Spanish healthcare chronicles: the dentist

tray of dentist tools

Some people love visiting their healthcare providers. They set up appointments at every chance, willing their hypochondria to be confirmed… if not here, then there. 

I’m a hypochondriac too. If I get some belly flab, I write it up to a tumor. A sensitive tooth– an impending root canal. But my branch of hypochondria avoids doctors at all costs.

One of my nurse friends (yes, I have several, which is unfortunate for them when I seek advice for random ailments) laughs at me because I always preface an advice request with, “Don’t tell me to go to the doctor.”

In healthcare, the firsts are the scariest because I know the invasive scrutiny of my various and sundry body parts will only confirm my worst fears.

My first dentist experience was terrifying. My teeth are bad and I was already imagining myself in dentures.

“I don’t want any major work that isn’t necessary,” I squeaked as they herded me into the panoramic x-ray room. I tried to explain the history of my teeth as the dentist spun her little mirror around in my mouth. Then, the hygienist cleaned my teeth while I cringed and balked and kept imagining dentures.

“See you in a year!” 

What? Dentists never said that.

I have a hunch that in Spain they aren’t as picky about perfect smiles as they are in America. (I was the one who suggested I get a check-up and cleaning every six months instead of the recommended year.)

So that first is done. Two years later, I love my dentist and even though I discovered they don’t accept my new insurance, no way am I changing dentists. No way. Huh-uh. At least not until I get a little braver.


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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