From : Pierre POUEY-MOUNOU, the patient (a 56-years’old French man)
Date : 17th of May 2011
Here is the report I am able to do at the present time about my dental treatment in Cairo (Egypt) at Dr Karim Essmat Clinic from the 13th of March 2011 to the 10th of April 2011.
Today, on the 17th of May 2011, I am convalescing in Asia and I am writing this report firstly at the attention of PlacidWay and of Dr Karim Essmat as the manager of the dentists’ team who took care of my treatment in Cairo, mainly Dr Karim himself, Dr Ramez his brother, and Dr Mustapha. Secondly at my own attention for me to remember it in case I lose my mind after recovering my dental health…
The treatment consisted in a full rehabilitation of my dentition, most of my teeth having been removed some years ago (some since I was a boy) and only 12 teeth having enough roots to be remained and treated. More exactly : 4 in front on the upper jaw ; 6 in front on the lower jaw ; and 2 molars on the upper left jaw.
The project : redo these 12 teeth ; from them, hang one permanent 16 teeth-bridge (up) and one permanent 6 teeth-bridge (down) ; put 12 implants in my gums (gingiva) at the remaining places (chirurgical operation under full anesthesia, done on the 2nt of April 2011).
Due to the necessity of respecting a 3-months period time between putting the 12 implants in the gums and fixing the 12 corresponding teeth on, I had to organize two stays in Cairo, one as said above in March-April, one later on in July, more precisely from the 28th of June to the 28th of July. So the treatment is still been processing at that time.
That’s why I am not able to write a final report of the treatment yet. However, after one month recovering time since the end of the first stay, I do have a point of view about the success or not of the project at this stage.
I have to say that this treatment has been planned although I have a prostatic cancer been treated only with herbal medicine.
I also have to say that the exchanges between Dr Karim and I (from our first meeting by mail) have been really direct and frank so that we easily could have both professional and friendly relationship until now. We met firstly by mail in October 2010 via the website of Placid Way, then we met in real at the end of November in Cairo, for us to plan every detail of the treatment expected to be done from January 2011, but finally postponed in March because of the political events in Egypt by that time.
It is remarkable that the first part of the treatment (and no doubt that it will be the same for the second part) took place in a very pleasant atmosphere which didn’t prevent the team from working in my mouth on the best professional way. Nevertheless, I shouldn’t say that it was a “vacation” time for me, as Dr Karim used to joke about, since I think I was the patient and - as everyone knows -, it is the patient who is the one suffering during the cares and after them.
About the pain :
In fact, I didn’t suffer too much relatively to the work to be done. Let’s think that I had to open wide my mouth (which is unfortunately not big enough) for hours most of the sessions and that we had on average one appointment over two or three days. Of course the whole work was done under anesthesia, or local anesthesia most of the time, or full anesthesia the day of the chirurgical operation for putting the implants on. Even under these cautions and in spite of the joking atmosphere, a patient is really able to find the situation uncomfortable if not frightening: it is never pleasant to be sit like tied on the chair for hours and surrounded with dentist’ tools; not to be under anesthesia; nor to feel your mouth paralyzed for hours then - when it wakes up - to feel the pain coming for another period time.
The most difficult period time was after the implant operation. I didn’t expect to be so unable to do anything after waking up from the anesthesia: not able to speak, nor to eat, nor even to drink or to sleep easily because of having the whole face injured, I mean a face two times as much as usual. Not exactly two times, but more than one time… From this operation day, it took a really long time to have my face reduced at the correct size and been recognized under its usual appearance (specially the lips, for which it needed for than one month).
Today, one month and a half after, no one could say I have been operated recently.
I insist on the point of pain because I reckon that it is one of the main worries of a patient when he decides to have even one of his teeth redone. In the case he has to support a full rehabilitation, as if it is my case, the patient could be afraid of what he is going to endure. What I should say now is that, even I could find the situation uncomfortable; it didn’t hurt me too much.
Moreover, along the whole treatment, and even after I went back to France, the team was very concerned with the pain I could feel. Dr Karim called me on my mobile phone every day to know about and to reinsure me. That is the first reason why I should recommend this team to anyone who planned to have a big dental treatment done. The second reason is the professional way of working.
About the professional way of working :
One European or American patient could think that he is taking a lot of risks by planning to have dental cares done in a country known to be at a less technical level than in Western Europe or United States. Particularly North African countries have not a real good reputation. On my side, according to the fact I am used to travel, I disagree with that close-minded way of looking at the world.
Since I was a boy, I have been cured by a lot of dentists in different places in France, included Paris, and I cannot say that it has ever been a real good work. Many teeth of mine were removed instead of caring them. When there were not removed, most of them deteriorated and kept on hurting me as if the nerves were not completely removed. When I needed dentures, no one single dentist managed to provide me a denture which could fit my mouth. Not because they wouldn’t have the equipment or formation for that, but because they never seem interested with solving the whole problem of my dentition as long I could come to their clinic for current cares. Last year, in 2010, before I decided to go to Cairo, most of the dentists I met told me that there had been no solution : according to us, my dentition was too bad and I was not rich enough to have my teeth redone.
On the contrary, when I went to Cairo in November 2010, Dr Karim and his team told me that they could fix everything and insure me that I could have a very good artificial dentition for good within a budget that I could afford, in fact between 3 or 5 times cheaper than in France for the same descriptive estimate.
As well as their professional advice are more acute and constructive, their equipment in the clinic is at least as much correct, efficient and recent than in France.
When we had to choose the materials for the bridge (metal support), the crown (porcelain) and the implants (screw alloy), we chose the best quality for each part. We made these choices together, as well as the color of the teeth or their shapes. Apart from Dr Karim’s team, I never saw a dentist really and sincerely interested in the esthetic side of a dental treatment. It is an important part of my decision, I wanted to have my smile back…
They also chose the best laboratory they could have in Cairo and I had to go two times at a specialist’s to be X-rayed: there is no difference between Paris and Cairo, except Egyptian specialist and staff are more pleasant and kind than French ones.
The way of working in the clinic is also a strict professional way : I never saw before a dentist redoing one of my teeth with so much cautious and talent. I never saw before a dentist managing to make a denture or a bridge straight off, without it is necessary to have dozen of tests before it fits. Concerning the operation, according to the details I could obtain from the surgeon and to the result I am able to see in my mouth now, it is sure that is also a real professional work. Of course, anyone reading can be sure that what I am writing does not depend of my friendly relationship with Dr Karim: I would say the same thing of my worst enemy if he was able to do the same work.
In brief, I should say that the work done in Cairo by Dr Karim and his team has been a skillful amount of thinking (before doing anything, including asking the patient and giving him some advice), using modern equipment required, doing a very technical work on the teeth and (also) being able to work on following a craft or an artistic way when necessary, that is to say when the dentist has to find the final solution on his own, because equipment industry, medical science and university formation are, at a moment, unable to standardize everything, unable to find a solution to any question.
Apart from that, I will finish this report by the questions about the accommodation in Cairo.
About the accommodation in Cairo :
I am speaking as a patient coming from abroad, and the question of accommodation is truly a major point for any foreigner asking Dr Karim to set about a such big treatment as mine, which takes two months (2 times one month after 3 months between).
By accommodation, I mean : the language – the hotel or the flat – the transportation – the day life apart from the treatment.
In cases like mine, the patient has to organize his transport by plane from his country to Cairo, then his transport from the airport to his hotel or flat, supposed to have been booked before.
He must know that Egyptian people speak Arabic, so that most of them are unable to speak in English, even less in French or in Spanish. Fortunately, Dr. Karim and his team can speak English fluently, and even try to speak in French…
Although I’ve got some friends willing to assist me when I am in Cairo, I didn’t find a very satisfying solution for my accommodation in March-April. I booked a room in a cheap hotel before finding a flat in Downtown (370 euros per a month). I asked an Egyptian friend of mine to stay with me, helping me to do shopping for food every day, to cook, to translate when I needed, to assist me when I must go to the clinic (about 350 euros per a month). I also must have a driver (100 Egyptian pounds per day), Downtown area being at 45 minutes’ drive from Dr Karim’s clinic.
This organization was costly and tiring. At the end of my first stay, I booked for the next time (July) a flat in Maadi, close to Dr Karim’s clinic, better and cheaper (250 euros per a month) ; I won’t need any driver, except to come from and go back to the airport at arrival and departure dates ; I also won’t need the help of my friends, at least less than the first time ; I will be in a quieter area where there are some pedestrian routes along the Nile.
In brief, I should say that Dr Karim and his team have to think more about these points if they planned to propose dental cares to foreigners. I wonder if this point is not the Achilles’s heel of the treatment plan. Of course it is not the dentist’s job to deal with these points, but it seems to me that it might be a mistake not to propose some solutions to foreigner patients depending of their budget. Maybe I could apply to Dr Karim for being the manager of a “local accommodation team” able to take care of patients apart from their treatment ! I’m joking…
In order to conclude :
As I must spend one month more in Cairo in July, I can’t still say that “all's well that ends well”. I will wait for the end of the convalescence after my second part of the treatment.
What I can say is, at the moment, I am globally happy with what happened with Dr Karim’s team during the treatment and with the current result, even if I still need 12 teeth more : I am now able to be proud of my teeth and to open my mouth without thinking about what anyone in front of me is thinking of them. Isn’t it a real good first step for a potential final good result ?
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