Saturday, 9 May 2015

Free Dental Treatment Part 2

Well ....... I promised a second installment so here we go!

The uptake of free treatment at the Centro de Salud has been exceptional. The appointment book is now full for the next 7 weeks so goodness only knows what will happen if the treatment suddenly becomes "unavailable" if the "wrong" party wins the July elections.

My eyes have been opened VERY wide regarding the total lack of appropriate dental instruments and materials. Absolutely nothing has been provided for Dr Villasenor to work with. He has to pay for all materials out of his own pocket.

I mentioned in the last post that although there's an x-ray machine, there are no x-rays provided, no x-ray developer and no x-ray viewer. Once Dr Villasenor has developed the x-rays at his practice in Guadalajara, we  use the blue light normally used for curing resin fillings, held up behind the x-ray to have a look see - innovative or what! It really doesn't make life easy when you have no instant access to x-rays when treating patients in pain. Dr Villasenor is also a whizz at making single tooth dentures out of orthodontic wire and acrylic resin!

Dave had his first session there a couple of weeks ago and he was totally shocked by the lack of instrumentation. The dental unit doesn't even have water running to it, so no water to cool down the high speed handpiece, no running water to flush the spittoon. No running water period! All we can do is flush the spitoon with a cup of clorox in between patients.

We have no slow speed handpiece and the sum total of instruments available for tooth extraction is 2 elevators, 1 pair of forceps for baby teeth molars and 1 pair of wisdom tooth forceps for adult teeth. Everything needs to be done with these 4 instruments and he's not allowed to use the clinic's autoclave! Oh yeah - we do have 2 mouth mirrors and 2 hand scalers but I've yet to see a probe of any description. Dr Villasenor is a saint for working in this clinic.

For some reason - probably that Dr Villasenor belongs to the "wrong" political party - the management at the Centro de Salud make life really difficult for him. So far, they've locked the gates and "lost" the keys while he has a line of people waiting to be seen, queuing up in the street, they've hidden all the masks and surgical gloves and today there were no paper towels or plastic cups. Petty, petty, petty! Anyway things may yet get worse as he gave an interview to Laguna paper which was published today decrying the disgraceful attitude of the management of the Centre. Dave & I were mentioned in tis article but fortunately we've become Italian overnight as our surname was changed to Venci! So ..... I guess we're still sort of anonymous

Paperwork wise, I'm now coping very well and can deal with taking medical histories, writing up the clinical notes and keeping the day list log although Dave is only managing the medical history bit and doing some illicit dentistry to give Dr Villasenor a well earned back stretch. We are both now getting known in the area and have been mentioned in two patient testimonials so far by people who are grateful we're giving up our free time to help. In fact, when I was visiting my doc yesterday, he asked if we'd help at another free clinic in Chapala if the one in Ajijic folds after the elections!

Talking of Doctors, the Doc in question was Dr Santiago Hernandez in Chapala who I was visiting for the first tim . What a lovely man! I decided to go to him as our daughter, Gill, is entrusting him with her pre & post op care when she's here in July for cosmetic surgery and if he's going to look after her, I wanted to check him out first! I reckon I had the most thorough medical check up I've ever had at a doctor's surgery and was there for a full hour. He's a little more expensive than many docs around here but what value for money - $800 pesos so around £34. I've still to get blood tests done but here in Mexico you go to a separate lab for that so I don't have the costs yet.

I think Gill will be fine!

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