This blog represents my personal reactions to my experience as a Peace Corps volunteer. It is not an official communication from the United States Government or the Peace Corps.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dentistry in Botswana

Your teeth and gums age along with the rest of you, and before I left the States I was told by a number of dental professionals to be sure to get my teeth cleaned every three months, as I did at home. The Peace Corps pays for only one cleaning, at mid-service. So I asked the PC for the name of a reputable dentist. They gave me one in Gaborone. Things being as they are here, I did not get it arranged to see the dentist for a cleaning until last month. I went to Gaborone, and it was pouring rain. I literally waded through the parking lot to get to their office. When I asked the guard at the gate where the dental office was, she waved vaguely up the stairs. After going up and searching both upper floors I found the office on the first floor, just down from the gate guard. My appointment was for 10am, and I arrived about 9:55am. I filled out paperwork, and sat in their waiting room. I did find an interesting reference in one of the magazines, that I will describe later.
At 10:30, I was called into the treatment room. I had a quick exam, and then a cleaning, that consisted of use of the ultrasound scaler and then a polish with the gritty stuff. A rinse, and I was done. I walked back into the reception area at 10:40, and then paid 1,136 pula – which is $157 American. All for ten minutes work. I think that beats even American dental prices. I don’t plan to go back.
The reference in the waiting room. One of the African magazines at the dental office had a reference to “The Size of Africa” and a most interesting visual. Africa is as big as the United States, including Alaska, China, India, and a good chunk of Europe combined. If it ever develops the rest of the continent as thoroughly as the oil countries, it will be formidable indeed!

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