We were in such a rush to get down here that Capri missed a very important dental appointment back in Maine. Well, technically she never missed it, they just couldn’t fit her in until after the New Year. WHAT!? I called to make an appointment and they couldn’t fit her in until 3 months down the line, that’s ridiculous. Oh and they requested that I come alone with her, not with my other two. Really?!
So I wasn’t that disappointed when I told them they we would not be returning for their services.
Instead I opted to risk taking her to a dentist in the Caribbean. Gasp!
Here in St. Martin it was pretty tough to find one, it’s not like the States where you just jump on Google and run a general search “dentist St. Martin Caribbean”. About 2 came up but no websites and pretty random phone numbers. Luckily we had a carpenter coming to the boat that recommended a good one to us. We called and got in the next day. WOW, the next day.
The dentist was on the French side of the island – St. Martin is divided in two, one side being French and the other Dutch (c.1648) – so there was a little bit of a language barrier but Capri tried her best at the French we had been practicing back on the boat. People are always grateful when you put in some effort.
All was good with her teeth, I needed her spacer* to be checked on that was put in in Alaska. The spacer was all good and she had a small cavity that needed a filling. I thought, oh lordy here we go I’ll have to come back for another visit. But no. He whipped out his tools and got to work, no assistant or anything. We were in and out in 10 minutes.
But wait it gets better, they charged 80 euro (that’s $84USD as I write this). 80 euro for a check up and filling, doesn’t get any better than that. Oh wait… it does. The dentist had a snazzy French accent and Cali and I returned the following Monday for check ups. He said we had fabulous teeth (in his crazy cool French accent), no cleanings needed. 27 euro each ($28USD). Bloody nice! Beats the $800 the dentist in the States wanted to charge for Capri’s check up and spacer removal (totally not recommended).
Keep an open mind
Fellow travelers out there, don’t freak out when you need to see a dentist or doctor out of your comfort zone. We’ve seen doctors in the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, dentist in Japan (me) and now a dentist on the French side of St. Martin, Caribbean. We’ve had some awesome and CHEAP experiences.
Going to grocery stores, using public restrooms and taking care of your health is all apart of the adventure.
* When we were in the Canadian Arctic in 2015 a filing came loose in Capri’s mouth. We were in such a remote area, the closest town would have to fly a dentist in depending on the weather. We decided to clean out the tooth as much as possible and put a temporary filing in that was supplied in our med kit. Turns out this wasn’t the best action to take. If your nerves are exposed in your damaged tooth then you are to put a temporary filing on top but if there is no discomfort then it’s best to leave the hole open and make sure no debris gets caught in it. It was a over a month before we got Capri in to see a dentist in Alaska and during this time her tooth had started to rot under the temporary filling. The tooth needed to get removed – gosh I felt terrible. She never felt any pain during this time and the dentist was by far our favorite. This is the long winded answer of why she has a spacer.