Donnerstag, 1. August 2013

The Foreigner goes to the dentist

As a kid, I never had any kind of problems of going to the dentist. Maybe because I always had various medical problems plus some nice surgeons as relatives, I always approached such issues easily, without fear and with a lot of curiosity. For instance, even today when I go to the dentist I have a lot of questions to ask and I can understand without problems even the most difficult answers.

But one must assume that each individual is different and a lot of people in this world are afraid to go to the dentist, if not deeply hate the ritual of visiting the such a terrible place once the year. In such cases, every time I need to book a visit to such a dangerous place, I need a long previous discussion with the doctor explaining that he/she may expect some unpleasant reactions from the part of the little patient. Not necessarily because we are a family against the modern medicine - I give my own example of passion for science - but due to some lack of proper understanding (yet) of the meaning of this complicated medical branch. In the relationship with doctors, we went through different stages of rejection and acceptance, the extreme being when we were simply invited to leave the cabinet because of too much tension and hysterical tears. 

After a couple of weeks and days of secret research, I succeed to find a nice cabinet - overrated and recommended from a lot of people - in Moabit, with experienced doctors in working and treating children and adults. A friend of mine brought her rebellious son too and everyone left happy and unharmed so I decided that we should give a try as well. As the reservation was made one month before, I had enough time to prepare the ground and explain - the 1000th time - how important dentists are and how nice everyone is expected to be there.

The day before, I resisted any crying voices asking me either to cancel - 'don't you think you have a lot of work to do'? - or to delay the appointment with a week, a day or a year. We arrived at the scheduled time, no second less or more, and we were welcomed by a smiling team, that asked to fill in a couple of basic information, such as the number of the health insurance, the address plus to answer the question of how we've found the cabinet. Maybe the medical sector can offer a different perspective on the development of social media in Germany? And I remembered that I attended a couple of months ago an interesting MeetUp about health 2.0 and it could be true. 

The waiting lobby was full, with people of all ages, many of them emergencies. After 20 minutes of waiting, one of the secretaries apologized and asked us to be ready to wait a little bit more. I was pleasantly impressed and continued to use my PR skills for diminishing the fear of the little patient. One hour late, we were finally invited to go - together - and start the proper medical conversation. If not an emergency, the first visit is always exploratory, trying to understand what is the situation of the patient, getting an X-Ray, planning the next medical steps, eventually calculating the costs and the duration of the intervention. 

The lady doctor was extremely nice and talkative, understanding not only the big medical challenges ahead of her, but also the terrible fear of the patient. The consultation lasted around 20 minutes, during which we made an X-Ray and tried to find out what can be done. The cabinet was simple, painted in warm colours and very clean. Everything looked high-tech and both the doctor and the nurse were instantly updating online information about the situation of different teeth and the needed intervention. In addition, each type of intervention, was carefully calculated and we received the detailed bill at the end of the discussion. Usually, expect a high bill, as every second is took into account, thus the need to have an updated health insurance. In general, the domain of services is extremely expensive as I discovered recently: a simple reparation of the bathroom system costed around 38 Euro/hour; maybe it is about time to have a more practical job? 

The next weeks, we are expected again, and we promise to do so. The little patient was also surprised by the warm welcome and the fast work of the medical team. Could it be the end of the dentist fears? Can't wait to celebrate that moment!

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