Allow yourself to experience what dentistry should actually beFabrice, France, 18 Nov 15
Having chronic periodontitis at quite a late stage, I have been getting many problems for the past 10-15 years. It all stepped up in the past 2 years where I had 8 teeth removed and 6 root canals. I had more abscesses then I care to count and my share of pulpitis. All through that I have seen quite a few dentists who piled up the mistakes and/or the bad advices. Being also hard to numb I had many a painful treatment which rendered me literally phobic with dentists. Bring me a dentist and I‘ll show you a babbling nervous wreck. Having done all I could naturally and with the help of dentists to no avail, I decided to forget about them all and slowly start replacing my teeth with implants so within a few years I would not have any more of this type of problems nor any pain. After all, the only one that did not created problems for me over the past 10 years was the only implant I put so far 10 years ago. At 44 years old it was a bit young but hey ho, anything not to experience another pulpitis nor any other really painful and « traumatizing » treatment. Having a very limited budget, I looked into eastern European countries (being from France, it’s handier than Mexico or India!). I first settled on a big clinic in Budapest who did the first part: taking away five teeth. Because of a certain « industrial » and « money-grabbing » outlook on dentistry that made me doubt the validity of their advice, I decided not to proceed any further with them and looked for another clinic to get the next stage: 3 implants on the lower jaw. After taking information here and there I ended up looking at the British Bucharest Dental Clinic. I first had an exchange of email which was quite “heated” in the middle with me wanting three implants, and them telling me I would need this and that before implants (debridement, possible root surgery…etc). All that to try to settle the periodontitis before anything. Having gone through 7 dentists for the past 15 years, the last thing I wanted is an 8th one giving me yet another opinion that would go nowhere with more pain and expenses for me. My mind was set and I wanted the implants and slowly replace everything as my finances allowed me to over time. So either they felt they could help me or I would go somewhere else (fear can make you quite stubborn…). The email concluded that after all it was my mouth and I could do what I wanted as long as I knew the facts. I arrived on Sunday the 8th November late evening. Sam, the office manager, was there to pick me up. Some chit chat and I ended up in the flat she helped me find for my 6 days stay. She left me a local mobile phone, just in case, over the course of my stay, I needed anything. This is not much but it is hugely reassuring when you are in a country you do not know having any kind of treatment. The next day, a taxi was waiting for me (as for all my appointments with them) and off I went to the surgery. Boy, was I on for a surprise… Obviously the surgery is up to the most modern standards and actually better than a lot I went to in France, which is to say. But the surprise was not there. The surprise was with Cosmin, the dentist (Fluent English, speaks French as well). I entered in the surgery and spent 5 hours…Yes, 5 HOURS discussing the course of the treatment and what was best. I do not know about you but I HAVE NEVER SEEN a dentist or a doctor nor anybody else spend 5 hours of his time for free to help a patient reach the best decision. In any case not when you are not called Madonna or Barack Obama. I wanted 3 implants and he would have none of it. Why? Because, according to him my reasoning was flawed and guess what? He was right. I had been thrown into a phobic state by ill-conceived and bound to fail treatments and I was not in a reasonable state. I was speaking out of sheer fear.
He spent 5 hours explaining and arguing with me. He spent 5 hours pleading for my remaining teeth… Something II should have been doing. He explained to me why my “let’s get rid of them and put implants” theory was flawed, particularly at my age. He also explained and counter argued about the fact that the treatment didn’t need to be painful nor cumbersome. He also, and most importantly, explained why the treatments had not worked before and why there was a high chance it would work now. At no point during these hours did he get annoyed or short-tempered. At no point did he let me get away with it. He took a nervous phobic wreck and got him to agree with the treatment not because he was a dentist and I was not but because he made sense and the only thing preventing me from seeing it was my fear. He did the hardest thing that could be done: convince somebody to face his fears and give some trust. The revised treatment plan was less financially attractive to him, particularly considering the time that would need to be spent. Out of all the arguments, there was one that did the trick. We talked a bit about our respective lives. He told me that having studied in Britain, he was going to start a surgery there but that he rescinded at the last minute because he did not want to become an industry as is needed in a lot of western countries to make a surgery work: piling up the patients and making a lot of botched work. I already experienced that. He qualified his practice as “boutique dentistry” and he takes only a few patients a day to make sure he does the work up to his standards. Show me a dentist that can put his wallet where his mouth is; Show me a dentist that can take the time to do his work properly no matter how time consuming it is… At one point he spent 2 hours on a decay just to save the tooth and not have to root canal it. I don’t know about you but I have never seen that personally. All in all, we agreed on the two implants I needed to replace my lower four front teeth but also on a full mouth debridement and reworking on 12 decays that were either eating my teeth or had been badly repaired in the past (I can vouch for that, I did not take his word for it). I had 5 appointments for the decays and debridement and 1 appointment for the implants. All inclusive with the future appointment to place the bridge on implants as well as the temporary prosthesis, it was 3700€ odd. The implants are German (Sky Bredent) and you also get the stickers for traceability. You obviously also get the guarantee to replace them for free if they don’t integrate to the bone.
Throughout the 5 appointments I was hard to numb and so nervous that I cleared anesthesia quicker than I pee resulting in a less than ideal working condition for him. Every 5 mn he asked how I was, every time I had a little sensitivity he dutifully added anesthesia. At every and each corner he tried everything to make me feel at ease while still doing the best work he could. At no point did he get annoyed or make me feel inadequate. I was annoying myself with all the trembling, apologizing, sweating and constant babbling. He was not. At the last appointment, I was a bit apprehensive but nowhere near the state I was at the first appointment. This is thanks to him. The debridement and the work on decays were literally works of art (between 1/2h and 2 hours by decay considering the state of my teeth…) and he took a phobic patient and gave him the chance to fight and try to win over his phobia. That is not nothing to me.
The implants were place by another Dentist, Dr Daniel Acatrinei. When I arrived (at Cosmin’s surgery) he was already there…A very cordial yet jail-door like hello…Oh dear, just what a nervous wreck needs, a jail door!…As soon as we both entered the room, he made a big smile and started joking and decompressing. Pfiou… He was not a jail-door after all…He actually was extremely nice and funny (which helped a lot). 1/4h per implant…While still joking…And guess who was assisting him? Cosmin…Who was there to reassure me all the way. Dr Acatrinei is the Romanian correspondent for the implant makers so he could place them blindfolded with a hand tied behind his back and still place them better than a lot of other dentists.
I have found decent dentists technically speaking. I have found “human” dentists but I have never found a “human” dentist with the greatest technical standard until I met Cosmin. Allow yourself to experience what dentistry should actually be instead of what a lot of dentists transformed it into. Oh, by the way, he has not one but two assistants. These are not dental assistants. They are student dentists he is training them so they can work to the best standards…Well there we go. if you want a dentist that does not consider you as the thing that is holding the teeth; if you want a dentist that actually cares more about your teeth than you do even if you’re a perfect smile freak (which I am not); If you want a dentist that works to the best possible standards and that would shame a lot of the dentists you have seen before; If you want a human being to treat another human being than look no further. Give yourself the chance to be shown what dentistry really is.
I only have one wish. Get some money, open a dentistry school here and get these two easterners to teach a thing a two to my westerner dentist