Sept. 17 (Volgograd)
This morning after yummy hotel breakfast (I went for foods like fried eggs or yoghurt that could be slurped up without chewing) I decided to take my Dad’s advice and look for a dentist here. What better place to suffer than in a city that has already seen so much suffering, I thought. But actually it turned out to not be any suffering at all. The hotel receptionists kindly phoned around for me to find an English speaking dentist, and then sent me there with the hotel shuttle bus! How is that for service? Additionally it turned out that we are able to stay in our room for an additional night.
The dentist I was taken to was Dr. Mihail Slutskiy, and his dental center “Lasur”. The pleasant surprises came one after another: The clerks and assistants were clearly experienced middle aged ladies rather than the teenage helpers one often finds back home in Zurich who sometimes make a totally illiterate impression. Second, I was asked to pull one way booties over my shoes. A Swiss dentist would have let me put my shoes which have spent days trampling through Mongolian pastures in horse and cow dung on his dentist chair. Finally, the doctor spoke quite good English, and he took his time to discuss at length the treatment strategy, as well as our motorbike journey so far. Back home dentists are always in a crazy rush, so bad that they often don’t wait for the anesthetic injection to fully activate before starting to drill! This was not a problem here, I got a full 15 minutes for that, meaning that there was no pain at all during the procedure. Actually this procedure was performed by a colleague lady-dentist (I am sorry but I did not get her name) who the doctor said had more frequent recent experience with doing endodontic therapy. And guess how much I paid them for all this? 2100 Rubles!!
So the tooth is now open to drain. I got antibiotics and stronger pain killers, and was told to rinse the hole after each meal with salt water. The plan is that I find a dentist in the Ukraine who can finish the job by sealing the tooth. While I did take a pain killer tablet as a precaution, right now the tooth does not hurt, which is great. I am not sure what is the minimum or maximum time to wait before sealing the tooth, but I think it would be ideal to get this done in Kiev. I am going to try to create an appointment at a Kiev dentist over the next days.
After the dentist I met up with Jerome and we went to check out the Mamayev Kurgan and the Panorama museum. I will post pictures soon. Tomorrow we have a very long trip into the Ukraine on the program. We hope to sleep in Luhansk, or somewhere nearby.