Drink Milk

Although my teeth have safely navigated metric tons of the small stones frequently stored in cooked rice here in Indonesia (i.e. they don’t wash their rice very thoroughly), a hidden bone in a piece of chicken thought to be boneless led to the splitting of a tooth presumed to be sound. I am annoyed to have no pictures of the dental facility I then visited — a small room built onto the side of a rather nice house, not tall enough for me to stand in, and a small plastic chair in the waiting room (with a magazine on it!).

One nice feature of Indonesian dentistry is that, maybe since most people are relative(to, say, a government bureaucrat or adult film magnate)ly quite poor, they have to work pretty much all the time. Apparently most dentists (of those that work at public hospitals/clinics during the day) work additional hours in the morning (from 6 – 8 AM) and evening (from 5-8 PM). Pretty packed workday! If you’ve got customers (judging by some teeth I’ve seen, many do not – poverty + dental care do not go hand in hand). But it also contributes to the the home facilities being less than modern — probably something picked up from their day-job when it acquired new equipment (which, based upon my experience, must have been around 1972). Anyway, F(supply, demand, PPP*) = cheap dental care.

Quality: Uncertain, seems OK though, and a definite improvement over a broken tooth. Low point: painful drilling against exposed nerve. Bright side: (besides it being the cheapest dental work I’ve ever had, or about 2 days wages for a day laborer[!]) a very friendly dentist who just chattered away at me the whole time, and the fact that she was working late.

* This reminds me: why haven’t any ambitious econ grad students developed an alternative PPP scale for grad researchers in foreign countries? It’s high time we really know what a Big Mac is costing us in Kuala Lumpur when we are buying it with nearly tapped-out government loan money.^

^Why are interest rates near historic lows, yet student loans are still pegged at 7%? Is the answer Obamacare?

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