Saturday, 25 August 2012

Dentist in Riyadh

My grandson told me I should go back to my dentist in Riyadh to get my teeth straight like his Dad did.  Aren't kids brutally honest!

Fortunately we have found a dentist that we're quite comfortable with, here in Riyadh.  How did we find her?  Asking around.  Currently, the internet is a notoriously bad place for expats to try and find services in Saudi Arabia as companies here don't yet fully comprehend how effective it is for drumming up business.

Most expats head to forums to find answers to the question, "Who is the best dentist in Riyadh?" Surprisingly, there is a range of answers which bodes well for the number and quality of dental services in the city.

Even with fellow expat recommendations, choosing a health care practitioner is a personal thing and a number of factors contribute to your choice.  Unfortunately, human nature as it is, dentists do not come in a 'one size fits all' box.  If you are looking for a dentist, then, as a starting point, check out this list of dental clinics as recommended to me by fellow expats, though don't take these names as gospel and undertake your own research to assist your decision making.

Of course, all the research in the world cannot replace experience as a good teacher.

I admit to being a little apprehensive about my first visit to a dentist in Saudi.  My fear centered mainly on how good the dentists are in this country.    Dental surgeries, or Murder Houses as we used to call them in my childhood, are scary places at the best of times.  Anxiety over 'Weet Bix' qualifications that exist throughout the Middle East and Saudi doesn't help the fear.  But the pain in my teeth meant I couldn't put my visit off.

Christine who works out of GAMMA Dental was recommended to Hubster when he required dental services for a broken tooth soon after his arrival in Riyadh.   He told me she was a great operator and a lovely lady.  Taking courage from his words, into the dental den I ventured.

Snoozing in the dental chair is not something I've ever done before but, I was so happy with how Christine works that I fell asleep in the chair, mouth wide open and started snoring.  How is that for a recommendation!

Our hygienist, however, does not work for the same dental company as our dentist.  Admittedly she is a friend and fellow Kiwi but she is also a very good at her job, probably because she's passionate about it.   She was telling us the difference between a good hygienist and one not giving you top notch service.  Based on this information it was obvious the dental hygienists I was seeing previously were a bit of a rip off. 

The hygienists I've come across in Riyadh (and ok that amounts to two people) are reliant on the latest technology.  They give a quick whizz around with the scaling machine and they're done.  My preference, now I'm knowledgeable about the work of dental hygienists, is not to pay for 'a quick whizz around.' 

A good dental hygienist will, so I've been told, perform scaling by hand.  The electric or ultrasound scaler is supposed to assist cleaning for best results.  If your hygienist doesn't manual scale when scaling is what is called for, you're not paying for the best professional clean you can get.
To find out how a real hygienist does her job, visit Louise at SIGAL dental corner of Thalatheen and Dabaab St.   

And that is how expats find a dentist, and hygienist  in Riyadh - expat recommendations.  If you have any other recommendations for dentists or hygienists in Riyadh, feel free to let us know.

Ka Kite,

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