By Sibel Tinar, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Health-related emergencies are a looming fear for anyone in a foreign country, and when they do happen, they can cause massive distress. A foreign health care system is new and can be difficult to navigate when away from home, with the doctors and dentists you are familiar with often thousands of miles away.
Also, no matter how fluent you may be in the local language, there is nothing like speaking your native tongue under the stress of an emergency.
If the city in question is Rio de Janeiro, however, the English-speaking foreigners who encounter a dental emergency can rest assured that they will not need to jump through hoops, empty out their pockets, or settle for a less-than-optimal solution.
Multi Oral, a dental clinic in Ipanema, the heart of Rio’s Zona Sul (South zone), has dedicated itself to making sure the foreigners facing dental emergencies feel at home away from home, and receive the best possible treatment.
Dr. Esther Klein, who founded the clinic with her colleague Dr. Carmen Mourão in 2001, was raised in the Rio expat community herself, and thus empathizes with those who are in a foreign environment and need help.
“It is the language barrier, different culture and not knowing what to expect that can make an emergency look worse than it really is”, says Dr. Klein, emphasizing that Multi Oral specializes in receiving foreign patients.
“I very often perceive that finding help in a language you can communicate well is just as comforting as making a tooth ache better or repairing a broken front tooth”, she adds, pointing out that the vocabulary used at a dental appointment is much different from the day-to-day Portuguese, and even those who have lived in Brazil for a while may have difficulty explaining what has been troubling them.
An American patient of Multi Oral, who has been living and working in Rio for two years, recently found himself in the unlucky situation of needing emergency dental treatment, when an accident as small as tapping a water glass on his front tooth, which was a crown, fractured the root, causing an infection.
“To be in a foreign place and trying to find a new dentist was scary”, tells the patient, who initially consulted with three different dentists, to be told he had to have emergency surgery, and would need an implant. Finding the prices comparable, he has chosen Multi Oral.
“I decided to go with who I was most comfortable with”, he says, and it has paid off, as they discovered mid-surgery that the implant wasn’t necessary and the root could be saved. This will require wearing braces for six months to distend the root to be able to fix a stable crown, but it is “definitely a better option for me, and very happy they stopped the procedure so we could re-evaluate”, the patient says.
While it was best to save the natural root in this case, Dr. Klein explains, “dental implants are a safe procedure once the patient has been properly diagnosed and in many cases, a blessing compared to other conventional solutions such as dentures or fixed bridges that would involve previously untouched teeth.”
Despite finding himself in a frustrating emergency situation, the patient’s experience with Multi Oral has been as positive as possible. The clinic’s expertise in handling issues like his, their high-standard dentistry, and the fact that they do all dental and surgical work in the same office, has left him impressed.
“At first I even considered going home for this”, he says, but after seeing the high-tech office of Multi Oral, and realizing that he can trust them completely, “I ended up feeling more comfortable doing it here.”
Dr. Esther Klein makes a point in emphasizing that it is their objective to provide all-around care for the patients, and supporting them in any way needed. Along with emotional support, this means “helping out to book complementary exams outside the clinic when necessary, making sure the hotel provides them ice and adequate food if they just went through an emergency surgery”, elaborates Dr. Klein, “whatever is necessary for our patients to feel at home as much as possible.”
Multi Oral is located in Ipanema, between the streets Garcia D’Avila and Maria Quitéria, in the Unibanco building and right before the square Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz. Office Hours: Monday through Friday: 8AM to 6PM.
This article is a paid advertorial for Multi Oral.