Earlier this year I thought it was high time that I had my teeth cleaned. Tha last time I had them cleaned was the fall of 2004 and they definitely needed it. I had asked around a bit, but didn’t have a recommendation for someone here in El Masnou.
In October I received a marketing call from my health care insurer, Adeslas. They are part of Grupo Agbar, otherwise known as the Barcelona water company. (Hence, for my userpic, I chose Torre Agbar, their signature headquarter building, which is visible from my terraza.) They were running a promotion and I could add dental coverage for under 5 € a month. So I agreed.
A week later I received material in the mail including a “credit card” that is used for identification. The main clinic is on Balmes on the same block as the University of Barcelona and close to the route that I take to Átame and Punto BCN. So the next time I went into town I stopped by the clinic to make an appointment for a general exam and teeth cleaning. Part of the “free” coverage. They had openings the day I was leaving for San Francisco, but I elected for an appointment the day after my return.
I arrived a few minutes early on my appointment day. After my trip on public transit, it was a short 5-minute walk to the clinic from the nearby Metro station at Universitat. I only had to wait a few minutes before a woman dentist did a quick exam of my teeth. She found a couple of “cavititas”, but nothing that needed immediate attention.
Next I waited for the hygienist to clean my teeth. I was surprised that they used an ultra-sound machine as I was used to the scalpels my dentist office in California used. I asked about this and the hygienist said they use scalpels on rare occasions and the typical method was using ultra-sound.
I was then told to wait for radiografia, otherwise known as X-rays. For years I had the “bite-wings” images taken. This time I was greeted by a machine made by Kodak that took a single panoramic image of the entire oral cavity. My guess is that the machine is too expensive for a small dental office, but makes sense when you are running a clinic.
After giving me the radiografia I was sent downstairs to see a periodontist. He told me that I had some tartar build-up below the gum line and should have it removed. This is not surprising as the last time I had a similar procedure was probably 15 years ago. So I was prescribed two sessions at 56 € a piece. They wanted to schedule me the next morning, which was a Saturday. I demurred, since Ruben would be providing me with company at that time. So instead I returned the following Tuesday morning.
The session lasted about half an hour and I was prescribed an oral antiseptic chlorhexidine to be used twice a day for seven days. My local pharmacy had it on hand. I was also instructed to massage my gums for five minutes each morning for two months.
A week later I had my second appointment. I was told that the right-side of my mouth had more tartar than my left-side. Curious I thought, until I realized that I start cleaning my teeth on the left and may be favoring it for that reason. So now I have switched sides for starting.
In six months I go back for mantenimiento. My teeth haven’t felt this clean in years.