Health care uncertainty prevents many Americans from a slow travel lifestyle. And now with the pandemic, there is an added layer of fear over how to manage health care — especially in developing countries like the Philippines.
As we Earth Vagabonds have showed our readers over and over, quality, knowledgeable medical professionals are not limited to American borders.
Pandemic dental visit
We get bi-annual cleanings, but it had been one year since our last dental checks in Malaysia. So my spouse Tedly looked up dentists online. He found one with good reviews on Boracay Island, which is part of our municipality.
Tedly reported his visit felt ‘safe’, the dentist professional, the price fair, and he made an appointment for me the following week.
I arrived nearly 20 minutes early and saw a staff member cleaning the waiting room. I signed in with contact information, in case contract tracing is needed.
My first impression inside the office at St. Angelique Dental Clinic was that they take the pandemic seriously. Everything was covered in heavy plastic – from the couches to the partition at the office counter. Sanitizer, masks, shields, distancing are all part of the ‘new normal’ here.
The cleaning was painless, Dr. Edeleine (Lhen) Brutton’s touch firm and gentle. Her staff intuitive.
The doc did her best to remove some of the staining in the composite of my front two teeth. (The composite is the cheap way to cover permanent stains from teenage braces.) Much more importantly, she found a small cavity – still in its early stages.
My first cavity in since 2015. It was a tiny gray spot that looked like a shadow. Luckily, the cavity was small, and not yet deep so I didn’t need to be numbed. In fact, I believe it was a spot the last dentist back in Malaysia last year asked me to watch.
Dr. Brutton had it painlessly filled in no time.
I paid 800 pesos for the cleaning and 800 pesos for the small filling ($35 total).
We talked about the cost to replace the bonding on my front teeth. The price was about $70. I said maybe, but right now I feel it’s silly to worry about cosmetic issues when so many people are desperate for necessities.
If you are ever in need of a dentist for basic services in this part of the Philippines, visit Dr. Brutton. You will not regret it. (Facebook page is here.)
Reminder: This is an independent blog and we get nothing in return for reviews. We also do not work with affiliates or sponsors.
Regular dental maintenance is important to us even though we vagabond around the world. In fact, all health maintenance is important. An annual mammogram caught my breast cancer super early. Travel doesn’t have to prevent basic maintenance.
Other maintenance: Pictures
After my pandemic dental visit, I found a spot on Boracay’s deserted White Beach beach to sit, relax, dream… and work on my phone.
I have to clear thousands of pictures from spots around the world. These images are mostly already stored up in the ‘cloud’ (we use Flickr – NOT Apple, which is priced too high) – and I need to make room on my phone. I got the dreaded “your iPhone storage is full” message.
Most of the memory is chewed up by pictures and video. Something like 14,000 pictures and several hundred videos. Yikes!
It’s an iPhone 6, 128GB, and it’s in decent shape for being six years old this month. It’s been on four continents, 20 countries, countless cities, towns, village. (Well, not countless, but I lost count.)
She is starting to have quirks, and I don’t know how many more software updates she’ll take. Thank heavens I got the battery replaced at an Apple store in Barcelona in 2018. We use it often as a personal hot spot because the WiFi in our apartment is weak and spotty – at best.
In the absence of travel these days, viewing these old pictures has been somewhat tortuous. It has made me angry and melancholy all at once for our lives that were.
Last update for this post: the coronavirus spread.
There have officially been more than 100 cases of COVID-19 in Aklan Province, of which our municipality is a part. Many of those cases are people who have ‘recovered’ and now there are more than 50 active cases. Officially, all of those cases are on ‘quarantine’ in Kalibo and surrounding areas. There were no official updates from Malay Municipality on Monday.
I think it’s important to note the deaths are listed as probable COVID-19 cases because there are no official tests on those causes of death. Still, the numbers clearly show COVID-19 is here, spreading through local transmission, and continuing to affect everyone.
As far as I know, Boracay Island still is set to reopen to foreign visitors — if they can get here. If they want to come.
If it makes potential travelers feel any better about travel to this island nation, the Philippines just received a “Safe Travels” nod from a global tourism group.
Thanks for reading, “Pandemic dental visit, iPhone pictures, COVID cases.”
Other great dentists we found on our travels:
- Honest dentist in Mazatlan, Mexico
- Malaysia: Great for ‘dental tourism’
- Dental care for expats in Costa Maya, Mexico
What to read next about Boracay Island: