DENTAL TECHNICIAN needed urgently - help please!

Hi all. OH's dental plate has just snapped in two. Is it possible to go to a dental technican (as we used to do in Dublin) or must we fork out and see a dentist? And if we can just go to a dental technician for a repair/replacement, any idea what they are called here in France? If we have to pay for a dentist, so be it, but this is an emergency and we need help first thing Monday. Any advice gratefully received. Thanks.

Thank you Maggie, Terry and Julie.

Quick update on the outcome: Dental practice was located yesterday in Lezignan-Corbieres, and we were told to come in whenever suited us. Very nice girl took the plate and told us to come back today at 6.30. We asked for it to be reinforced, and this was done. Cost us €150 but think I can claim it back on the health insurance. Poor Henry - 4 days of eating liquidized foods and not being able to talk properly!

Thanks for all the help and advice.

Maggie, thanks so much for that. Will be trying to ring dentist first thing, but don't know what the plate is called in French, which should be fun. The plate is 10 years old and is not a tight fight, which Henry thinks may have contributed, as it flexes somewhat, and he also likes his Pain de Cathare crispy!

The time you have taken is much appreciated.

Sheila, very quickly before I hit the sack, I just wanted to mention that a plate doesn't snap without a reason. Maybe it was dropped in the sink while being cleaned at some point and it was already slightly cracked, only to actually snap at a later date. In which case, a simple repair will do. However, make sure that after repair the dentist tests the occlusion. If the teeth are still in good condition, ie not too worn down with abrasion, then it may be a good idea to have the plate rebased, which will also strengthen it considerably. sincerely, Maggie

Thanks, Terry but based on Maggie's response, it would appear there is no point in trying to see someone today, as no repair can be done today. I have checked Pages Jaunes as well.

Sheila, you need La Depeche du Midi. There has to be a Aude edition. If it's anything like Midi Libre it should have a section on emergency numbers.

Maggie, thanks so much for your response. It is very kind of you. Based on what you say, there is no point in seeing an emergency dentist today. I will make phone calls tomorrow and try and get an appointment. The plate snapped in two, so may be possible to repair. In the meantime, we are limping along with Fixodent! I haven't taken out a mutuelle yet as we are still waiting for our Carte Vitales, and even if I had, I presume there is a waiting period before making a claim, as I mentioned above in my reply to Julie. So, I had better get my derriere off this chair and go buy some food for the next couple of days, as in soup, etc. :-)

Hi Sheila, I am actually a dentist myself, trained in the UK, but now working in France. In our region there are always two dentists 'on call' for emergencies on Sundays and public holidays. However, even if a patiant comes along with a broken plate it will not be able to be repaired until the Monday when the technician can pick it up. As for going directly to a technician .. it is possible, but illegal, so difficult to find a technician who will be willing to do the repair. If you go to your local dentist he should be able to have it fixed within 24hrs, depending on the type of fracture, and the reason for the fracture. If it has broken due to being dropped, and all the bits can be easily fitted together, then it's an easy job, where no impression needs to be taken. This would cost around 90€, and you would be reimbursed the 21€ for the consultation and then also extra for the repair (the exact amount depending on your mutuelle). This is the main reason patients go to their dentist first ie in order to be reimbursed for the cost of the repair. However, another important reason to go to the dentist is if the breakage is due to unstable forces in the mouth. There are many different causes for this, and if the denture is simply repaired then it will inevitably break again! Unfortunately, the gums and bones resorb after dental extractions (this is a continuing process although is slows down with time), plus the teeth also move constantly throughout our lives (we do use the poor little things an awful lot) .. this means that a plate can become unstabe, and an impression needs to be taken to readapt the plate correctly (it may simply need to be rebased). This would be slightly more expensive depending on the difficulty and time needed for reajustment in the mouth around 120€ to 180€ (a dental technician should not do this). If there is a bit of the plate missing an impression may also need to be taken. It is also possible to include a reinforcement bar at the point where the plate is fragile. If you don't already have your own dentist here in France the main difficulty might be finding one willing to see you as an emergency. I wish you luck, and don't hesitate to get back to me on the subject. Maggie

Thanks Julie. It's the same situation in Ireland but we did find dental technicians who were willing to deal with you directly - it's much quicker as well. Still waiting on our Carte Vitales, so haven't taken out the mutuelle yet and the quote I got was for €138 pm including 200% cover for dental. Will have to check out if there is a waiting period before making a claim. It's a pity he didn't think of getting a spare made (said through gritted teeth).

Thanks Terry but we do not have a local newspaper as such, and there's no dentist here in our village. Did find some listings in Pages Jaunes but of course no one is open today. I'll try and catch one of the neighbours tomorrow - been chucking it down all day here, so we are all staying indoors.

Have a look in your local newspaper, Sheila, where it lists the emergency numbers and on-call doctors, chemists and so on. There's usually an on-call emergency dentistry number.