. I found a good Honduran dentist who speaks very good English. He has an assistant who wears jeans, and a wife who fills in if the assistant isn't there. I feel like I'm a guest in their home since the office is the front part of their house. He is professional, don't get me wrong, but he also is a human. I was so nervous the fist visit that he looked at me when he sat down beside me, and softly explained "I'm a Christian, and if you don't mind I would like to pray before we start". I said "I'll take any and all prayers I can get", so he said a brief prayer that took the tension in the room (mine...) down a notch, and then we began.
So, I now have 2 permanent crowns, a temporary crown over two other molars until next week when the permanent crowns will be in, and today he spent two hours of concentrated work on my top front teeth. He said 14 cavities. In 6 teeth. He basically rebuilt a couple of them. Total cost today, 5,000L, which is $250 more or less. He still has some polishing to do, and some shaping. My two front teeth have outlines that look a bit like a-line skirts and there needs to be some more shaping done on the insides as my teeth don't exactly close all the way. This is my fault. I told him it was fine, since after 2 hours I was, as I say, done. We'll tweek it more when I go in to get the permanent crowns. Which is why I like him. He works with me. What doesn't get done today, we'll do next time.
I usually have the early appointment on Saturday mornings. Which means I'm there while they open up. They pull up the metal shutters over the door an windows, then take bowls of water out and wash the windows and outside sills. They have a guard who watches over the 6-space or so parking area. One morning I watched as he came in and the wife handed him the pistol in the holster he wears while on duty. He strapped on the holster then proceeded to load the pistol with bullets. To guard a 6-space parking area. At a dentist office. And I considered it a good thing. Welcome to Honduras.