A Trip to the Dentist

After twelve years of therapy my psychiatrist said something that brought tears to my eyes. He said, “No hablo ingles.” ~ Anonymous

Hola Everyone!  It has been awhile since I have blogged, as it seems that I have become one of those retirees (still don’t like that word!) who has begun to wonder how she had time to work, with all the activities in which we are involved.

Today was the day to experience the world of Mexican dentistry, which has been highly touted as professional and inexpensive.  The particular dentist’s office that we visited was across town, and we would typically walk, as we do so most everywhere, but given other appointments earlier today (yoga and the Wednesday organic market), we thought it best to hop onto a city bus.

City buses lack some of the creature comforts of those taken for longer distances (like the ETN bus we took to San Miguel and Guanajuato), but are serviceable and cost 6-8 pesos (less than $1).  Sitting by the window, on more than one occasion, I held my breath as the driver squeezed by other vehicles, missing side view mirrors by inches!

In the states, we are accustomed to being considerate of those around us and wear ear buds when listening to iPods or radios (except for some who use cell phones and wish everyone to hear their conversation) but in Mexico, anything goes.  An older local gentleman stepped on the bus and proceeded to crank up his portable radio so we all could enjoy the Latin music.  It phased no one around him and I realized that I am becoming accustomed to this type of behavior as well, because in the whole scheme of things, it is no big deal, right?!

We hopped off the bus at our stop and entered the dentist’s office, where we were told by an office staffer that Terry would be passed off to a nice-looking woman dentist and I would have a nice-looking male dentist to take care of my exam and cleaning.  I must admit that this was not the type of comment I had ever heard before when entering a doctor’s office, but was all said in jest.

Both our dentists were professional and efficient and the equipment used was very modern (ultrasonic cleaning method).  My exam seemed very thorough and, at one point, my dentist very kindly asked me if I was stressed, as he could see that I had a tendency to clench my teeth.  Explaining to him that I was recently retired and enjoying the good life; yoga, meditation, beautiful weather, and long lunches with friends, I did not feel the least bit stressed.  I bemused that perhaps watching the meanderings of the bus drivers down narrow streets could be a bit stressful but knew that my teeth clenching originated long before my departure from corporate life.

While still in the chair, I was fitted for a mouth guard, while Terry had a filling replaced after his cleaning, all done with much care.  Surprisingly, this did not take several visits, and had I been willing to wait for one hour, I could have walked out of the office with my mouth guard, but opted to return the next day instead.

Now for the really exciting news, the costs for the services rendered:

Cleaning and exam:          $12.00

Filling restoration:           $28.00

Mouth guard:                    $50.00

Another side benefit was no insurance papers to file.  Needless to say, we were impressed.

We decided to take the bus back as well and hopped on at the nearest bus stop.  Local buses are commonly referred to as “chicken buses” because ostensibly, one could bring their live chicken on board if they were so inclined.  Surprise, surprise, we had entertainment for the ride back in the form of two Mexican balladeers, who apparently used this venue as their side jobs.  The younger of the two stood in the aisle with his back to me, strumming his guitar as he began to serenade the crowd.  Given the swaying of the bus, I was braced to have him sitting in my lap before we arrived at our stop, but much to my relief, he had great balance and his singing was not half bad!

One never knows what they might encounter on a bus trip across the village.  I am secretly hoping for the singing chicken act on our next bus adventure!

Hasta luego!

2 thoughts on “A Trip to the Dentist

  • How brave you both are. Did they speak English, or were you able to dazzle them with your newly acquired Spanish? Always new experiences. That’s what it’s all about, this retirement thing.

    • Hi Joan,

      When it comes to doctors, we will only venture into those offices where perfect English is spoken. There is too much risk in not being able to communicate well with your doctors, as we are all aware. Since our Spanish is still limited at best, we chose an office where the doctors are fully bilingual.


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