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2005-04-16 09:50:00

When I was in Rurrenabaque a silver filling fell out and I could feel this hole in the top upper back of my mouth. The edges were sharp and it felt brittle, like maybe part of my tooth could break off if I did not repair this quickly.

What to do, first thought, aagh I am in Bolivia, are they ok to fix my tooth, now I see a lot of silver fillings in South America and sometimes it is possible to believe they want silver to show on their teeth. So obviously the dentist here have experience. However, the quality of services and products in developing countries is normally very underdeveloped.

So how to find a dentist? There are streets full of dentist, so I know I can find a dentist street. I was thinking maybe I should take a taxi to the rich part of town, however the rich are normally a little more on the exploitive side, and I really do not need exploited for my teeth, maybe they break the tooth off to get the big bucks.

In the end I asked the owners of my Hostel for a recommendation and he instantly recommended this lady dentist, I was happy because I prefer a lady dentist, because women are normally more serious and more capable in the underdeveloped countries because the men are lazy and drink too much, thinking they do not need to work or concentrate because they are men.

So step one, get a recommendation.

Step Two, I got him to tell me that approximately what he thought it would cost, he said,
“100-120 Bolivianos.”

I am a foreigner the price can go crazy if I do not have a guideline, this is an ok price and somewhere between 10 and 15 dollars U.S.

Go and walk in, strangely you can just go walk into the clinic, I walked in during the afternoon however I would have rather done this in the morning when the person was less tired.

The woman inspected my tooth, started to give me and injection for pain, and I said,
“How much?”

She said,
“80 Bolivianos.”

Ok, the price is ok, and I know before she started how much it was maybe going to cost, I expect price rises in underdeveloped countries of around 50 percent.

She drilled on my tooth, trying to explain in Spanish what she was doing, I knew most of the words, and however she did not go slow, or alter her speech in any manner, so understanding was difficult.

I think this is what happened, on the first appointment she clean out some microbes or a cavity that was below the silver filling and more or less caused the filling to pop out. She then packed some form of medicine into the cavity of the tooth and this was to kill or soak the tooth to kill any other bacteria’s.

When I came back for the second time she shot me for pain again and this time cleaned or drilled some more, I was getting worried that she was drilling or grinding away the whole tooth. I went in on Friday in the afternoon and went again on Saturday morning at 10:00, the office was open and doing work. It is unusual for anyone to be working diligently on Saturday morning in South America so I was again happy, this is not normal. I do not want normal behavior I want western thinking, not South American Latino ways of doing things.

She filled my too with silver, and now I go back again at 11:30 so she can make sure the teeth are meeting ok and nothing is out of alignment.

I was very happy and the dentist appeared to be a perfectionist.

It cost 10 dollars U.S.

She grinded a little more off, I left and tested it on a chocolate donut.