Considering all the recent populism, nationalism and hoopla from American voters lately, you’d think we actually had the best of everything despite the high resistance to “Obamacare“, America’s supposed answer to healthcare issues. Unfortunately, only expats, overseas employees and emigrants of other nations understand how sadly pathetic American healthcare is when compared to other developed nations and as it turns out, developing nations also. Thankfully, Diane and i haven’t needed to use the Malaysian health care system but we do visit the dentist twice a year. Unlike anything stateside, fifteen minutes and about fifty bucks cash is all you need for a quality dental experience including a check up, thorough cleaning and polishing. Almost universally educated outside Malaysia in first world nations like Australia, Germany and the USA, Malaysian dentists personify no-nonsense dentistry the way it should be. Whether you need routine cleanings, x-rays or complicated procedures like root canals, it’ so quick and inexpensive anyone can afford it and you’ll walk out mystified and wondering why the world’s only superpower can’t figure out how to provide simple, affordable dentistry.
Already having been to the dentist six months ago, our follow-up visit was so fast and easy it’s practically gone from memory. Having arrived in Malaysia armed with pages of records from our last dentist in suburban Walnut Creek, California, we’d heard it’s quick and easy but didn’t really know what to expect so we came ready for anything. Unlike most experiences all Americans are familiar with, there’s no time for reading in the waiting room, no bullshitting with your hygienist, no sitting in the chair after your name is finally called and no chatting with the dentist about last night’s ball game. In fact, there’s no hygienist at all because dentists are not highly overpaid elites that drive the best cars, charge five times what the insurance company pays and use inefficient “techs” that waste time asking stupid questions and place little bibs on people only to have the dentist ask you the same questions all over again. But they are professionals versed in the latest technology and using equipment we’d never seen in the USA like overhead screens letting you see every tooth while they check you for the first time.