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Having Fun At The Pa-Auk Dentist Clinic

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Having Fun At The Pa-Auk Dentist Clinic
Because dentists are very expensive in America and the Pa-Auk dental clinic has pretty good sanitary conditions (for Myanmar), I went for a checkup. Usually in Asia, you only go to a dentist when there is pain. I had some sensitivity I wanted to get checked and I waited for the Saturday dentist who is known on the street as "the old retired dentist who takes his time and does a good job." He is a volunteer like the other three dentists and two medical doctors who visit our in-house monastery clinic.

When it was my turn to be called in, he took a quick look at my mouth and squinted in disgust. He told me my filling was leaking. I had it replaced in Sri Lanka before I left in 2012 (by a dentist who donated) and she used amalgam which should have lasted longer. (Read Wikipedia if you think it is dangerous). So I had to come back the next week because the chair was broken and needed servicing. While they normally do resin fillings, I told him I had read up on amalgam and that I was not afraid of amalgam and I think he was happy about that because amalgam is old-school dentistry and he is an old-school dentist who has usually been using 3-year lasting resins in monks' mouths lately.

He did his work on me the next week and spent over 90 minutes on my tooth. It was in a difficult spot. He really was the "slow and patient dentist who does a good job." After he finished, he asked me to wait until the next week to follow up and do a polish and fine tuning.

He is a really kind man, fluent in English and very skilled in what he does. Afterwards, I asked to take some pictures of the dental clinic, the dentist and the two assistants. The most fun, was when I asked to take a picture of simulated dental work in action. With a simple request and no direction, the assistant hopped in the chair, opened up his mouth and a dentist with tools followed. We were all happy, and laughing which makes me wonder what the monks outside were thinking! Normally a dentist office in Asia is not so happy!


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About Bhikkhu Subhuti

Bhikkhu Subhuti is an American Buddhist Monk with roots in both Sri Lanka and Myanmar Forest Traditions. He currently resides in Myanmar but his heart sometimes floats back to Kauai, HI where he spent six months in 2015.
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