Dental Emergency

One of the keys to being a good cruising parent is to know when a scream or cry is genuine. The other day when we heard a loud thud, followed by a scream and crying, we instantly new it was bad. In the moments it took all the kids to come from the front of the boat to the salon we could make out some of the conversation and words. “My teeth, oh my god, my teeth”, was being repeated over and over by Daphnie. Within moments she arrived in the cockpit and stood in the salon door where she opened her mouth. Sure enough her front 2 teeth were broken and there was a mixture of teeth parts and gelcoat on her tongue. Pandemonium ensued as everyone began yelling at once. Rhonda quickly got a hold of the situation and determined that the only damage appeared to be to the front teeth. Hugs were administered, boys were sent to bed, and the boat was calmed down.

In the days following the “accident” we kept a close eye on Daph and discussed our options. There are good dentists down here in the islands, but we were not familiar with any in Martinique. Not to mention that our French is really poor and we were going to have a lot of trouble communicating with anyone.  We knew there was a great dentist in Grenada as we had some great work done down there. However, we were worried about one tooth as it had been broken off almost in 1/2 and the “pulp” appeared to be showing. Even though she kept saying that it didn’t hurt and it wasn’t bothering her, we felt we should get someone to see her. So Rhonda got on the internet and found a Dentist that was recommended and spoke fluent English. Unfortunately, upon showing up at the office we were told its “impossible” as they were all booked up. We could have an appointment in a month. However, they did quickly look at her teeth and said if she wasn’t in pain it was probably OK. We still were not excited about entering the more remote parts of the Caribbean without her seeing someone though. Now, in a fortuitist, but unfortunate happenstance our friend Niels on the boat Saga lost a filling, literally the day we were turned away from the dentist. He asked our experience, but was undeterred when we told him that it looked like a month for booking. The next day he went out and found a dentist that not only fixed his tooth, but spoke English and said he would look at Daph. We excitedly headed to his office and booked an appointment was booked for the next day.

The before picture!


The dentist wanted X-rays so he could look at how developed her roots are. He explained to us that as young kids grow the root canal will close. Depending on what stage her teeth were at may change his recommendations.


X-Rays are done and the reconstruction is begun. He decided to rebuild the one really bad tooth and then do another consultation in a few days. He didn’t like that the pulp was showing, but said she really didn’t have much pain so just covering it might be enough. He would have a better idea when she came back. He was reluctant to do a root canal as she was so young and thought it better to try this first. Of course she was allowed to keep her stuffie (Sophie) during the whole procedure!


There were lots of tools that were used.


I wasn’t nervous, I was just admiring the pretty purple color.


More “stuff” being used.  Daph was a very good patient.


Starting to look normal again.


The final rinse!


The grand reveal! Seriously, you can’t even tell that anything happened. The dentist talked with us and said that it might need to be redone as she grows up. Its common for teeth to change color and she may just need it done for “aesthetics”. He also warned it was possible for the reconstruction to break off as it has very little to bind to on incisor teeth, but he was confident in the work (he acid etched to make sure it bonded well).

Now the question I know many of you are wondering. What did that whole procedure cost! Drum roll… $125 Euro..

Ya, let that sink in. X-rays, freezing, rebuild all done in an office that rivals any dental office I have been too in Canada for $125 Euro (about $190cdn). Hell, even with insurance in Canada I’m willing to bet we would have paid more for just overages.


  9 comments for “Dental Emergency

  1. Mike McFarlane
    June 14, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Awww, poor Daphnie. 🙁 The results look great though! That is a nice shade of purple on the wall there Travis. I’d appreciate the name of your dentist in Grenada. We are in Merida, Mexico today and both visited the dentist here. We will be back in Grenada next week though and Gigi will need to have a followup appointment in a month or so. We miss you guys! s/v Last Tango

  2. June 14, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Fantastic that it all worked out. Do remind her when she gets older to keep an eye on the one with pulp showing. When I was around 10 I fell and jammed my front tooth right back. The Dentist managed to pull it back down with no damage to the root. Fast forward almost 40 years and that root suddenly decided to die. Unfortunately for me I took to long to visit the dentist and it took some of the bone with it and after a year of annoying regrowing, I finally had an implant to replace it. Hopefully this won’t be an issue but it’s worth a mention when she’s a bit older.

    And ya, it wasn’t $190…sigh.

    • travis
      June 14, 2019 at 1:53 pm

      We know she will need more work in the future. However, we are just happy to have it dealt with while we are here.

      We were also gobsmacked that it was $125 euro for all that work.. and he was quick to tell us that we were outside the French health care so this was NOT “subsidized prices”.. Damn, we are pay WAY too much for dentistry in Canada!

  3. Annick Filion
    June 14, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Good to know we can find good care there! We are glad Daph is ok!

    • travis
      June 14, 2019 at 3:12 pm

      Thanks.. It would have been much easier for you guys (speaking French). If you have some dental work that needs to be done, you might want to wait until you are back here.

      Hope you guys are enjoying Grenada!

  4. Judy Wizniuk
    June 14, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Oh my God Daph you are the bravest girl!! Gido and Grandma are so proud of you. You look beautiful! We are so grateful and proud of you! Love you to the moon and back. Your teeth look beautiful! And…..happy it did not cost Dad and Mom the boat….as in Canada…it might have. Love and hugs to Jonah and Quince to.

  5. Barbara
    June 15, 2019 at 6:47 am

    Well done. We had such great good fortune (at very reasonable costs) in the Caribbean. So glad you and Daphne did, too. Hugs to all of you.

  6. Aunty Georgette
    June 15, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Your teeth look really nice Daph, you can’t even tell they were broken.

  7. Colleen Gettman
    June 16, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Looks pretty good ,so sad when she broke her teeth. Hopefully will do okay ! Yes our costs here outrageous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *