When we were in the process of moving to Al Ain, one of the things that I had to get situated was obtaining treatment for my daughter’s braces. At the time that we decided to move, she still only had her bottom braces on. The Kaiser orthodontist in Washington was initially refusing to put on the top braces because he insisted that once we got to the UAE, the orthodontist here would remove the US braces to put on a different kind.
In order to confirm this information, I contacted orthodontists in the UAE before I left the States. The clinic in Al Ain that responded to my inquires assured me that they worked with US style braces. So, I convinced the Kaiser ortho to put on her top braces. He didn’t have much room to complain considering that I had already paid for her braces in full and only received six months of treatment and they don’t issue refunds.
So when we got to Al Ain, I didn’t really need to do any shopping around for an orthodontist since I had already been in contact with Al Ain International Dental Clinic. The clinic is, well, a lot like all of the other healthcare clinics in the UAE – not up to the standard I have come to expect in the US. Meaning that even though we have an appointment, we are guaranteed to wait for at least an hour and that it is difficult to communicate with the staff. Not to mention that the office lacks the feel of being clean/modern. That isn’t to say they are a horrible clinic – they are just what I have had to come to accept as the standard in the UAE.
On one side, as promised, they did not need to remove her old braces, and they were able to work with the US style braces. But on the other hand, the orthodontist is from Germany, and this Kieferorthopäden only comes to Al Ain about once every 4-6 weeks. She isn’t the most pleasant of doctors. She is very… well… ummm.. not to sound rude, but she is very stereo-typically German. Kassandra found her to be gruff and insensitive.
Another concern that I originally had was that they refused to tell me up front how many visits they anticipated her needing, and they don’t charge a set price but rather a charge per visit (700 AED each month). I was concerned that this would prompt them to keep her braces on indefinitely just to make a profit, but my concerns were unfounded as she just got her braces off today (for an additional 2000AED fee for removal, cleaning, and retainer). This means she had them on for about the same amount of time (maybe even a couple month less) than what was predicted by her original orthodontist. The only last thing was the retainer. It isn’t what we expected. It looks more like a plastic mouth guard like the kind I used to wear while sleeping to prevent grinding my teeth. Maybe this is what people use nowadays? I’m not sure. Kassandra isn’t thrilled, but she is pretty happy not to have to wear braces all summer.
Here you can see Kassandra’s before and after pictures