miðvikudagur, ágúst 16, 2006

"my teeth, dripping at my gums"

Just got back from the dentist's office here and so I thought a good topic today would be comparing and contrasting the Dentist Experience hér á klakanum with that in the US. In a well-written essay, of course. Or a well-written series of bullet points:

Things that are the same:
  • The same tray of scary picks and axes, laid out with color-coded handles.
  • Easy-listening music on the intercom. Apparently, this is necessary for good dental hygeine the world over. In Boston, it used to be WSSH, turned down to barely-audible volumes. Here it's Létt Bylgjan (the Light Wave) 96.9 FM. Smooth...
Things that are different:
  • Like all medical facilities (and homes too, visitors!) in Iceland you have to take off your shoes at the dentist's door. Or cover them with blue plastic bags, which are piled in a big bin. Under no circumstances can you walk directly on the pristine floors of the dental facility in your street shoes.
  • Everything is computerized. All patient records, observations, future appointments, and billing info are in a seat-side computer. Even the X-rays go straight into the computer as JPEGs, real-time.
  • Everyone who works in my Icelandic dentist office is female. This encompasses 3 or 4 dentists and countless hygeinists. Furthermore, they mostly seem to be under 30 and cute as hell.
  • They never let you rinse in Iceland. Rinsing is a luxury to be indulged only at the very end of 45 minutes of scraping, polishing, and flossing. Sometimes they use the vacuum to keep things from getting completely sloshy in there.
  • American dentists never seemed to compliment me on how good my Icelandic was. But I guess it wasn't all that good back then anyway.


Blogger Sue said...

"Everything is computerized..."

My dentist here in MA has this too. It's really neat because they put it on a screen on the ceiling so you can look at it while prone.

Blogger JB said...

Wow, high-tech!

But don't you mean "while supine"? Or do you lie on your stomach at this high-tech dentist office? ;-)

Blogger m said...

I had to get a physical when I first moved there. The doctor took one look at me, listened to my lungs & heart for a second and proclaimed "You're an Icelander from America. I'm sure you're fine." Funniest physical I've ever had.

Blogger carmen said...

Yeah, my dentist in nyc is all computerized, too. Not only does she have my x-rays on there, but she even took digital pictures of all of my molars to keep tabs on the state of affairs back there. You know those lovely perfect models of the human jaw dentists often have? Not my teeth, that's all I can say.

Blogger Stan said...

First it was hub, now klakanum... I love your geography! The balcony video will come...


Blogger JB said...

Carmen: I guess I missed out on the computerized-dentist revolution by leaving Boston in '04.

Mindy: The doctor at that physical told me, "I trust the Boston medical system." I think it was probably the same guy.

Blogger JB said...

Stan: Ég bý á klakanum, alveg rétt. En ég kem frá hjólnöfinni.

Blogger Syngibjörg said...

Tannlæknar gera mann dauðhræddan, manni drepleiðist hjá þeim, því er best að liggja eins og maður sé steinsofandi hjá þeim í stólnum:O)


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