Dentistry in Faraway Places

This morning I had a root canal. It only hurt when I paid. But while the doctor was getting ready, he told me he traveled to South America and Africa helping poor people by fixing their teeth. In the Latin countries, he said he had no problem using sign language to communicate with his patients. They stood in long long lines waiting patiently for him and his team to extract teeth in large numbers.

But when he went to Africa last summer, the sign language did not work. No one understood his gestures to open your mouth, or rinse, and he needed a translator all of the time. They put a dental dam on my mouth, so wasn’t able to comment or ask him anything more about his traveling dentistry. Later his assistant told him that she wanted to get a Rotweiler for her home, and how her little daughter would love it. I shuddered…but I couldn’t pipe in ’cause the dam covered my mouth.