Japan Blog Study Tour


Today is Saturday for me and all hell broke loose when my tooth broke off (again). The tooth broke years ago in a fight (which I got pulled into) and it got glued back on which worked great: came of twice since then which is acceptable. However, today we were visiting a temple in Nara (not the the one we slept in but I’ll post that later on) but the biggest wooden temple in the world.

After the walk through the temple we looked for a place to get lunch. We crashed a local bakery for food and coffee. After a croissant I tried a hot-dog on a stick. So I pulled out the stick and tried carefully to take a bite. By the time I noticed that piece of the stick that was still inside the thing, the tooth was already broken.

So after a lot of cursing we walked into the information station at Nara station. The lady there spoke English very well and she helped us to find a dentist near by which was on lunch break until 2 pm. After the group left for Kyoto like planned, me and Isaac headed off in the right direction thanks to an annotated map drawn by the lady who helped us.

Once at the dentist (where we had to take off our shoes and wear slippers), one of the nurses translated for us but she was pretty bad at English so after a while we had the dentist call the information office and ask for Ms. Kyo so she could translate the problem for us. Apparently they don’t know how to glue or rebuild a broken tooth. So on the question what they would normally do they said they normally pull the tooth and install an implant…. Which takes 5 weeks…

So after I called them insane in Dutch we thanked them and gave up. At the station we tried to call the Dutch embassy and they advised us to try another dentist in Kyoto. On the way to Kyoto I was pretty pissed: I saw visions of me having to fly back to the Netherlands for this crap. Upon arrival, Pierre told me that his son had a similar accident and if the broken piece was stored in fluids (water or even better: milk) it wouldn’t be a big problem. So instead of rushing to the hospital, I called the dentist back home and he told me the same. Also the fact that they don’t know how to glue two pieces of the same tooth together indicates a poor education for the dentists in Japan, or at least ancient dental science. That is one of the first things I recon we outrank the Japanese in (besides making coffee and preparing food).

So now I look like a dork when I smile (I’ll keep smiling like the Japanese usually do: lips tightly pressed together) and when I speak but at least the looming doom of having to cancel the whole trip is out the window. On the other hand I could try to find another dentist here and explain to him that gluing is done by using the same white stuff that’s used to fill holes in your teeth. On the other hand, if other dentists are of the same caliber like the one in Nara, chances are that they will probably screw up my tooth beyond simple repair. I’ll take my chances and try to keep the cut and tooth clean until I get back.

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