09 October 2014

Dental woes and joys (part 6, the finale)

With the shortage of dentists in our region, sometimes it feels like the good practitioners have more patients than they can handle, as I said yesterday. That it is the less talented dentists who are still taking new patients would follow. I'm not sure that is true, however.

After the woman on the phone at the dental office in Meusnes said she wouldn't give us appointments, I went to the yellow pages. Well, pagesjaunes.fr, actually. (I recently noticed that the most recent telephone directory we have dates back to 2012. They must have stopped printing them now.) I figured I'd start with the Montrichard area, which is only a 15 minute drive down the river from us. There's a nice open-air market there, and there are two good supermarkets.

I found four dentists over there. I just picked one pretty much at random and called his office. His name is Klotz. Now if you pronounce it in French, it sounds more like "klutz" than like "clots." I couldn't resist a name like that, after buying my car from the Garage Danger in Saint-Aignan and getting my hair cuts from Madame Barbier for years. Walt's dentist in San Francisco was Dr. Hack, and he was a good one.

When we drove over the Montrichard last Friday, this is what we found. It's the building Dr. Klotz has his dental office in:

My first thought was: it's the Addams Family's house. I hope Dr. Klotz is not the dentist who treats Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, and Lurch! That fear was reinforced when we saw the dentist's plaque, on the corner of the house, directing us down the gravel pathway on the right in the photo toward the back of the building. We didn't even get to enter through the front door.

My fears were allayed when we rang the bell and pushed the door open. There was a hallway and reception desk, all painted in a very clean white, and a white tile floor — all kind of sterile. The receptionist/dental assistant was charming, as she had been on the telephone when I called for the appointments. She gave us a form to fill out so that Dr. Klotz would have a record of our visit and know the name of our médecin traitant, what medications we take, and our contact information.

We sat down in the waiting room — just the two of us, since it was 8:30 a.m. — and not 10 minutes went by before I was called in to see the dentist. He was dressed all in white, as was his assistant, who came into the room with me. We chatted for a minute and I told Dr. Klotz, a 50-year-old man with a pleasant demeanor, that I was American, that I spoke French after a fashion (à ma façon), and that I'd spent a lot of my life living in France.

He first took a full set of x-rays and he announced to me that he didn't see any problems. My teeth are healthy and everything is in good condition. He then did the cleaning that I asked for, and he was thorough and careful. He gave me a tiny brush — sort of like a bottle brush — and said it would be better than dental floss when it came to cleaning between my teeth. I was so happy, and so relieved to have found a good dentist, finally, to replace the one in Saint-Aignan who retired two or three years ago.

The whole visit took less than half an hour. I thanked Dr. Klotz and went back to the waiting room to give Walt the thumbs up. He's great, I told Walt. And while he was getting his teeth x-rayed and cleaned, I went to the Netto supermarket down the street and bought a fresh supply of groceries. We were back at home by 10:30, just in time to get our daily bread from the bread lady.

— FIN —


  1. The relief of it all!! :-))

  2. For what he did, the dentist charged 113 euros, and we just got 73 euros of that back from the national health system. I hope Dr. Klotz doesn't retire any time soon.

  3. So, the "Confessions of a Peripatetic Dental Patient" are over....
    a shame really, it has been a fun read...
    so now you are being treated by a real Klutz who knows his stuff....
    I've been using those little brushes for quite a while now....
    I get them from Lidl.
    They really do work for me, I actually cannot get dental floss down between certain of my remaining teeth...
    and others, it gets past the impass only with a hard pull down....
    that ends up with me cutting my gum!
    I also use a pressure washer on my teeth...
    that really cleans them... especially below the gum line...
    it has also got a tongue cleaning attachment....
    perfect treatment on the mornings that I wake up to find the cat's been sleeping in my mouth....

    That building doesn't look as Gothic as the one that is situated on the left as you leave Grand Pressigny for Descartes....
    that really does look wierd...
    especially with the non-local marroon paint....
    sort of Addams mansion meets Bates Motel!!

    Coming from the UK, one of the things I love about the continent is the variety of the architecture....
    the quirks and individualism create something wild to look at in places.
    In the UK, ranks of terraced properties look too samey...
    and consequently rather dull....

  4. As some British guy said: All is well that ends well!

  5. I like the fact that you made your choice based on the dentist's name. Shows you have an excellent 'fingerspitzengefül' :)

  6. GREAT!
    I wish that I were in France, because all of this reading about your dental woes has unfortunately coincided with my first major toothache problem... ouch. I don't have a dentist, so I have to find one pronto.

  7. chm, my favorite quote on that theme is "All's well that ends." An American guy said that.

  8. Your hard work was rewarded. I'm glad you kept that old phone book. So many people have only cell phones now that the phone directories are shrinking and becoming obsolete now. Saw my dentist yesterday and all is well with my new crown so far. Also got a supply of those bottle brushes. Thanks for the dental saga.

  9. What a saga! I caught up with all six episodes this morning and was thoroughly entertained by your tale. I'm pleased you've found a good dentist in Dr. Klotz. May this be the beginning of a long, safe, and productive relationship for you and Walt. But some of those other horror stories are truly frightening! Temporary blindness, that dentist in Paris who ruined a perfectly good tooth--yikes!

  10. I'm glad that you decided to not remain "sé-dentaire", but rather to search farther afield than Saint Aignan for a good dentist. This was the perfect ending to a gripping story.

  11. Ken,

    As I have said before ; you should take up writing - novel will be great but looks like you can also write non-fiction.
    Happy to read that you've found someone you are comfortable with and that you won't have to take pain-killers after a visit to the dentist :-)

  12. Bonjour Cousine,
    C'est ce que je me tue à répéter à Ken, mais il refuse de me croire. Peut-être va-t-il à la pèche?

    1. Bonjour Cousin,

      Peut-être que c'est vrai :-)

      Are you back in VA? looks like the Ebola Q&A and scrutiny theatrics are going on at Dulles .

  13. Your saga made for a quite enjoyable nail-biter. All I could think of when I finished reading was caramel. ;-)

  14. Whew! I was getting pretty worried for you. I think picking a dentist because he has a cool name is quite reasonable. Goodness knows more conventional techniques weren't working very well.

  15. Looks can be deceiving, heh. Must have been such a relief to know there's a dentist you can be completely comfortable with just around the corner. That small toothbrush can be pretty handy too, for when you're out and you need to clean your teeth after a meal. Saves you from having to lug a full sized brush around!

    Felipe Roberson @ Philly Dentist


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