Sunday, September 30, 2007

A pain in the...

Well, it has been easy to praise the French health service, simply because it is so good. However, to give the promised feedback on experiences with dental care, it has to be said that there seems to be a weak spot in what is otherwise a superb system.

The local dentist here is excellent but there are others in the local towns and villages, so choice is not a problem at all. Just recently, though, in what can only be described as a rare lapse, the local guy overlooked an infection and sealed it in! The point here is not about this mistake, as we all make them, even if it did result in truly excruciating pain... no, this is about what you do on a Sunday when your toothache is so intolerable that it cannot be endured until Monday.

Well, the local dentist did not give an emergency number, and one could not be found in the telephone listings. A call to the local hospital asking if they knew someone resulted in the suggestion that the hospital in a town 45 minutes away has an emergency dentist - but checking with them also resulted in a blank! Fortunately, someone had the presence of mind to suggest that the ambulance service might keep a number and, hurray, the unfailing emergency services came up with a dentist working on Sunday morning - and he was excellent, even if he said that it would be necessary to remove the nerves!

So, a happy ending really, although is worth noting that this was not one of the local dentists, but a practice in a large town 50 kms away. Perhaps this would not surprise most people, but it was a shock to find that it was such a problem here, where every other aspect of medical care is so great. Why don't the local dentists have a rota for out-of-hours work, like pharmacies, I wonder?

The moral of this post? I guess whatever country you are in, just keep brushing...

4 comments:

footiam said...

Yes, keep on brushing...
and thanks for dropping by
http://travelpangs.blogspot.com

Will Pow said...

...and thank you! Will keep in touch with your travels - and please do contribute any time...

janeywan said...

I worked in dentistry for 30 years. One of my favorite sayings was floss the one you want to keep. I'm not implying that you don't by the way. :)

Sorry for the suffering you had to put up with.

Thanks for dropping by my site.

Will Pow said...

Thank you janeywan - those are nice thoughts. Yes, keep brushing and flossing, but nature catches up eventually, whatever country you are in and no matter how good the dentists!