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Robin Corba - Dokter Gigi

2 June 2012

Dokter Gigi

My first experience going to the dentist in Indonesia and a little side story about an international artist who cancelled her concert in Jakarta

What's a doctor Gigi? Next generation lady Gaga? No. Dokter Gigi is Indonesian for dentist. Lady Gaga is a different story that recently happened here in Indonesia. (read the final paragraph about her)

The main topic of this story is about the Indonesian dentist.

I have been living in the Jabodetabek region for two years now. Six months in Bekasi (2008), 12 months in Depok (2010) and now 7 months in West Jakarta (2012). However during the first two trips I haven't been to a dentist in Indonesia because my medical insurance still covered free dental checks and scaling in The Netherlands. That's why I quickly made an appointment every time I went back to my native country (2009 and 2011). Today was the first time I went to the dentist in the Republic of Indonesia, because now I'm an official resident.

So there I was, downtown Jakarta, going to the local dentist. Registered at the desk and paid 20.000 Rupiah for administration fee. Fifteen minutes later I was called by the dentist, a woman wearing a head scarf who didn't want to shake my hand told me to sit down in the chair. After two minutes staring into my "oral cave", she said that everything looked fine. No cavities, no scaling needed and no plaque! Well, that was a bit of a surprise since I havent been to a dentist in over a year! It's true I never had a dental cavity in my life but I usually have a small heap of plaque every six months. I didn't believe what she said but she insisted it's the truth. I paid the bill of 60.000 Rupiah, left the practice and went straight to another dentist.

Dental professionals at Lembaga Kedokteran Gigi TNI AL R.E. Martadinata

This other one was the "executive dentist" at the Lembaga Kedokteran Gigi (Dentists Institute) R.E. Martadinata. Executive basically means it is around 25 percent more expensive than a regular practice, the equipment is better and the waiting room is fancier. There was coffee, tea, a television and even a massage chair!

I needed an appointment to get to this dentist but instead I decided to wait until the dentist had some spare time to have a look. After an hour she had some time, the second female dentist today (my dentists in The Netherlands were usually males). Nonetheless, I doubt there actually is a superior gender for this particular profession. This lady took around five minutes to check my teeth and she found a little bit of plaque using a coloured chemical. Then she did some scaling and cleaning and everything felt good again! There is a world of difference between this dentist and the previous one! I'm glad I looked for a second dentist today; now I only need to do some paperwork to get the costs reimbursed.

Lady Gaga's saga in Jakarta

Since we were already discussing this topic, let me explain what has happened here. Local Indonesian Muslim fundamentalists demonstrated on the streets against the Lady Gaga's "Born This Way Ball" Asian tour concert. According to them, the lyrics of her songs tells people to "worship the devil" and that the young artist herself is a "messenger of Satan". The fundamentalists threatened with chaos if her concert was to be held on June 3rd, 2012 (tomorrow) in Jakarta, they even bought tickets to gain access to the concert in order to create disruption. Although the local Jakarta police force said they had 5.500+ officers ready for this concert, the concert was cancelled. The Jakarta police also didn't issue a permit to the concert promoter "Big Daddy" because they didn't prepare the necessary documents to apply for a permit on time. Anyway, this hectic period seems to be over now. It seems that every month there is another new public outrage about something in Indonesia, whether it's about international artists, corruption or scrapping subsidized fuel. I'd wish Indonesia will grow into a more modern (Asian) community, but I guess this will need much more time.

There were also demonstrations from christians who were opposed to Lady Gaga's concert in the Filippines and South-Korea (however those concerts weren't cancelled).



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