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Street dentistry
August 8, 2012 5:21 PM   Subscribe

The Dentist of Jaipur (slyt)
posted by Forktine (16 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow. That was pretty damn interesting. Thanks.
posted by veggieboy at 5:58 PM on August 8, 2012


Cool music, and cool India - even with the flies. Thanks
posted by donaldekelly at 6:04 PM on August 8, 2012


I am a dentist in the US.

... I don't even know how to react to this.
posted by swellingitchingbrain at 6:23 PM on August 8, 2012


I had a recent extraction only cost me 20000 INR that includes a full set of digital 3D xrays which they insisted on because I was a new patient. Dr. spent 6 minutes numbing me out had me cool my jets for 10 minutes while everything went numb. Then another 4 min probing around followed by a 5 second pull. He then trimmed my gum line............. and said all done. Total dentist time 14 minutes That will be $400 please. No insurance? Heh we will give you a cash discount 12.5% Give us $350. I made the appointment for a tooth extraction the doctor didn't need to lecture me or discuss follow up. Wham bam thank you man. It would seem I could get what I wanted in Jaipur for $1.50. Admittedly I did get a small stuffed bear once I paid my bill. The office was cleaner and my anesthetic wasn't some Scope mouthwash used to sterilize the instruments but still.
posted by pdxpogo at 7:57 PM on August 8, 2012


-Yeah, that's pretty much how it is.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:17 PM on August 8, 2012


Give us $350. I made the appointment for a tooth extraction the doctor didn't need to lecture me or discuss follow up. Wham bam thank you man. It would seem I could get what I wanted in Jaipur for $1.50.

Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan. The median income in Rajasthan is approximately $600 per year. The median income in the US is abpout $44,000. So, how about that $25,000 tooth extraction?
posted by ennui.bz at 9:18 PM on August 8, 2012


How painful must a rotting tooth be to sit down and have that done?

*shudders*
posted by BlueHorse at 9:49 PM on August 8, 2012


Dental Tourism !!! What a great idea !!!

Oh man, that is one of the most horrifying things I have seen this year. Almost worse than what the guys are doing is that they really think they are great, and doing a great thing. Great things. Probably they *helped* someone today.

More terrifying than their help is that it probably *is* helpful, that these human beings *are* this desperate, that this is the level of care that is available for them, to them.

We have it made here in the US. Made in the shade. Even when we don't think so. Even when we have gas, popcorn farts. Even when our car isn't starting. Or when our bicycle brakes aren't working just right, we have it made in the shade.

Just a toss of the dice that I was born in the Chicago area and not some poverty stricken city in a third world country. A toss of the dice. That's it. I'm no better, no more deserving, no smarter.

Just much, much luckier.

You just gave me a ride into gratitude land, Forktine -- thank you.
posted by dancestoblue at 10:45 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've got over my dental phobia now, but I'm still glad I watched this now rather than earlier in the week before I had to go to dentist to fix my crown.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:36 AM on August 9, 2012


ennui.bz: $1.50 is .0025% of $600

.0025 of $44000 is $110 not $350...

I make a considerable amount less than the US median income as a rule. I only work when I need money which is very seldom as I can trade my skills for room and board and rarely need to purchase anything. It was my luck the dentist had no need for a technology person at my time of need. I try and avoid money if I can, just funny that way.
posted by pdxpogo at 8:14 AM on August 9, 2012


I don't know - while that really is what you can find in India (if you decide to look for it), I'm turned off by the tone of the film.

Yes it's primitive treatment, but there's no reason to make a mockery of it. For some people this is the only option out there.

A "documentary shortfilm" this is supposed to be? Give me a break, its a caricature of these people at best and I really can't fathom what the filmmakers intent beyond that was - assuming there was any.

To me, it's embarrassing to watch.
posted by oxidizer at 10:09 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


dancestoblue: Almost worse than what the guys are doing is that they really think they are great, and doing a great thing. Great things.
Pretty sure that helping to relieve another human's suffering, and to avoid a potentially life-threatening impaction, IS a great thing.

First-world arrogance.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:54 PM on August 16, 2012


IAmBroom, given the rest of dancestoblue's comments, I think he/she "gets it."


As I said above, imagine the pain of a rotting tooth that would lead you to CHOOSE to have that done without anesthesia. Imagine the relief from said pain after it was over.

It may be primitive treatment, but that's the way it's been done for centuries. We are a small, small percentage of the human race that is privileged in both location and time to be able to look down on this technique as being somehow inhumane. I knew a fella that told me his first bad tooth was extracted with a shot of whiskey, a pair of pliers, and a penknife (after the tooth broke off from the pliers.) He was ever so grateful to " have that son-of-a-bitch outta there." He also mentioned whiskey's wonderful anesthetic and antibiotic effects, and told me that gargling frequently with the brown nectar guaranteed good health.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:55 PM on August 17, 2012


He/She claims that it's "[a]lmost worse ... that they really think they are great". That's not getting it. They are great. They relieve suffering.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:24 PM on August 20, 2012


Broom: I won't try to interpret for blue, but I can't think of them as great, either. The best of a bad deal, but not great. Again, looking through the lens of particular culture (and privilege), I know there are better ways. Within their own culture, the rich have better options than the poor.

The men pulling teeth without anesthesia or antibiotics have a right to be proud of what they do, because they are relieving suffering, but I'll be some of them at least wish it could be different.


I'm no better, no more deserving, no smarter.

Just much, much luckier.


In this, as in many things.
posted by BlueHorse at 3:19 PM on August 21, 2012


It's not whether they're great or not; it's whether or not "it's almost worse!" That's a ridiculous judgment from the safety of a position where their services aren't needed...

The men pulling teeth without anesthesia or antibiotics have a right to be proud of what they do, because they are relieving suffering, but I'll be some of them at least wish it could be different.

Exactly. And a medic on a battlefield wishes he had more sterile surroundings, but his work is still awesome for what he provides under rough circumstances. These guys have a right to be proud, as you say.
posted by IAmBroom at 3:53 PM on August 21, 2012


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