Thursday, July 18, 2013


"Why are those front teeth of yours so dark?" asks my observant mom who, even at nearly 89, sees and hears better than I do.

My answer:"Because they're my own."

When I repeated that to the cocky American periodontist, he said, "Don't flatter yourself. Those teeth have had so many fillings that there's not really much of you left in there."

Hmm.. Food for thought...Especially for someone who grew up in an age when fluoride was considered a communist plot, and who had spent a good part of her life in the dentist's chair. Yet I've found dentistry in Italy to be a thing unto itself--and a much less expensive thing, at that.

Even little Orvieto has a superior dentist who comes twice a week from Rome to work his magic on tough cases like mine. And unlike in the States, where most of my issues require a trifecta of separate experts (dentist, endodontist, periodontist), Marco knows how to do it all.

My husband who ended up needing an implant was the guinea pig, and when the American experts saw Marco's handiwork, even they begrudgingly admitted it was Michelangelesque.

And when my American team declared my front teeth non viable and vulnerable to serious trouble that could result in the need for costly implants by THEM, I decided to make a leap of faith with Marco.  

Instead of being implanted, however, I am being crowned, Italian-style--a process that requires patience and spending much of my time and future earnings at the dentist. But even though we've only gotten to the provisional stage of the temporary crowns, I find myself smiling a whole lot more.

After taking my new front teeth for their first swim, I sent  my mom, title-holder of Best Smile in the Family, a photo of my smile-in-progress. (I titled my email, "Notice Anything Different?") Her response:"Fantastic! Better late than never!" This is from the brave lady, who at age 80 invested all the money she barely had in the 9 implants needed to keep her mouth healthy. The same one who had agitated in vain to convince Middletown that fluoride was not part of the Red Menace.

The bottom line? After having served me well for 66 years, my front teeth deserved the Royal Treatment they are getting here in Bella Italia.

PS:Once back in the States after I have my permanent crowns, I'll be interested to hear what my American dentist of whom I am very fond will have to say about them. Over the years that I have spent time abroad, he warned me strongly to avoid French dentists, and UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, to go to a dentist in England (even though his own dentist wife is British). As for how wide a berth to give to Italian dentists, he wasn't so sure. I'm taking my chances with Marco!

PPS:If you would like to comment, please do so by clicking below. (I would have added this sooner, but computer-dunce that I am, I did not understand this feature before.)

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