I have spent a great part of my life living abroad, first because of my dad’s work and then as a result of my own, so I am used to getting health care treatment in various places outside my home country and have been very pleased with my experiences so far.
However, I am always anxious about one thing no matter where I am in the world! I don’t trust dentists to tell me the truth, and am always thinking dentists want to take advantage of me. I think the fact that I have not been able to stay in one place to develop a relationship with any one doctor has fueled my distrust.
During a recent trip to Panama, I decided to visit the dentist for a regular dental check-up, cleaning, and teeth whitening. Everything started like any ordinary visit until the x-rays results came back. The x-rays showed that I had serious dental condition. I was saying to myself…..here we go again! Let’s see what they are going to sell me now!
The general dentist called a Specialist in the clinic, and he explained to me in detail my current condition. I could not believe it. I thought this condition was for old people! I do clean my teeth twice a day and go to the dentist at least once a year, you know. Needless to say I thought was getting hustled.
I wanted a second opinion, so I called a friend and he recommended going to his dentist. I went to see her right away, and, to my surprise, she confirmed the initial diagnosis. She explained to me that some women experience this condition at an early age because oral bacteria tend to increase during pregnancy. She explained my options and suggested a laser treatment, which I did on the spot. I am so glad I did it! My mouth is healthy now, and I know what to do to prevent this disease from happening again.
Looking back, my lack of faith in doctors made look for a second opinion. However, in situations when I can’t turn to a friend for a recommendation it would’ve been great to have another source for word-of-mouth like information and patient reviews to guide me whether I’m at home or abroad.
By Beatriz Huerta