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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

YumaBev goes to the Dentist

While I was in Mexico last week, I went to the Dentist for a cleaning. I have a lot of teeth in my mouth, 30 to be exact, and I don't have a big mouth (despite what my Parents said), so cleaning my teeth can be a challenge. The Parkinson's Disease makes it difficult for me to obey commands, my jaw and tongue have a mind of their own, so I need a tech with a sense humor and who's not afraid of being bitten.

I'm not sure how many Dentists occupy the small town of Algodones, but I'd guess it's close to 100. The Dental offices are right next to each other. You can get everything from a simple cleaning to fillings, dentures, and even implants, all done at very reasonable prices, compared to USA. I had a crown replaced several years ago for about $200.
Dental row, one of many

Appointment times are subjective in Mexico, if your appointment is at 10, the Dentist might not show up until 11, so you need to be a patient patient.  I was lucky on this day, the Dental Assistant (probably a recent Dental School Grad) was there when I arrived and I only had to wait 30 minutes to be taken back to the room. She was very pretty with perfectly straight white teeth and long thick dark curly hair, it was like having a super-model clean my teeth. Too bad she wasn't a he, it would have been more fun for me.
My Dentist

The exam room looked just like every other Dentist office I have ever been to. They give you dark shades to wear, so the bright light doesn't hurt your eyes. They put Vasoline on your lips, so they don't crack from having your mouth wide open and they put a real towel under the paper one that clips around your neck, so your shirt doesn't get all wet. At my last visit to a USA Dentist (which was 6 months ago), they did none of this.

typical dental tray 
The first thing she did was hang the suction tube thingy on my lip. It promptly fell off. She tried again and it fell off, so I reached my hand up and held it in place for the rest of the visit (you can't expect a Dental Tech to have 3 hands). Then she went to work, trying to wrangle the mirror and ultra-sonic wand around my moving tongue and lips. She kept asking me to open my mouth and to turn my head towards her. I didn't realize I was doing the opposite. She had a very difficult time reaching the back teeth, but managed somehow and I did NOT bite her, so it was a successful visit. 

My guess is she will call in sick the next time I have an appointment. She wouldn't be the first. The reason I have 30 teeth is my teeth don't want to come out. The two I had extracted proved so difficult for the oral surgeons, they asked me to never come back!

Dental Health is important if you have Parkinson's Disease and taking care of your teeth can be challenging, so I go regularly for cleanings and exams.  I use a power toothbrush and floss picks, since I have dexterity problems, but I still have all my fingers.


Clicking on colored words in any story will take you to another story or article.

Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!

7 comments:

  1. Even though you have Parkinson’s disease, the dentist did wonderful job cleaning your teeth. I wish you posted some photos of your teeth before and after the procedure for us to see the difference. Have you tried going for another visit to her? Going by the way she handled your teeth, maybe she can be your permanent dentist so you won’t have to find another one that can deal with your PD.  

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  2. Well, I’m very glad that you and the dental assistant made it through that visit just fine! I can imagine how difficult dentist visits must be because of your condition. It’s good that there are ways around it, and that the dentist was patient. Let’s hope every dentist that you go to treats you this way, so that you’ll never have a hard time at dental appointments.

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  3. Dentists who can be so patient and do their best for their patients with special conditions definitely deserve commendation. It sounds like your Parkinson’s disease doesn’t make dental procedures easy for you, so I also commend you for doing what you have to even when it’s hard. I’m going to echo Landen’s wish that all the dentists you go to will be as good as the one you mentioned in your blog.

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