Travel Magazine

The Dentist

By Geraldine Forster @backpackerGerri


My visits to the Dentist

Hello everybody,

OH, dear Lordy! What a traumatic time for poor Backpacker Granny. In other words, I am in the throes of consulting several clinics to get my teeth sorted. With all due respect to those fantastic men and women and the excellent work that they carry out every day. I loathe and detest having to visit the tooth-fairy (or should I say the tooth-demon). There are not many things in this life that scare me, but the mere thought of sitting in that chair with a masked monster coming at me with a drill and a needle reduces me to a petrified, quivering, trembling yellow belly.

By the way, have any of you noticed that when you are deeply involved with something, you surprisingly come across others in the same situation? It happens to me consistently. So, of course, lo and behold I met this very charming Australian gentleman on the same mission as myself. There is no need to tell you that ¨Fillings, Extractions, Root Canal, and Implants¨ were the main topic of our conversations. Jack said to me that he comes every year to Bangkok to get dental treatment, so naturally, I was very eager to know where he went.

He started by naming one of the great clinics here in Bangkok. (When someone gives you a good recommendation, it is very reassuring.) I was on the point of making the appointment when he then mentioned another excellent place. Which at least gave me a couple of options. But then Gordon Bennet! He spent the next half an hour suggesting umpteen dentists in Bangkok that he had visited! In truth, I was feeling just as baffled as Adam on Mother´s Day.

That night in bed, for want of a better distraction, I started to wonder why Jack went to so many different dentists here in Thailand. The very next morning I did ask him for this reason. To which he replied that he wasn´t all that happy with any of them. By Jove! That is what I call a real confidence booster! NOT.

The next day I decided to go to the first place that my Aus friend had mentioned. An attractive clinic with loads of pretty girls all smiling greetings of ¨Sawasdee Ka¨ meaning ¨Hello¨ They seated me in the reception area and told me to wait a minute! A minute was twenty when they finally escorted to one of the booths to consult with the dentist. I ashamedly confess to not speaking Thai, and the sweet dentist´s English wasn´t all that perfect. I explained with sign language and opening my mouth as wide as I could that I had lost a filling and needed it renewed. 

She prodded around for quite a while and then informed me, that I needed a clown! A clown? what the hell is a clown? A clown? A clown? Aaaaah I finally reckoned she meant a crown! Talk about ¨LOST IN TRANSLATION¨ After that was clarified, she then told me I needed a complete deep clean TLEATMENT on my gums. Yeah, well I only came in to get a filling, but apparently, they were thinking differently. 

After I had had a temporary filling till I could see the specialist I was taken downstairs to pay the bill. Have any of you ever been to a Timeshare resort? If you have, then you will know what I mean about being pressurised into having something you are not ready to flipping well have. The receptionist kept insisting on me coming in to clean my gums which up to date, have not been giving me any problems at all. I had the feeling that they were more interested in how many banknotes they could extract from me rather than provide only the necessary treatment. I left without any further appointments and not convinced.

A couple of days later, I remembered that two years ago I had registered with the famous Mahidol university dental hospital, the finest in Thailand. Yesterday found me there getting a consultation with one of the dentists. A very kind gentleman who instantly made me feel at ease. As I lay down, he started to look at my papers and declared that I looked terrific for my age! Well, that was an excellent start, I am such a sucker for flattery!. He saw my feet and told me they were beautiful. Thank God I had just been and had a pedicure. Oh, gee whiz he then observed my legs and commented that they were gorgeous. He even admired my new shoes. By this time I was asking myself if I was in the right place and if this Dentist was at any given point going to look at my teeth. My imagination started to go into overdrive. I asked myself, could it be that he was going to start at the feet and and and ....? Was this going to be a Thai ¨Happy ending?¨ Let´s face it; one never knows what can happen in these exotic places! Dream on Granny.

Dammit! The dear gentleman didn´t follow up on my wicked thoughts. He only checked my mouth, and it´s full contents. He X-rayed the nasty bits and set me up with a specialist for later on in the year. The consultation and X-rays cost me the grand sum of 450 Thai baht which is the equivalent of £10. And to top it all I came away believing that I had the most stunning legs and feet in the world. And I looked fantastic for my age.  I am starting to LOVE the Thai Dentists. LOL 


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