April 12, 2013

Living in Germany - Dental Hygiene

A few months ago, I posted about life in Germany since we've now been here over a year. I thought I would go ahead and continue with this as a series since I find so many aspects of the cultural differences so interesting. Especially our holiday tradition differences. More to come on those...

Last week, I finally forced myself to schedule and go to the dentist. I honestly hadn't been in 4+ years and was noticing a pain when I sucked in cold air. Not good. I was certain I'd have some major expensive issues. My appointment was at a local practice here in Grafenwoehr. Small. Clean. Modern. Pretty hygienists (is it just me or all hygienists young pretty girls?). I expected the full blown cleaning, but what I got was a quick scrape of tartar build up that lasted 5 minutes max. No swish. No spinney brush thingy with a terrible tasting paste. No brushing or flossing. Just a little scraping. Then in came the dentist. She quickly poked and prodded my teeth and found a teeny tiny cavity. She didn't even give me a shot (offered but said she didn't think I would feel a thing) and filled it right there on the spot. Done. In and out in 30 minutes. No pain.

Now, I'm not complaining, but I am a bit perplexed. I certainly hated dentist visits in the states. Back home I remember wishing they would please put some entertainment on the ceiling, bored staring up for an hour plus. And my jaws would ache leaving the office from being open so wide so long. The only thing I looked forward to was the free tooth brush. I didn't get one last week :(

What I am wondering right now, does the US go overboard on dental hygiene to make more money? Or is Germany just not as good at the whole dental hygiene thing and people's teeth are worse off here? This could lead into a whole health care discussion, but I'll save that for another day.

Any thoughts on this? Anyone else wonder how much of the "cleaning" they actually do in the states is really necessary? I used to swear my last dentist in the states was telling me I had cavities just to make money... Does that happen? I wouldn't put it past some....

Little Shop of Horrors always comes to mind when I think of dentists...

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