Italian Dentistry

panoramica.jpgLast week I had my first meaningful experience with an Italian dentist. 

It was Special.

The story begins last month when I decided it was high time to get my teeth checked out.  I hadn’t been to the dentist in over a year, and for some reason (could it be my obsession with dessert?) my teeth are prone to cavities.

After consulting with the local experts, I decided to go to the faithful Badellino family dentist.  The dentist recommended I get a panoramic xray before coming in for a cleaning and check-up, so Rosanna made me an appointment at the local hospital, and a week later I was in the x-ray room with a panoramic x-ray machine that looked like somthing out of the Planet of the Apes.  (I later learned that the hospital itself is over 200 years old, so it’s possible that the machine actually was prehistoric.) Four days after my x-ray, I had to go back to the hospital to pick up the panorama and pay €23 (a pretty reasonable fee, though they did make me wait 45 minutes at the first appointment).

eatanything.jpgWith panorama in hand, I was now ready to actually go to the dentist.  We called again to make an appointment and once again stressed that I needed both a cleaning and a check up.  Another week later I find myself in the waiting room, eager to have my teeth cleaned after a year of neglect and maltreatment.  Once again, even though I have an appointment, I have to wait for a good 30 minutes before the dentist calls me into his office.  There were actually two dentists–one in his late forties: very tan with white hair; and another in his early sixties, the spitting image of Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future.  The tan one right away says, “what a mouth!  You don’t need to be here!” and Christopher Lloyd says, “I don’t see any wisdom teeth…” as he holds hold my panorama up to the light coming in from the window.  They take a glance at my teeth, find a small cavity, and in less than three minutes, I’m out of the chair with another appointment to return for the cleaning and filling.

A week later, I’m back in the dentist’s chair and the tan one is telling me he’s going to try and fill my cavity without giving me novacaine.  “Oh God!,” I’m thinking to myself, “What’s next?  Shouldn’t they be doing the cleaning first?”  But not wanting to tell these guys how to do their job, I let them drill away.  They fill the cavity in five minutes, and once again I’m on my way.  They’ve refused to clean my teeth, even after three requests!

What does a girl have to do to get her teeth cleaned around here?  Well, I’ve taken matters into my own hands and am being very conscientious about brushing and flossing.

Tomorrow I’m going to the eye doctor.  Wish me luck!


  1. Carrie · March 23, 2008

    Well, I can’t say the dental experience is much better here… I had an appointment a month ago for a cleaning that I didn’t realize I had, so I missed it… and now I’m on a waiting list of some sort to get an appointment. The more times they can get you to the office, the more money they make!!! haha! And they seem to love to tell me I need the “debridement” instead of a regular cleaning so my insurance doesn’t cover it. Grr! Oak actually has to go to two different dentists now.. a periodontist and the regular dentist.. right around when we were getting married I swear we were both in there once a month. They all wanted the wedding stories! haha. Anyway, hope you get your teeth cleaned eventually!

  2. Nicole · April 3, 2008

    I’m going to have to agree with Carie, the dental situation is not much better her in the states. I have been remiss in my professional dental hygience ever since I graduated binghamton, so once I had Josh’s married dental insurance, I was all on board. Well, it took six months of back and forth calling to get Josh and I on the same “list” for the same place, then I called and had to have a pre-screening. They found one cavity (not bad for 4 years) and I had to come back for the filling and the cleaning. or so I thought. Like you, I only got the filling and I need to make ANOTHER appointment for the cleaning. When I went to schedule that at the end of my filling, I was told I was no longer on the list!! Therefore, she highly recommended that I call the insurance company and make sure we are on the list. When I made that call, the very knowledgable, “Mike” told me there was no list and I, in NO WAY, have to be on one. =)

  3. » My Mouth · September 25, 2008

    […] my rant about Italian dentistry?  Well a couple days ago I randomly received my panoramic xray in the mail.  So for all of you […]

  4. Shira · October 1, 2009

    Apparently this visit was just the tip of the iceburg – I’ve changed dentists and the latest news is that he wants to fill all my cavities with real GOLD. Are you kidding me right now?!?!

  5. Joan Hatch · October 8, 2009

    real gold that is a rip off. Don’t get mercury (lead) fillings however. Jim H insists on some kind of white stuff (plastic? He’s not here right now so I can’t ask him)

  6. Shira · October 9, 2009

    i ended up getting some kind of plaster composite, which is white. i feel like it’s not quite right though….i think way more about these new fillings than I do about my other teeth…

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