I was nervous. I could feel sweat accumulating in all the usual places when I feel anxious, on my forehead, and the small of my back. I hate dentists. Well, I don’t really hate dentists so much as hate having to go to the dentist, get shot up with Novocain, and suffer through all that drilling. So, take my usual dentist fear and multiply by 10, because I was going to a dentist in India!
My problem was that one of my fillings had fallen out and even though I am only a month away from getting home I didn’t think I should wait. That’s when I saw an advertisement on a big giant Banyan Tree in Rishikesh, so I took it as a sign (literally) and called. Turns out it was the mobile number for the dentist and I made an appointment right on the spot.
Finding a place in India is never easy as they don’t use street numbers, only road names and landmarks. So, I was told the Max White Dental is near the Bungy Jumping Booking office. Well, I didn’t know where that was either so that meant renting a scooter, driving through the India madness (cows, monkeys, potholes, buses coming straight at you, etc.) and stopping a lot to ask people that barely speak English if they knew where either office was. Finally, I found it!
Since the cost of going to the dentist in the states is nothing short of a fortune, I thought it might be a good idea to go ahead and get my teeth cleaned while I was at it and save myself a little money. I was surprised that the dentist herself actually did the cleaning. There wasn’t a dental hygienist assistant like we have back home. She started with what they call “scaling” here, which is a type of dental cleaning that reaches below the gum line to remove plaque buildup. It was pretty much like any cleaning I would get in the states, just done by the dentist herself.
Then it was time for the filling, and that’s when things got interesting. There were no x-rays taken, and no Novocain! I could understand the reason for no x-rays, as I knew where the hole was in my tooth and that is the only filling I needed at this time, but the lack of Novocain….say what????
This was her explanation. She said since the tooth was not sensitive to touch or temperature changes, there was no reason she couldn’t just clean it and fill it without Novocain. I was skeptical, but she did have a point, so I told her to proceed…cautiously. Well, it didn’t hurt at all and my filling is beautiful!
The whole thing cost me about $35 USD. It would have probably been twenty times that in the U.S. I had a great experience at Max White Dental. I think that India is a fine place to go for medical treatments, and you could probably buy a round trip ticket, get a week’s accommodations, and get your treatment done for less money than the cost of many procedures in America. Just a little something to think about.