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Expat Argentina Life

Going to the Dentist in Cordoba

A major intrigue of living abroad is that activities that are routine and boring back home are now exciting and new.

Like getting to watch The Wire all over again for the very first time.

Back in San Francisco, going to the gym, going to the supermarket, or going to the post office are all things I’ve done so many times that I never look forward to the next time I have to do it.

So after not visiting the dentist for over a year I finally made an appointment to see one here in Cordoba. I was eager not only to have my teeth cleaned but also to experience what a dentist in Cordoba is really like. Just a basic checkup and cleaning was all I wanted.

The Place

After getting a recommendation from my girlfriend I made an appointment at Odonto Trejo. The place was very nice. Clean with modern equipment and within walking distance of my house in Nueva Cordoba.

When I arrived the main dentist himself – Dr. Carlos Jarovsky – opened the door for me, indicating that the receptionist was taking care of tramites that day. He was a very nice guy.

Most Argentinos struggle with saying my name with the same accent I use however he said there was brand of braces / dental brackets called Damon so he actually said it great. Maybe that’s my new thing now – Como te llamas? Damon, como los brackets ortodoncia.  

After filling out some paper work and chatting for a bit about the United States he brought me back into the cleaning room. If you didn’t know any better, this could have been any dentist office in the US. All the modern equipment and everything was very clean.

The Cleaning 

The dentist himself did the cleaning and checkup. Maybe he has a dental hygienist that works other times but I didn’t ask.

He washed his hands while explaining that he wasn’t going to wear gloves. That gloves are actually protection for the dentist not the patient. I’m not sure why he trusted me so much.

Mid cleaning the suction tube tool stopped working which just meant we had to frequently stop so I could rinse and spit.

During the cleaning someone rang the doorbell and since he was the only one there he had to stop to get the door. I’ve never had a dentist appointment interrupted like that back in the states but it was no sweat. He came back, washed his hands again and we continued.

He did the same job that American dentists do of making me feel extremely guilty for not sleeping with my night guard in. I’m a major teeth grinder and have significant wear on my teeth from it.

The Mirror

After you get a haircut the barber always hands you a mirror so you can inspect his work. It makes total sense.

But I’ve never had a dentist use the same strategy.

So when he handed me the mirror I was a little surprised at first. Then I realized what I was supposed to do with it.

I smiled and checked out my recently cleaned teeth and told him it was a job well done.

In all honesty I didn’t know what I was looking for. If I saw something do I let him know he missed a spot? Anyways, next time I’ll be more prepared for the mirror.

The End

After the cleaning we went back out the reception where the bill was 550 pesos (/15 ~ US $37). I paid in cash and he gave me change directly out of his own wallet.

US $37 for a cleaning and a checkup at the dentist without insurance. Not a bad deal.

 

We finished the appointment and I walked out with my complementary toothbrush in hand. Overall, a very similar experience as going to the dentist in the US however way cheaper and more mirrors involved at the end.

 

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