Dentistry in the Third World

Nathan has been having some dental issues over the last few weeks.  One of his fillings popped out when he was flossing.  It wasn’t causing him any pain, so we thought he could just make it until we’re in America next month, where he already has a dental appointment set up.

And then a few days ago, his tooth started hurting.  A lot.

Fortunately for him, we are still in Sentani where there is an expat dentist!  Dr. Lopez was trained in the U.S. and now runs a clinic here in Sentani.  He was able to fit Nathan in to his busy schedule.

We were really impressed with the set up that Dr. Lopez has, especially over here at the ends of the earth.  He has a lot of the equipment that we are familiar with from the US, but something are just creatively tweaked because certain things aren’t available in Papua.  For example, his dentist chair is a reclining lawn chair and his spit sink is a plastic bag that Nathan held in his hand.  Also, being in line with Indonesian custom, you have to take your shoes off before walking in the door, so both you and the dentist are walking around sock-footed!

Dr. Lopez pulled two nerves out of Nathan’s tooth.  He’s still experiencing some pain today, so we’re going back in to see if Dr. Lopez can help.  Please pray that this can be taken care of in Papua, otherwise we may be making an emergency trip to Jakarta.  With only 4 weeks left in country, we’re hoping to avoid this!