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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Comparison Dental Shopping

Yesterday I went to my first Italian dentist. The office was a private one and very, very modern, lots of glass and steel everywhere with a minimalist feel. Of course, I could not help but compare this dentist with the two I had in Seattle.

In the U.S.


1. I walk into the dental office, check-in and wait in the waiting area/room for about 10-20 minutes before someone calls me for my appointment. There are usually a slew of magazines for patients to read. Namely, Family Circle, Time, Newsweek, Dental Health etc...

2. I filled out a two-page form about my medical and dental history. I DO NOT need translation help.

3. I am left in the dental chair for about 10 minutes before the dentist comes in to see me.

4. A dentist examines my mouth and makes scribbles on a chart about the condition of my teeth and gums.

5. I am left alone for another 5-10 minutes before the hygienist comes in to clean my teeth.

6. A hygienist comes in and cleans my teeth.

7. I usually get my teeth cleaned every 6 months in the States, they send you a reminder postcard.

8. My visit is billed partly to the insurance or I end up paying for the whole thing. Usually a cleaning is 96 USD and a filling about 100 USD if it is not a complicated or large one.

9. **A short note: One of my dentists in the States always chats with me about the condition of my mouth and makes helpful recommendations. In addition, when I am getting shots for a filling, he always asks me about the pain level of the shots and to rate them on a scale of 1 to 10.


In Italy


1. I walk into the dental office, check-in and wait in the waiting area/room for about 10-20 minutes before someone calls me for my appointment. There are a slew of magazines for patients to read. I noticed there were mostly gossip, fashion, auto and travel magazines.

2. I filled out a two-page form about my medical and dental history. I DO need translation help as I accidentally marked that I DO take recreational drugs. Opps!

3. I am left in the dental chair for about 10 minutes before the dentist comes in to see me.

4. A dentist examines my mouth and makes scribbles on a chart about the condition of my teeth and gums. He then makes small talk and asks me how long I have lived in Italy and how great my Italian is. Also, he congratulates me on my pregnancy and asks me if I know if I am expecting a boy or a girl. Everyone in the office does this, I am asked about 6 times.

5. I am left alone for another 5-10 minutes before another dentist comes in to clean my teeth.

6. A dentist comes in and cleans my teeth. She asks me the same questions as the first dentist, about the baby that is. She then proceeds to clean my teeth. But before she begins, she explains to me that if I should feel any pain or discomfort, I should raise my left hand and she will stop right away to resolve the problem. I am loving this!

7. It's been a year-and-a-half since I moved here and this is my first dental visit, I feel like an oral hygiene sinner.

8. My visit is billed to me and I have to seek re-imbursement from the insurance company myself. The cleaning and the visit were 196 Euros.

9. ***Another small note: I need to have three old fillings replaced and in Italy, they are almost 2.5 times the price of the States. I am thinking I may just have the dental work done when I head back to Seattle in the spring. Overall, I had a wonderful experience; this clinic was clean, professional, courteous, thoughtful and very, very organized. I cannot wait for my next cleaning!

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3 Comments:

At 7:48 AM, Blogger Tina said...

Wow, where do you get $100 fillings in Seattle?
My Seattle dentist charges a LOT more, and after insurance, which only covers half, I end up paying about $500.

Glad you had a good experience in Italy though - I've heard all kinds of stories about Italian dentists and it sounds like you got the right one.

 
At 5:18 PM, Blogger midnightbunny said...

This makes me wish I lived in Italy. Your dental experience there sounded wonderful, and the entire staff sounded very concerned and professional. Kudos to them. :)

 
At 11:14 PM, Blogger Joel said...

Interesting comparison Gia! I've never had any dental appointment abroad. Primarily because I just go outside the country for leisure traveling. I find the Italians very charming based on your description. The only drawback is that they are a lot more pricey than most clinics here in the States.

My brother visited a local dentist last month to have porcelain veneers (Chicago and other places) done. In his case, he usually requires a (Chicago) sedation dentist because he is quite anxious in the dentist chair. He dreads all the poking that happens during dental visits. Fortunately, everything went well and his teeth looks great now.

Hope you'd have a successful visit when you go back to Seattle. Thanks!

 

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