Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Dentist

In May 2012 I had a new bridge put in on the upper right side of my mouth. Since that time I've had intermittent sensitivity whenever I touch my face around that area. When I was in the States in September I went back to my dentist in Pleasanton, CA (Dr. Craig Sjoberg). He said it could be a cracked root and took some x-rays. Because he couldn't see any cracks in the root, he decided to have me take antibiotics and Prednisone to see if the problem could be solved. I took them, and the sensitivity abated for about two months. Recently it's come back. Since it could be a major ordeal I decided I'd better find a dentist here in the Netherlands to have them take a look. I also needed a cleaning (I usually do that every four months, and it's been almost nine....yiiiiikes!).

Soooo, I sent a message via email to the AWCA women from the Haarlem Book Club asking for recommendations. The recommendations I received were:

Kliniek voor Paradontologie Amstedam
Tandarspraktijk Arts in Haarlem
Dr. Robert Gitz  Tandarts in Heemstede
Carlo Hessels Tandheelkunde in Haarlem
Harry Smit in Alkmaar

If my root was cracked the whole bridge I just had put in would have to be removed and I would need an implant, so I wanted to be sure to get a specialist.  

First thing was I needed a cleaning, check-up and consultation. Sooooo, I looked at the websites for each of the recommendations. Then I looked on-line at reviews for each of them (thank goodness there is Google Translate!).  I decided to try to get in to see Dr. Gitz because his office is close to home, he had great reviews and he is able to provide many services.

When I called the office, I got a voicemail (in Dutch, of course). I could only understand parts of it because my Dutch isn't very good! Luckily they have e-mail available from their website. I sent them a message explaining my problems and requested an appointment. They called me within the hour and we set up an appointment for a cleaning and check-up for the next day!

Yesterday I went in at 1330hrs. I took the bus (#140) to Heemstede and walked just a few blocks to the office. I filled out a new patient form and they took me back for my cleaning. I explained the possibility of having a cracked root, so she took an all around x-ray of my teeth. The Hygienist cleaned my teeth and recommended a product for flossing around my bridge that I'd seen in the U.S. She told me I could find it at the Drug store next to their office, Kruidvat, Etos or Albert Heijn.

Dr. Gitz looked at the x-rays and decided to get one more of the inside portion of that area just to be sure there was no crack in the root. There was no crack visible on either x-ray. Sooooo, he did some prodding and poking around and says there is an infection at the root of one of the teeth where I had a root canal. Because there are prongs holding the bridge on, he is unable to go through the bridge and tooth to clean it out. So, he will have to go in through the gums to clean it out. We made an appointment for next week to do the procedure.

After I left the office, I went to the drug store next to their office looking for the special floss. They usually carry it, but they were out of stock. I decided to walk back to Haarlem (about a mile and a half). I went downtown and stopped at Kruidvat, Etos and Albert Heijn. All of them were out of the product!

All in all, my experience at the dentist in the Netherlands was very good!  I must admit, I was very very very hesitant and nervous about going.....I had heard a few nightmare stories about dentistry here.  Nonetheless, my fear is gone and I will now go in for regular cleanings and exams! Thank you Dr. Robert Gitz and staff!