So as some of you know, my wife and I had the opportunity to go to Greece a couple weeks ago (first trip we’ve taken since Logan was born 4 yrs ago). It’s a beautiful country with friendly people, great scenery, and fantastic food. We were on the islands of Mykonos and Santorini then went to Athens (I added a few photos below).
As my wife and I toured the country, ate the wonderful food, and chatted with the locals, it put things in perspective. The Greeks really enjoy life and appreciate the opportunties they have. They lead a simpler life than we do in the States and are not as fast-paced and digital as we are (trust me, it was hard finding a working wi-fi signal to check on sports scores).
In Greece there are many people that have crooked and crowded teeth, metal fillings on front teeth or even missing teeth in their smile. I asked some of the locals of Greece about the dental care they have in Greece. Most indicated that it’s not for lack of money that their dental condition is not ideal. It’s the fact that dental care is not a big focus in their youth and that dentists do not offer esthetic options. One man said that he had only seen a dentist once in his life a couple years ago to get a tooth pulled. He said it was a painful process because the doctor charged for anesthetic and the gentleman did not want to pay for it. Can you imagine not being numb for an extraction or even a filling? From what I understood charging for anesthetic is pretty commonplace in Greece. Most Greeks do not have access to dental insurance or patient financing either. And everything is paid up front before any work begins.
Those conversations made me realize how lucky we are to live in this country and have access to the medical and dental care available to us. Of course we have our problems with the economy and rising healthcare costs, but we also have the opportunity to get great care. If a person living in this country wants a great looking and healthy smile, then we can make that happen. Granted there are several variables or even barriers such as finances or time that can keep people from the smile they’ve always wanted, but the opportunity is there. And I appreciate the fact that I have access to great equipment, a wonderful lab, comprehensive continuing education, and a terrific staff that allows me the chance to create a smile they’ve always wanted (check out the smile below). That, to me, makes all worth it and makes me realize how fortunate we are.