Dental Tourism on a Delhi to-do List

Upon arriving in India’s mega capital this afternoon, I was on a mission to cross out items from my Delhi to-do list.

I’d scribbled the list down while on a shabby but efficient local bus from Jaipur this morning.

One item was to get my shoes shined or cleaned.  Before I checked into my hotel room, a boy had already approached me and shined my shoes for 20 Rupees or $.39.  I had to be firm with him about not putting new soles or stitching in.  If I hadn’t been explicit, he would have attempted to do more than shining. He would have tried to command an exorbitant price of 200 Rupees or more.   I knew this from past experience.  Shoes clean.

As I’ve purchased a few little items over the last couple of weeks, the weight of my bag has increased.  I wanted to find a scale to weigh my belongings and see how close they were to 23 kilograms or 50 pounds, as that’s my check-in allowance.

While going through the typical Indian passport bureaucracy that’s diligently followed at guesthouses and hotels, I inquired about a scale.  A man brought me outside and into a travel agent next door.  There was a scale.  I weighed the bag to be only 13 kilograms.

I pleasantly thought: I can easily pick up a few more things now as there’s a bit of space left in my packBag weighed.

I had my hotel-room door open during the first minute of unpacking when a young man popped his head in asking if I wanted room service.  After I showed no interest he asked about laundry: Bang!  While creating my list I thought: It would be nice to put on a clean set of clothes before embarking on a Eurasian and then transatlantic flight across the earthLaundry taken care of.

Another item was to get a button sewn on my pants as it’ll otherwise be awkward having to take my belt off and hold my pants up while walking through airport security checks.

The worker said he’d find a button and have it sewn on. Done!

The next task was to see if a dentist in the area could squeeze me in for a cleaning within 24 hours.

In a minute I walked to the Café Nirvana and asked the owner if he knew of a reputable dentist.  We remembered one another from back in early June when I arrived in India on the first of two entries.  My gut told me that he’d provide a good recommendation.

He suggested a place 50 meters away on the right.  I walked along the road and saw it on the left.  I wondered: Why do Indian people often seem to mix up left and right?

The dentist said she could take me then and there.  I replied:

There’s no time like the present.”

The setting was clean and modern.

The dentist went to work immediately.

Open big.”

I thought: That’s exactly what the dentist in McLeod Ganj said to me four and a half months ago when I had my teeth cleaned there.

This cleaning was a bit different.  The dentist didn’t look at my teeth or
comment about the well being of them like the last one did.

She went right to work with an electronic water and air cleaner that caused loud, screeching sounds but didn’t produce much physical discomfort.  Like in Mcleod Ganj, I wasn’t given glasses to shield the spraying water.

Water spewed over my eyes and onto my shirt.  I thought:  Like Indian streets, this is a form of functional chaos.  In India, chaos functions peacefully most of the time.

I’d agreed to the offer of 1,000 Rupees or $20 for the cleaning.  Due to her sophisticated equipment, she was finished in about 10 minutes.  That’s when she had me check my teeth in the mirror and said:

Your teeth will be better with a shining.  Just 300 Rupees more.  Your teeth will be very nice.”

I thought: 300 Rupees is $6 for a total of $26.  Why not! This is a wise purchase and a fantastic value.

The polishing was done with a mixture of pumice and water.  It took five minutes.

The dentist was pleasant and like most Indian people, happy to have her photo taken.

I walked out thinking: 20 minutes, $26 and my teeth feel fresh.  I’ve only been in Delhi for an hour and the list is almost complete.  Things can function easily in India.

–   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –

Dr. Deepa Goyal is the woman who rapidly cleaned and polished my teeth.  She works for:

Dr. Chen’s Dental Clinic, 1133 Main Bazaar, Pahar Ganj, New Delhi  TEL: 23584040

If you’re in the Main Bazaar and at Café Nirvana and want a quick cleaning or more, walk left. It’s 50 meters up and on the left. 

Dr Chen’s clinic is open from 10 am to 2 pm and 4pm to 7:30 pm Tuesday through Sunday.

Maybe they’ll be able to take you on the spot too.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Mamma on November 17, 2011 at 09:26

    Wonderful to get your teeth cleaned for such a great price!


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