Usually dentistry is not something you would want to take a chance with.
However, if you've ever had a pain in your mouth, there is not much else you can think about, and you just want something done NOW.
A few nights ago, I was brushing my teeth, and out of the blue, when the bristles hit a certain area of my mouth, I cringed, got weak in the knees and my eyes started watering.
All I could think was that somehow I had gotten a cavity, and I needed to get it fixed soon.
Two days later, we were driving near the ballet studio, and I saw a dentist's office. I asked Doug to pull over and let me run in and check it out.
It seemed legit. Clean. The receptionist spoke some English. She told me the dentist had trained in Austria. She was wearing braces he had put on her. And it was clean. Did I mention that?
That's a big deal! I can't even describe the clinic I went to in Uganda to get my first pregnancy check-up.
Anyway, I asked if I could make an appointment. And she said I could come back at 6:45 that night.
I had guests coming for dinner at 8, but I finished cooking as much as I could before I left, and Kylie finished the rest. I took Karis with me so the doctor could see her and do a consultation on whether he could fix her slight issue with braces.
I arrived back at his office, and the night time receptionist does NOT speak English. I pointed to my name in her appointment book, and she took us right in.
The doctor had a recent dental graduate assisting him, and both were very kind.
He looked at Karis first and made a plan. He told me the plan and said we could come back in two days after thinking about it.
I cringed as he blew air on my teeth to try and find the weak spot.
When he found it, he put a tiny camera in my mouth and put the image up on the screen for me to see.
(This picture was taken two days after my appointment, when I took Karis back to get impressions made. This is a new dental assistant on the left. The first one was a female.)
But you can still see the screen.
He polished my teeth before he put the protective sealant on, but the funny part was the polishing.
On this particular day, his water sprayer wasn't working well. It flew all over me, all over him, all over the wall, and dripped all over the floor.
So after two tries, he asked me to walk across the hall to another room, and he and she went back and forth carrying all the sanitized tools they had already opened and put on the tray.
The next chair worked fine, but it was cold in the room.
Polishing that I'm familiar with looks something like this.
The dentist puts some polish on the polisher and then starts it spinning.
He took a metal knife and scraped it on the front side of all of my teeth on the top. He would then start polishing. He later repeated for the inside and then the bottom, inside and out.
So my mouth was filled with the polishing stuff while he went to work on one tooth.
The funny part was that the proportion of water being sprayed into my mouth and the amount of water being sucked out of my mouth was considerably off.
My mouth got so full of water, that it started running over the left side of my lip, down my neck, into my shirt, and down my back.
I thought I was in the clear until he switched sides. Then the water started running over the right side of my lip, down my neck, into my shirt, and down my back.
When I had gotten pretty good and soaked, the assistant must have noticed, and stuck a wad of kleenexes right below my chin to try to catch some of the liquid. However, when the doctor moved again, she didn't think about moving the kleenexes to the other side.
Oh well. I was laughing on the inside, so it was entertaining (and cold) to me.
Because Karis liked him and felt good about him, we're taking an even bigger chance on her, because we decided to go to him for her braces.
His English is just okay, but what I gathered from him is that he knows exactly how to fix her teeth.
That picture above was taken two days ago when he made the impressions of her teeth.
Today, Doug and Karis went to get x-rays of her mouth. The dentist doesn't have this capability in his office, so he told Doug where to go in town to get that done. We will take the x-rays back after the holidays.
Speaking of holidays, tomorrow is Newroz, and it's been raining off and on here for a few days.
I may not have any big picnic stories for you after all, but we'll see.
Tonight, we're going to "take a chance" with the crowds and taxi to a large park where a ceremonial lighting of fires is supposed to take place to mark the beginning of the holiday.
Happy first day of Spring!