A Dental Appointment

As we start our migration to our new home – I’ll be updating all our Best of Valencia recommendations and our Lessons Learned – Spain. I haven’t done this in a while and sitting at the dentist today, I realized that I’ve fallen behind in adding in all the service providers that have made our time in Valencia easier, and smoothed our path. And our dentist in one of them.

If you find yourself in Valencia and in need of dental care, Clinica Dental Alboraya is wonderful. On Google reviews one person says they come all the way from California to see this dentist. Now thats loyalty. CDA is located near the Belle Arts museum – a block from the Jardin del Real and the Turia. Sofia is my dentist and she speaks ingles like an American – having attended the American School of Valencia through high school. She is their only English speaking dentist, but the nurses muddle through, too. They don’t take my insurance but my broken tooth was a whole 70 euros. This would have cost me $1800 in the US – minimum. So there you go. And a teeth cleaning is another 70 euros. For a major descaling she will use anesthesia, if needed, but it costs a bit more.

I have what is referred to as ‘Dental Anxiety’ in the US. Sofia calls it ‘Dental Phobia’. As a kid, our family dentist drilled my cheek when I was 5 years old. Made hamburger out of it. He was not a kind man, but since he was our family dentist and everyone else liked him, I had to go see him until I became an adult and went off to college. I hated that guy. Even in high school they had to give me Valium just to get my teeth cleaned. Never mind getting a filling. When I was small, the dentist would have the nurse hold me down. The day I got my drivers license at 16, I went to the movies with my best friend, Karen, to celebrate. We saw the dentist there and I broke out into a sweat just looking at him across the theater lobby. So to say going to the dentist freaks me out is an understatement. I would rather voluntarily slam my hand in a car door.

You never want your kids to share your fears. It’s why it was always so important to me that my kids had dentists that were kind and caring, and catered to little kids. A pediatric dentist. And Nick and Emilie loved going to them for things, big and small. Mission accomplished!

So I’m lucky I found a good dentist in Valencia. Sofia is wonderful and understanding. She eases my fears and is so nice and soothing that, while I’m still afraid, I can go see her and leave feeling lighter than I went in. I have two more appointments with her next week but I believe I will actually sleep the night before. Unheard of back in the US.

She’s also a fan of American cinema. Her office is festooned with images of classic American movies stars and movie posters. Something about laying in that chair and looking a Star Wars poster from 1977, and old framed covers of The New Yorker really calms me down. Does it make any sense? No. But that doesn’t matter.

I’ll add all her details to Best of Valencia– including the office WhatsApp – to make it easier to get an appointment during Covid. Upon arrival, they sequester you into the vestibule from the other patients who have already been deloused. Dressed in double PPE, they first cleanse your hands and then the soles of your shoes with this fumigation machine. Only then are you allowed to sit in the waiting area. My dermatologist does this too. So you feel secure in knowing that their health procedures start at the door and continue into the exam rooms. They are closed for most of August (as is all of Valencia) so if you need an appointment after 7 August this year you’ll have to wait until the Monday after Labor Day.

I like Sofia so much that it’s possible – even after we’ve moved – I’ll pop back to Valencia for my dental needs. It’s a quick flight. In my life, when you find a good dentist it’s worth the extra effort, and expense, to stay with them. If kindness has a price, I’ll gladly pay it.