Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The dentist wars...

When you live in a small diaspora of Americans in a foreign country, you start to see that we all tend to go to the same places for certain services.  People are always looking for recommendations, whether it be for places to buy clothes, restaurants, car repair shops, doctors, or dentists.  Here in the Stuttgart area, we are blessed with several good places to go for dental care.

I know I vented about my dentist the other day, but he truly is very good at what he does.  He did an excellent job on my implant and he's generally very kind and caring.  Yes, he did nag me about seeing a doctor, but I don't think he was trying to be a jerk.  I think he was genuinely concerned and just showed it in a way that seemed strange.  He is half German and has been practicing in Germany since the late 1980s, so I wouldn't necessarily expect him to act as an American would all the time.

Unfortunately, at least one of my dentist's hygienists is a bit rough.  Bill got her the other day and she drew blood as she cleaned his teeth.  Part of the reason she drew blood is because he has a bridge that is very hard to keep clean.  The tissue surrounding the bridge was tender and inflamed.  So yes, there were bleeding gums, but I think she's rather vigorous regardless.  She probably needs to be reminded to ease up a bit.

The woman who cleaned my teeth simply left the saliva sucker thing in my mouth for ages.  I wasn't sure why she needed to do that, since none of the other hygienists have done it.  But I figure she knows what she's doing.  My teeth are clean, anyway.  And I didn't suffer any pain, other than being a bit flummoxed by my dentist's insistence that I see a doctor.  I figure that may simply be a cultural thing.  And ultimately, he's probably right, even if the conversation made me feel kind of uncomfortable.

Anyway, yesterday someone  complained in the local Facebook group about my dentist's hygienist-- probably the same one who cleaned Bill's teeth.  She said that the woman had been too rough on her daughter and the child left the office thinking the hygienist was angry with her.  The mom vented about it.  Naturally, once she did that, everybody and their brother came out with suggestions for the few other dental practices frequented by Americans in our area.  Everyone thinks they have the *best* dentist, too.

I have heard great things about several dentists in this area.  We are fairly spoiled for choice.  I actually had some trouble choosing one, but finally went with the one I did because I noticed that people were praising him when we lived here last time.  Apparently, he used to have an American hygienist.  One of his other patients said that the "trick" was to get the American hygienist.

Americans generally think that their countrymen are the *best* at things.  I am as guilty as anyone, I guess.  One reason I picked my dentist is that he's half American and I figured if I needed pain meds, he'd supply them.  And he did give me very strong ibuprofen, which was really all I needed.  He also gave me Ativan, which helped me stay calm during my surgeries.

But there's another practice in the area that is apparently staffed entirely of Americans.  People in our community seem to think they're the best solely due to the fact that the staff is American.  I don't think that's so.  I can't see why a person's country of origin necessarily has anything to do with their ability to provide medical care, except when it comes to cultural differences.  For instance, yesterday I wrote about how I dread needing medical care here...  but then, I would dread it in the United States, too.  Here, though, nudity and modesty are not as big of a deal as they are in the States, so there is a risk of an embarrassing cultural clash.  As far as the actual medical care goes, though, I would expect it would be top notch.

I probably shouldn't care too much about people recommending other dentists.  If everyone goes to the all American practice, that means it'll be easier for Bill and me to score appointments!  I just think it's funny that people turn into cheerleaders for their favorite businesses.

I have a feeling this post will prompt spammers who will try to leave comments for gentle dentists.

In other news, I just booked our trip to Ireland.  Hopefully, the weather won't suck too much next month.


  1. I don't really have a regular dentist. A relative of a relative about 90 minutes away handled my orthodontic adjustments once I moved up here for med school. e did exams during that time. i probably need to make an appointment with him. He made impressions after my braces came off. When he heard through the grapevine about my having to take medication that causes a lot of vomiting, he used my most recent impressions to make two sets of mouth guards so I won't erode my enamel with the incessant barfing, which was very kind of him. Aunt Jillian and her side of the family have historically considered the guy's wife to be a bit of a bitch, and she hasn't really said the kindest things about me (she actually referred to me as an underachiever to my mother, and appeared not to be joking; no one knew where she was coming from)but the dentist himself has been very kind to me.

    1. I do like the guy we see now. He really is outstanding. I have heard good things about several dentists in this area, though.

      I have a feeling the guy we see now will be doing another implant for me when my other baby tooth finally gives up the ghost.

  2. Yep. Those baby teeth can't usually last forever.


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