ROOT CANAL!!!! I’m getting one done here in N. India, by a great dentist. At least I HOPE he’s a great dentist! We’ve got the chairs, assistants, fans and nice tools that Pushkar and Pyara talk about in their filmed interview (below). Anyway, all the drilling and pushing and pulling this week has this expat thinking about teeth a LOT, and it reminded me of this short film by Falk Pelinski (2005).

HOWEVER… Before you watch this short film (4 1/2 minutes), I need to point out a few things:

  1. Culture Happens - Yeah, that’s our Mantra around here. Please notice in this film that we’re observing something “normal”, something “expected”, and something highly valued and appreciated. We have satisfied customers. Then ponder, why is this scene horrifying for some, and highly valued by others. When you can get inside that question (and its answers) you’re getting inside of culture (your own, and that of others).
  2. The price of 80 rupees, back in 2005, has probably gone up to 100 rupees, so Pushkar and Pyara are now charging about $2 (two U.S. dollars).
  3. Note Pushkar’s Principle: “If my patient is happy, then I’m happy to charge. If he’s NOT happy, then I don’t want to charge.” Pretty tough principle for a Dentist, who can RARELY get the sense that his patient is actually “happy”!
  4. A Root Canal in the U.S. costs between $800 and $1200 per molar. I’m getting mine done (again, with chairs, tools, etc.) for $142. Not bad!
  5. You simply GOTTA LOVE the Indian “Can-do Spirit”. The adjustments that are made, the risks that are taken, the calm and confident move forward into the unknown, are ALL qualities that I find to be prevalent here. Like our good dentist Pyara, he knew how to repair bicycles, so simply moved from that into repairing people’s teeth. No problem.

Enjoy this glimpse into Dental Ingenuity (or Dental Terror?)


For more of my stuff, please visit my blog at Culture Happens (and sign up!) THANKS.

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