Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dental Exam with CAJA


Even though our son is only 5 1/2 years old, each day he comes home from public school in Costa Rica with homework inside his notebook and backpack.  Two weeks ago, there was a small typed notice in Max's notebook from the school. It asked if we want our child to attend a free dental exam in Grecia. We agreed, not knowing what to expect. Within a few days, we were given notice that his exam was Friday morning at 9 am. We had already planned a day at the museum since school let out Thursday for Semana Santa (Holy Week). Matt dropped us both off at the Odontologico building directly in front of Casa San Miguel Restaurant. We noticed all his friends from school already waiting in line. I sighed, thinking, "OMG this is going to take forever!" I gave his name to the clerk and she pulled out several papers, again, I was thinking "Crap, now I get to fill out a bunch of stuff!" but I didn't. The clerk actually filled the paperwork out for me. This was a first. I noticed that they were calling names to the back rather quickly. Another first. I do not even like to think about all the time I have wasted in a waiting room for a doctor/dentist appointment. Max climbed around on the stairs outside while we waited in the cool, Costa Rican morning air. Only 20 minutes had gone by and I realized we were next in line. Once behind the doors, we realized how deep the building was, passing door after door. There might have been 10 offices inside, all busy with doctors and patients. "Wow!" I thought, "Instead of 1 doctor and 10 patients, there are 10 doctors!" Another first for me. My Spanish is pretty good by now, but I was pleased to visit with the dentist in English, as he seemed pleased to practice. I was also surprised to hear that Max had 1 cavity, damned candy. The dentist looked up at me and asked, "Do you want me to remove the cavity?" and I said, "Now?" and he smiled, pulled out the drill and got to work. Max cried for a second and I told him that the dentist will have to stick him with a long needle if he can't be tough and strong and let the doctor use the drill. Max toughed it out and within 2 minutes, he had a tiny filling. The doctor told me his teeth looked good and to come back in 6 months for a cleaning and check-up. The assistant gave us some coloring pages about teeth and a crayon. Max was happy, but he told me he was going to floss better since he did not ever want the doctor to drill in his mouth again. I was amazed. We were in and out within 40 minutes. The best part was that it was free. Completely and totally free. I kept looking over my shoulder for someone to yell, "Stop, Espera, Wait, La quinta!" but it never happened. This was the best dentist experience ever, especially since it was not me in the chair;) 

After the dentist appointment we headed to the Children's Museum in San Jose.  We spent some extra time in the dental exhibit teaching Max and Sara the importance of brushing and flossing. Max told Sara that he never wanted to drill in his mouth again. He even told his patient that he was going to be a nice doctor and not drill in his mouth...pobresito. 


I have visited with a few doctors and apparently, the CAJA works well because all doctors and dentists work for the CAJA during the work days of the week; then many of them have private practices in the afternoons and weekends. Makes pretty good sense to me. I am sure there are horror stories, just like everywhere, but all of our experiences have been good. Max has already had his eyes examined and diagnosed with acute astigmatism. He also had his teeth examined, of which there was a cavity removed and filled. Everything was free except the eye glasses, purchased separately; and the cavity, which I am sure cost about 10 cents per day of candy. I am surprised the dentist did not give us candy as we left the building. It seems like everywhere we go in Costa Rica, store owners and clerks are dishing out candy to our kids. Pura Vida!

11 comments:

  1. Hi. I've left many comments but they say undeliverable. If you get this one can you please email me at thereed8@yahoo.com. We are planning a trip to Costa Rica in July. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christine, all of your comments are posted and are in my email. Not sure why they say undeliverable, but I will check it out.
      July is a nice time to visit in the rainy season. I highly suggest planning your days early since it rains most afternoons. Pura Vida!

      Delete
  2. Great information on your blog about living in Costa Rica! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

    For those interested in moving to Costa Rica but worried about making a living, start your adventure with us by getting TESOL Certified in Heredia, Costa Rica. It's the best way to travel and make some cash at the same time. Sign up for a course today!

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    ReplyDelete
  3. Great information on your blog about living in Costa Rica! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

    For those interested in moving to Costa Rica but worried about making a living, start your adventure with us by getting TESOL Certified in Heredia, Costa Rica. It's the best way to travel and make some cash at the same time. Sign up for a course today!

    http://www.costaricatesol.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Melanie for following! Feel free to send me a quick info Blog and I will post it for everyone! Great Info on other opportunities in Costa Rica..Pura Vida!

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  5. Coming this site to read something about dental was my good decision and I get some exclusive info from here at all. By the way, Niki if you need dental seo services talk with more details. Thanks!

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  6. Wow, that is so interesting!! Your post is making me to plan the trip to Costa Rica. Anyway, I just need some recommendations for a domestic dentist Redondo Beach for my dental filling. Could you please help me in this?

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  7. I do not offer a recommendation for dental work, but I would focus my trip on the Central Valley, since most of the medical industry practices in that area and it has the best weather! Thanks for following.

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