Our street in Mexico is only a block long. It seems a fairly normal little residential street. But there’s lots happening. On one end of our block is a laundry and there’s a tortilla shop on the other end. Two doors from the laundry is a nice small hotel. If you go around the other corner you’ll find a grocery store, surf shop, and hair salon that also sells musical instruments. Not to mention there’s a Mexican traditional healer and someone selling shrimp who both live in the middle of our block. Three houses away from mine is a guy who’ll climb up your palm tree and harvest the coconuts.
Guess what else? This weekend I found out a young dentist just opened up shop on our block at the end of the healer’s driveway.
Saturday night my girlfriend slipped and fell. The fall didn’t look too bad – until I saw a tooth skitter across the floor. I picked it up and realized it was one of her front teeth. Luckily a friend was with us who is a dental assistant. We got my girlfriend up, into the bathroom, and slid the tooth back into its rightful spot within 30 seconds. While putting the tooth back, we saw that three of the neighboring teeth were half of their length and loose; the shiny tile floor that she hit was hard.
Enter the new dentist on the block. We had no idea he was tucked in across the street. But our friend had just started working with him doing volunteer dental work on school kids in town. She woke him up and he worked on the damaged teeth for two and a half hours (’til 3 am).
It was a neighborhood affair really. Our bilingual friend from the laundry and his friend came in, providing exact translations. I did some assisting and moral support. Our dental assistant friend and her husband were there for encouragement and technical advice. And to top it off the dentist’s mom, who’s a nurse, came in at 2:30 am to supply and administer two non dental injections, after the teeth were stabilized.
The care and attention continues from more and more people each day. The final work will probably be done by a cosmetic dentist in Puerto Vallarta. The bad news is four damaged teeth that’ll be fixed . The good news is all the great people around us in Mexico.