We have been needing to find a good dentist for the kids, but the only dental offices I’ve poked my head into have been a bit frightening. Very small, very dirty, very scary. So I asked our Haitian doctor for a recommendation and we recently tried it out.
It’s a small clinic at the intersection of 12 and J that we almost drove past on our first visit. An old wooden door that leads to a dark, winding hallway which opens up into a small courtyard. A large open well with a on one side and a staircase on the other. The first time we went, there was a woman downstairs who said the dentist was not currently working, but she called him for us and he came in to see us. The waiting room is upstairs and thought the chairs are more rickety and the electrical wiring more exposed, it reminds me of a dentist office in the U.S. A newspaper from May reminded me of the old magazines that are always in those waiting rooms.
Generally speaking, you do not find doctors or nurses with much bedside manner (there are some, of course, just not many). They rarely explain what they’re doing or why unless you are bold enough to hound them for answers. I was so pleasantly surprised by this doctor! He immediately came up and started talking to Salnise (she is 2), playing with her and singing a Haitian nursery rhyme. Without even asking, he talked us through every step of the process, the hows and the whys, and made sure I understood what he was saying. He loves Jesus (yay!) and said he would waive any consultation fees for or kiddos.
The American dentist who visited us and had recommended that we take Salnise in, had said it would probably be too difficult to do any work on her without sedation. She is a screamer, a fighter, and worst of all, a biter! This dentist is not used to having that available, so he had a number of tricks up his sleeve to get the job done. He was so cute when he would approach her every time singing and dancing so she wouldn’t be afraid.
When all was said and done, Salnise saw the dentist on three separate occasions (examination, fillings, follow-up) and got composite fillings in three of her teeth for a grand total of $35.
Maybe some things Are better in Haiti 😉