Teething problems

What with all the teething problems I’ve had since I moved to Berlin, it was probably only a matter of time before one of them involved actual teeth. And, ever so obligingly, on Monday evening, one of my fillings popped out of my mouth while I was eating dinner.

This was bad for a number of reasons:

1. I haven’t got around to getting health insurance yet.

2. It was a front tooth and now it had a gaping hole in it.

3. My first German lesson was the following evening.

My (lying kind) German flatmates assured me that you would hardly notice it and gave me the name of a local dentist. After a quick Google, I discovered that you could make an appointment online, so I enlisted one of them to help me write a message in German. From what I remember, it was something about my ‘gefilling gefalling aus’, but I could be wrong there…

Then it was straight on to Facebook for a good old-fashioned pity party.

Me: My gefilling has gefallen aus! I’m hideous! I’m going to be the monster down the back of the classroom that nobody wants to do pairwork with! 

My long-suffering friend: Oh stop. You’ll be fine. 

Me: I will NOT be fine. Maybe I can speak German without opening my mouth? Kind of like a German Godfather? 

MLSF: Or you could put your hand over your mouth and pretend you have Ebola? 

Me: Hmm. I think I’d prefer to be the hideous one than the Ebola-ridden one, but thanks for the idea.

The next day, the surgery called to say that they could give me an appointment on Friday at 13.30. I took it, but had no intention of waiting that long. A quick Google search (what did we do before the internet?) gave me a plethora of options so I called one.

Me: Hello, I need an appointment urgently. It’s a matter of pride and ego. 

Helga: That sounds serious. You can come after 9pm. 

Me: You mean 9am tomorrow?

Helga: No, 9pm tonight. 

Me: Really? Oh, but I have a German lesson until 9.15 – it will be at least 10pm before I can make it. Will you still be open? 

Helga: Of course! We’re open until midnight! 

What was this madness? A dentist? Open til midnight? I decided to take her at her word as the alternative was just too horrible to contemplate. Luckily, I had no students that day so I only scared the waitress in a local café, and the dude in a local jewellery shop. He made the unfortunate mistake of complimenting my German, so, forgetting myself, I beamed at him. I remembered myself quickly as he recoiled in horror.

The cake consoled me.
The cake consoled me.

I spent the rest of the day perfecting a weird half-smile, that could have looked coquettish on the right person, but probably just looked mental on me. Thankfully, in class, I ended up paired with an Italian who was so clueless, my teeth were the last thing on his mind.

When the class ended, I raced to the train and across the city to the magical, mystical, midnight dentist. It was true! It was true! They really were open! After some rather painless (for Germany) form-filling, and some Brando-esque/Ebola-ridden flirting with the cute receptionist, I was sent to the waiting room.

Half an hour later, and rather a lot of money lighter, I left with one perfect German tooth – which really just served to make all the other Irish/Latvian teeth feel inferior. I hope they don’t gang up on the German and push him out – I’m not sure my bank balance could take it.

(More on the lessons in the next post – I’m still digesting.)

Link to magical, mystical, late-opening dentist.




116 thoughts on “Teething problems”

  1. LOL! That reminded me of my first dentistry experience in Spain. Mine is also open way past midnight. Weird, right?! Unthinkable in the UK, and I’m really surprised such a thing exists in Germany. Well, Berlin isn’t quite Germany…

    Look forward to reading about your lessons and the clueless Italian.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think he might be making my German worse 😉 Guess that’s the problem with these group courses!
      I guess everything has later opening hours in Spain because of the break in the afternoon – sort of makes sense. But I was surprised to find it here too! And pleased!


      1. You are so fun and funny…on another note, we are watching all the festivities in Berlin right now for the 25 year anniversary of the Berlin wall…given your recent tour…must be great to be there right now…..

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I’d be scared to go to a dentist with those hours, thinking they were desperate for business. Good for you! Btw, you’re far too young to be a cougar, unless of course you’re trolling the local high schools for dates, which I seriously doubt. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

        1. They do work very hard but maybe not that hard! I guess it’s handy for emergencies, or if you just cannot get an appointment anywhere else. They give appointments until 9pm and after that you can just come along.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s really cool. Particularly since everyone dreads going to the dentist. Better to end your day with a trip then start your day with one. I don’t know if it’s still true. But there was a time when dentists had the highest suicide rate of any profession! I’m sure it’s because nobody wanted to see them! 😦

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Here in NYC, you would not have gotten that appointment because the receptionist wouldn’t have answered the phone. They always act like they’re doing you a favor by picking up.

    On a brighter note, I just today happened on an article about Berlin in the National Geographic. Apparently the Prater Beer Garden close to Wörther Strasse (I could be misspelling this) is the place to be. Have you been there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, I was tempted! I guess the date would have to have gone pretty badly though 😉 I think they’re only open until midnight one week a month so I was ‘lucky’ 🙂 But they’re open til 9 the rest of the time AND on Saturdays and Sundays which is extremely rare!


  4. The Russian Princess’ cap fell out (front tooth) while we were visiting last year. It was horrific. This nubby little ground down thing underneath. Shudder.

    Thank God you (and she) fixed that shit! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yey! Now you have a German front tooth, you can legitimately tell people that you are part German. I got my front tooth put in in Transylvania and need to get it replaced at some point, but saying that I’m part Latvian is way down on the coolness factor compared to Transylvania, so I’ve been putting it off.


  6. If your tooth had been a cool kind of tooth it would have bust in tile for Halloween. Plop a witches hat on your head and nobody would have noticed.
    I’m impressed that there is a dentist open so late. Now go and get your head round that medical insurance issue, girl – maybe this was a warning of things to come? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It might be! I’ll look into it over the weekend and get it sorted when I get paid next week! I promise 😉 My mam’s reading the comments so she’ll make sure I stick to it 😉


  7. LOL, apparently it’s like the good and wicked witches. There’s Linda’s Good Dentist of Berlin, and then there’s the Nazi dentist in “Marathon Man,” inflicting dental torture on Dustin Hoffman. To say nothing of Steve Martin as the sadist/dentist in “Little Shop of Horrors.” Aren’t you glad I brought them up AFTER your tooth was fixed?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was a bit apprehensive about Latvia as well but there are some really good clinics – it’s becoming kind of a centre for medical tourism as it’s so much cheaper than say, Scandinavia. So a bunch of Norwegians will come for a week, get everything they have to get done done, get pissed, buy more booze and then go home again 😉 Pretty sure it’s one price for foreigners and another for locals though 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! I’m willing to be that could only happen in Berlin. I think we have an emergency dentist somewhere that’s open at weekends, but until midnight? Just wow! (P.S. Get that health insurance sorted!) (P.P.S. If you have a European health insurance card from Ireland you should be able to use that temporarily. I’m not 100% sure how it works though).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it expired years ago! Stuff like this was cheap in Latvia and I didn’t need doctors or dentists often. Getting old now though so need to get it sorted before I start falling apart altogether 😉


        1. Yes, they can! I must look into getting a new one – and German health insurance! Because I’m freelancing, it’s going to be that much more expensive, but I guess I have to just bite the bullet! (Not too hard though, don’t want to crack any more teeth) 😉


          1. Yes, freelancers have to get private insurance. Not that public insurance is any less expensive – but employers pay half so it is at least slightly cheaper for the insured person! (BTW, that’s where the German health system fails – although you technically HAVE to have insurance, some freelancers don’t bother because they simply can’t afford it – and because nobody’s checking up on whether they actually have insurance, they fall through the cracks and end up not going to the doctor ever. Makes me long for the NHS, despite all its failings. At least you can’t not be insured!)

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yeah, I had a really positive experience with the NHS – and I’m not even a citizen! I actually tried to argue that I needed to pay but they wouldn’t have any of it! 🙂


  9. Oh man! A dentist own till midnight! What is this sorcery?

    Ours never stay open that late! Actually I think you’d be hard pressed finding one open after 3pm.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A dentist open until midnight? Egads. Did you knwo that here in Ottawa, you cannot get a dentost appointment on a friday in the summer, because no dentist works Friday. Well, that’s not quite true – they have banded together (and there must be hundreds of them) due to consumer complaints and set up a rotation so there are only about 10 on duty in the city (with the outskirts over 1 million people)for emergencys only, on Fridays in the summer. And you don’t want to go there if you can avoid it because they charge like 3 times the going rate for each prcedure. The bastards. Here in Canada health care is socialized, but dental is not. Which means the dentsits drive the Mercedes while the doctors only drive Lexuses. the bastards – wait, did I say that already? Well, just in case i didn’t – the bastards.Ha!

    I bet your smile is even more gleaming than before, isn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, one tooth is gleaming 😉 When I get my health insurance, I’ll work on the rest of them 😉
      Wow, that is one screwed up system you’ve got! This practice is even open on Saturdays and Sundays – though that’s pretty rare I think! You could probably fly over here and get your teeth done faster 😉


    1. Does he/she stay open til midnight??
      I am also a dentist phobe – probably why my filling fell out all by itself 😉 And I rewarded myself by eating cake. You see the problem. 😉


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