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Old 28-07-2015, 11:05   #16
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Re: Dentistry on my boat

I've got this vision in my head of two choices:

1 - Go to the cruiser dentist and while laying on the salon table or in the cockpit while he sticks sharp pointy metal things into mouth while the boat rocks.

or

2 - Go ashore to the dentist (where the cost might even be very low depending on location)
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Old 28-07-2015, 11:17   #17
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Re: Dentistry on my boat

My Father was a Dentist, my Sister is now.
I grew up in a Dental Lab doing crown and bridge work as a kid, firing porcelain, making impressions, models etc. My Father had his own lab as at least in his opinion, he held better standards than a Commercial lab could, exact shade matching on porcelain etc.
From a pure mechanical point of view and no Medical knowledge, I'd say it depends on how much restorative work you would plan on being able to do and, how big a boat?
Big enough boat and of course you could have a full lab and office, be tough to do much on a 40 ft mono hull in my opinion though.

But if I had an abscess and you were available to start a root canal and prescribe anti-biotics to enable me to get back to civilization and get it finished, that would be a God send I think.

There was a thread a little while ago about a cruiser who I think was returning from somewhere that had an abscess or something, Lord knows that is about the most painful thing you can have, he toughed it out I think but had access to anti-biotics to help, at least I think he did
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Old 28-07-2015, 11:37   #18
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Re: Dentistry on my boat

My crew had some dental work done in Tonga from an American dentist aboard his sailboat. He used a scuba tank to power his drills and had a little 12 volt vacuum set up for siphoning matter out of the mouth. Did an excellent job and a reasonable charge.

Also met a couple of dentists working on the locals in the Tuamotus. They did not ask for pay but the locals could not do enough for them, they were plied with fish, carvings, coconuts all the while they were there at anchor.

Michael
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Old 28-07-2015, 12:31   #19
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Re: dentistry on my boat

You cannot practice legally in areas with licensing requirements. That doesn't mean you can't practice.

When we were in the Marquesas there were no dentists. Locals were heavily into a western diet with way way too much sugar. A teenager with a healthy mouthful of teeth was unknown. Every teens plan was to get to Papeete, find work, and get dentures. You'd be swamped with work there and never have to worry about your next meal. Cash money was short however so you wouldn't have to worry about hiding the gold that you charged for the work. Assume that all the other Islands outside the capital in Polynesia and west would also welcome you.

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
US licensing doesnt even cover the US. Each of the 50 states have their own licensing board and you cannot practice in a state in which you dont have a license.
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Old 28-07-2015, 12:31   #20
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Re: Dentistry on my boat

In the 80's, knew a paraplegic dentist with around a 35-38' sloop that had a dental chair in the main cabin. He would do cleanings for around $20. This was in St. Martin on the Dutch side. He had a young guy taking care of the boat when was gone and trained him as an assistant. When he blew into Phillipsburg in his wheel chair, first he would do all the cops and immigration official's families, then, the sailbums.Never had a problem except he'd get so happy, he'd fall off his barstool until they installed a seat belt on it. Everyone loved the guy and he loved helping folks who couldn't afford dental work. I think he had a practice in the States or Canada and did this so he could spend time productively in the Islands. I know I was thankful for his ingenious idea . Of course, today, the chair would be in a big honking catamaran. Make as good a helm chair as an F-10 Pompanett. Anyone remember this crazy dentist?
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Old 28-07-2015, 13:55   #21
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Re: Dentistry on my boat

I am a retired DDS as well as a retired cruiser. There will always be some in the cruising community who need dentistry, engine repair, etc. I suggest that you define your market before installing the equipment. Will you have enough power to handle an X ray machine, etc? Size of boat, etc.
While there have been a lot of negative comments, it would be nice to hear from those who actually are dentists and who are cruising and practicing to see how they did it, if they did it and what were their experiences. So far, the "advice" seems to have come from members who are not in the profession, clueless re needs, but have a lot of opinions. Remember opinions are like noses ( or other parts of the anatomy) everyone has one. Go to a source which is professional and has experience in the area you are questioning about. I know that there are a lot of cruising communities which could use the care. Licensing everywhere you go would be nearly impossible, but quiet care by a competent dentist would be appreciated. IF you are cruising, in some areas, stopping, helping and leaving would fit in the cruising agenda and be appreciated. When I was cruising in Central America, I volunteered at some clinics and also donated some equipment where it could help.
Good Luck
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Old 28-07-2015, 13:58   #22
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Re: Dentistry on my boat

Addendum,
I replied before seeing the second page. You had replies from those with experience so now there is a basis for decisions.
Good luck.
Steve
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Old 28-07-2015, 14:04   #23
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Re: Dentistry on my boat

Not another "ToothFerry".
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Old 28-07-2015, 14:36   #24
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Re: Dentistry on my boat

In think this is a great idea, I work for one of the largest dental companies and we send many a dentist to far away places to do volunteer dentistry. if you keep it on the low down then officials won't be aware. or as others have poster, offer free dentistry to the officials and their families for turning a blind eye. you can get some of the dental manufacturers to donate supplies to you for your volunteer efforts. we do it all the time. Best of luck, if you got em, then floss em!
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Old 28-07-2015, 14:40   #25
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Re: Dentistry on my boat

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Not another "ToothFerry".
Funny, I wrote about the bunker boat set up for dentistry. I think it was the Tooth Fairy. Nice guy I hope all went well for him. Thought he was going to make it as a swordfish long liner, which he admitted knowing nothing about. If anyone has any info. on him it would be interesting. Funny how you remember a someone you only knew for a couple of hours probably 40 yrs. ago. I guess it was because he was a card. Armpit deep in bilge muck saying my patients should see me now.
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Old 28-07-2015, 14:50   #26
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Re: Dentistry on my boat

I travelled around the world for 7 years with surgical tools,lots of local anesthetic and enough materials to do temporary fillings (one I did in Maine on a kiwi is still going 12 years later and despite my protestations she sees no reason to get it fixed properly). I never received any payment it was just community service to help out cruisers in an emergency and in some remote islands I was asked if I could help the locals. One day in the Maldives I removed 28 teeth as it was 2 days boat ride to the nearest dentist and I did score fried breadfruit chips for lunch as a reward. The diesel mechanic advises you about the noise in the motor, the fridge guy advises how to fix the fridge and the dentist does temporary repairs to add something to the cruising community. The reward is to be useful to the community and as you are known as the dentist often people will contact you via HF radio for advice when they are hundreds of miles away. To make money at it I would advise buying shares with the money for necessary equipment and materials and your return would be greater.
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Old 29-07-2015, 07:32   #27
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Re: Dentistry on my boat

I would go for it. To many nay sayers. I don't see how you would be bound by any US laws when you aren't in US waters. Good point about finding sailors with spare money. Folks in the Bahamas go to Cuba for cheep dental work. Dental work is rather cheep outside of the US. The worst can happen is you lose your dental license and a retired man don't need them anyway......
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Old 29-07-2015, 08:04   #28
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Re: Dentistry on my boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailcay View Post
I would go for it. To many nay sayers. I don't see how you would be bound by any US laws when you aren't in US waters. Good point about finding sailors with spare money. Folks in the Bahamas go to Cuba for cheep dental work. Dental work is rather cheep outside of the US. The worst can happen is you lose your dental license and a retired man don't need them anyway......
It isn't the US laws the OP needs to be concerned with; it is the laws of the country he is anchored up in.

As others have said, what occurs and what is legal are often two different animals. I make no judgement.
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:43   #29
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Re: Dentistry on my boat

How about a Dental Hygienist ? My wife's a hygienist and if this is a valuable skill on the high seas, we could do some tradin'.
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Old 09-08-2015, 14:10   #30
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Re: Dentistry on my boat

International waters.....
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