medieval-dentistry Depiction of Medieval dentistry - Palmer, James le, London (1360-1375) When you are having a baby is it very important to look after your teeth. Sometimes the pregnancy puts a toll on the health of your teeth and even though you most likely won't be able to get any x-rays or heavy anaesthetics when seeing a dentist (for the safety of your baby) it is still worth while getting any teeth problems checked out. I've had a couple of different experiences with dentists in Norway that I think is good to share (even with those who aren't pregnant ;D) My first experience with a Norwegian dentist was in Alta. It was Boxing Day and a filling had fallen out. (Too many Christmas goodies, I guess.) Late at night Farmor called up her dentist and he met us at his clinic an hour later. He didn't mind being called out - he was well accustomed to dealing with emergencies. He fixed my tooth - I was sooo grateful - and we continued our holidaying. What I was really impressed with was that our normal Norwegian travel insurance covered the whole expense because we were technically on holidays. Last summer another filling had finally fallen out. It had been causing me problems during pregnancy but because of fear in hurting the foetus with x-rays or drugs I decided to tough it out. Bad idea - especially when you need a dentist over summer. Last summer every dentist must have gone on holidays - if they hadn't they were already over booked and were not taking on any more clients. This was very frustrating as the 'yellow pages' had hundreds of dentists listed - with so many dentists in town how could there not be enough to carry the load? As it so happens, in summer Norway doesn't work. Some businesses close for the holidays, others have very restricting hours and if there are people there to help you they always need to wait for advice from someone who is on holidays and won't be back until six weeks. No one would book me in. Unfortunately, I forgot all about my tooth when the dentists had come back from holidays and before I knew it I was pregnant again. Norway does have public dentistries which are run by each city council. They have long waiting lists (you can be waiting more than 12 months in some areas). These dentistries are covered by the public health insurance and so are 'free' however the service is minimal. There is generally an emergency dentistry service available at hospital health clinics but they are reserved for people who have smashed their teeth while falling off a motorbike. The service is only during after hours or weekends. Most Norwegians use a private dentist and are willing to pay full prices for good service. Since being pregnant this time my tooth has been giving me problems again. I wanted to tough it out - to get things fixed after my pregnancy - but this time I couldn't wait. As it is Summer holiday season I was very nervous about getting an appointment. Early in the morning Moose started calling around and fourth time lucky. One dentist was willing to work overtime so I could book in. Before I went to the dentist, I researched on the internet what was ok for the baby and what was not ok during a dentist appointment. X-rays are not good, neither is heavy anaesthetics. A doctor at the hospital clinic also advised me not to have ibuprofen either as there are some concerns about its safety for pregnant women. (ibuprofen is known in Norway to work well with helping tooth aches - and is also suggested to be used with other anaesthetics.) Armed with all these don'ts I was beginning to wonder if this appointment would be a waste of time and money. The dentist was very young, he had a Tromsø accent, so more than likely he studied dentistry at the University of Tromsø. (I think I know his assistant from somewhere - dancing, maybe. You get that in small cities.) The dentist went through with me what he was able to do - and what he will not do to protect my baby. (Even though he was young, his English wasn't that good - so I was glad to have Moose with me to help translate.) Basically the dentist said he will do a quick fix now to stop my pain and reduce infection with as little anaesthetics as possible and then after I have the baby I needed to come back to have an x-ray to see what more needed to be done. He also wanted to make sure I was ok with everything before he proceeded as he valued what I wanted. I was very happy with his approach - baby first. My tooth problem is fixed for now - and now that I'm 'in the system' it should be easier for me to make appointments. I find that the dentists in Norway are the best in service and care - you just need to get into that first appointment and then 'plankekjøring'. 

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