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Five-star dentistry

IMG_1196 (600x800)‘Sweet mother of Divine Jesus! It’s going to cost how much?

Never backward about coming forward when it comes to saying it as it is, I was lucky I was sitting down when I saw the estimate for the work I need done on my teeth. Yet it’s not like it was really a surprise. I’ve been expecting some dentist or other to give me the bad news for a few years now, but none seemed brave enough to venture anywhere closer than ‘you’ll need those looked at … at some stage’.

Back in 1994, hospitalised with a metal allergy, I had all my amalgam fillings replaced with porcelain. I was told then that I might (might!) get 10 years out of them before they needed to be replaced again. Do the math. It’s now 2013. Since I’ve moved to Budapest, I’ve been dentist-hopping, going on recommendations, looking for that elusive pain-free experience. I’ve even fallen for one of them (a gorgeous man with a lovely smile – maybe I should have asked who his dentist was!); been to another’s clinic/apartment where he showed me all sorts of gold fillings, advising that I invest in my mouth instead of the stock market; and woke up with a mouthful of unnecessary work in a third.

I’m one of the most reasonable women you’ll ever meet. I don’t ask for much.

  1. I don’t want to be kept waiting. If I have a 9.30 appointment, I want to be in that chair by 9.33 latest (I’ve adapted SAY’s seven-minute rule to three minutes). I have no desire to sit in a waiting room waiting for my name to be called as my morning dwindles away to lunchtime and into early afternoon.
  2. I want undivided attention. The dentist is one occasion when it is all about me. I don’t want my dentist running back and forth between patients, working up a sweat, taking an all-too-obvious brief moment to acquaint himself with the job in hand each time he pops back into my mouth. I want him there all the time: focused, calm and reassuring… with his powder dry.
  3. I want to know what’s being done and why. And I want it in simple English. Don’t show me an x-ray – I’m not trained to read them. Take a colour photograph that even I can understand.
  4. I want to know, up front, what this is all going to cost. None of this ‘at least… ‘ or ‘in the region of … ‘ I want an itemised inventory of everything from the fluoride treatment to the cost of the porcelain itself and any possible extras. Give me the worst-case scenario and let me get the heart attack over with before you drug me.
  5. I want some empathy. I HATE going to the dentist and while, yes, I’m supposedly an adult and mature enough to take the pain and the stress and the whatever that comes with having a drill bit rotating at a 1000 rpm just inches from my nostrils, I want someone to feel my angst, to understand my concerns, and to be at one with the terrified child within.
  6. And most of all, I don’t want to feel one teeny, tiny twinge. I don’t even want to feel the needle that injects the anaesthetic. No pain. I can do the mild discomfort that comes with opening wide and tilting back so that all the blood rushes to my head, but no pain. None. I want pain-free dentistry.

Now, is that really too much to ask? Well, you’d think I was asking to be Queen of England or to fit into Sarah Jessica Parker’s cast-offs. How far does one have to travel in a city that has more dentists per capita that any other city in the world? [Don’t quote me on that – I made it up – it just seems like it could be true!]

Well, now that I’ve found my dream dentist, I can either get a metro and a bus, or a tram, or a tram and a bus.  And yes, I do have to cross the river. But that’s a small price to pay, considering.

  1. Open from 7am til 1pm, they take 4 or 5 patients a day so no waiting (and I got a locker for my stuff with my own key!).
  2. Only one patient is treated at any given time so I got undivided attention.
  3. The colour photos were gross – but they did  the job – and the talk though each procedure was clear and concise.
  4. The bill was itemised to the nth degree (option to pay in euro or forint).
  5. My child within survived.
  6. No pain… not even the tiniest little bit. Nothing!

Dr Mohos Dental, District XII.  Szendi utca. No. 16. +36 30 430 8552

Hungarian, German, English, and Irish spoken 🙂

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