Dental woes in Panama

My dad, my grandpa and me, in the good old days, when a lost tooth meant money under the pillow. :)

My dad, my grandpa and me, in the good old days, when a lost tooth meant money under the pillow. 🙂

Just for the record, it’s not all fun and games, here in Boquete. There are some chores you can’t escape, no matter how far you travel. Shopping must be done, the floor must be mopped, the toilet scrubbed, and — you still have to go to the dentist.

In May, I had to get a molar pulled, which was pretty much a bummer. Some people may have the wrong idea of medical care here , picturing a dental patient armed with their own bottle of whiskey and a string,  wandering into a barbershop, like in the Old West. That’s not the case, which is a very good thing, since I definitely inherited my mother’s British teeth and expect to have to make many visits to the dentist in the coming years. The offices I’ve seen in Panama (I’ve been to 3) are just like what you see in the States — big cushy reclining chairs, x-rays, Novocaine, the slightly antiseptic smell in the air —  the whole works.

The pain during and after the procedure  was minimal, and things healed nicely. However, I was left with a decision to make — a bridge or an implant? That, for me, is an easy decision — I’ve had one implant already, and that’s definitely the route I want to go. Unfortunately, no one in Boquete does that. The two English speaking dentists I’ve seen in town both have someone come to Boquete from Panama City once a month to do implants, but I would prefer to have the person who does my implant to be somewhere I can get to quickly, if I’m having a problem. So, I will travel 45 minutes to David for the implant, on one of those old school buses Mark wrote about. I went for the consultation last week, and had the panoramic x-rays taken.  The appointment  for the procedure is Friday, and although we will take the bus there, a friend has kindly agreed to pick us up afterwards, so I don’t have to sit, head bobbing and drooling, on the bus on the way home.

This unfortunately means that, after being back on the road (running) for a week, I will have to take another break, for a week or so. Good thing for me that I don’t make a living from my running. (Really good thing, considering how slowly I run.)

I’ve heard great things about this dentist (who has trained at NYU, among other places), and his skill at the implant procedure in particular, so I’m not overly nervous. Which means I’m merely petrified. I REALLY don’t like going to the dentist. Nothing personal to any of you DDSs or DMDs out there.  🙂   The cost is very reasonable — about 1/3 of the cost in the US. Wish me luck.