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Dutch art and culture on a dental trip

February 18th, 2013

My travelling has become a little more ‘confined’ recently, so, although I may occasionally receive messages from outer space, most of my news, views and experiences will be when I am ‘closer to home’.

For instance, I was back in Holland last week. My first dental experience was visiting the ‘Gemeente Museum’ in den Haag, where there was a cute display of ‘pin-up art’ and a nice reminder of Marilyn Monroe’s dental advertising efforts….

And at the van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam, I was reminded that Piet Mondrian was Dutch, and, happily, produced other art than just squares and lines…

This is great stuff. Look at the first of the 3. Any of you art lovers reminded of Georgia O’Keefe?

I did visit some quite stunning dental offices. Holland has a lot of group practices; modern, stylish, efficient – some of them very large, with 15, 20 offices and more. Dental hygiene is not only prevalent, there are a lot of independent operators, and again, some working together in group practices.

My company, American Eagle, specialises in hand instruments. It is interesting to observe the variations in markets. Of course, it is common knowledge that some countries still resist the introduction of dental hygienists, whereas others, including Holland (some prefer it to be referred to as the Netherlands), have not only a high population of hygienists, they also have more and more dental therapists. These are usually assistants who have received extra training and are permitted to do cleaning, small fillings – and give injections.

It’s unbelievable how you can cross the border into Belgium, so long tied to Holland as part of Benelux, and find hardly one hygienist.

Back in Holland, not only is the hygienist population high, their use of hand instruments is also high. Yes, of course the use of ultrasonic scalers is prevalent, but the Dutch have been educated to appreciate the importance of the tactility that you get from manual scaling techniques.

And art…you will find some quite stunning works of art in almost every dental office. I am always impressed – and happy to spend time in the waiting areas. Coffee is usually provided…

Finally, back to the museums –

In Tel Aviv, they are currently running an exhibition of Van Gogh Alive. Another of Holland’s wonderful contributions to the world of art. You are reminded of Van Gogh’s intensive colours which, when enlarged onto giant screens all around you, and backed up with haunting music, give you special feelings of ‘being there’.

If you have the opportunity, if this exhibition appears near you, do you self a favour and go…

Smile – Promote your dentist

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