Going to the Dentist in Italy

I usually have a glass of wine or four before writing on here so if this post is a little tame, it’s because my creative juices have been RUDELY BLOCKED BY A ROUND OF ANTIBIOTICS. 

 I, like most, am not a huge fan of the dentist. Having someone drilling, banging and renovating inside of my mouth is not something I particularly appreciate. And I feel like most of us can agree on that.

So a few days ago, when I had to go to the dentist for throbbing pain (and shared it in my Instagram stories-are you not following me on INSTAGRAM yet? WHY NOT. WHAT DID I DO TO YOU? I share fun things, let’s be friends) that was slowly getting worse, I was not happy about it. FOR ONE, I’m a girl who AGGRESSIVELY brushes morning and night, flosses, uses mouthwash, gets a cleaning every 6 months but there I was, resting a pack of frozen Parmigiano on my face to numb the pain and crying into my whiskey, hoping it might disinfect the tooth that was hurting (it didn’t). Sometimes shit just happens. 

I called my dentist and he was able to squeeze me in. I had already met him once before in Italy for a quick check-up so we’d already had our first date — don’t act like your first time at the dentist isn’t just like a first date and you’re figuring out if you’re compatible — but this time was different. This time, I had a problem and he needed to FIX ME.

For the past few years, I’d been holding off dentist appointments and cleanings in Italy and just waiting until I visited Canada. I don’t know, I just didn’t “trust” Italian dentists and wasn’t ready to find a dentist I like and make the switch. It was one of those things I’d been putting off.

So when I went to my last minute appointment a few days ago, I tried to act cool and pretend I wasn’t super nervous. The dentist looked at the tooth that was hurting me, did the x-ray, gave me a diagnosis, and then gave me some antibiotics because the dental office was closing that day and he’d already squeezed me in and didn’t have any time to “operate.” But when I went home, the pain kept getting worse and I didn’t know what to do besides listen to dental healing frequency binaural beats on youtube.

The next morning, after a night of barely any sleep and pain that made me feel like Tom Hanks and his abscessed tooth extraction in Cast Away, the dental office called me at 8am to ask how I was doing. I told them I was in a lot of pain and the dentist wanted me to come back into the office for another procedure even though they had already closed for vacation. 

When I got there — mask on and fresh tears in my eyes — the dentist greeted me by saying he knew I had downplayed it yesterday and wanted to try and do something more to fix the problem. 

The room they brought me into made it seem like the office had gone out of business and that made me INSTANTLY panic. WHAT IF THEY CAN’T FIND THE TOOLS? WHAT IF THEY CAN’T STOP THE BLEEDING? The dentist apologized, but he said he wanted to have me come in even if they were closed because he wanted to open the tooth and see if he could clean it out. OPEN THE TOOTH? CLEAN IT OUT? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN.

As I sat in the chair, my hands were shaking and I was sweating — my tank top was GLUED to my back. The dentist saw that I was having a mild freak out, so he told me he would explain what he’d be doing beforehand and maybe that would ease my anxiety. The only thing that has ever eased my anxiety has been Xanax, Fireball and Zoplicone but I let him carry on explaining anyway. 

He gave me a full description of what he’d be doing and then stuck a few needles in my mouth that I didn’t feel AT ALL. Once he gave me the anesthetic, my anxiety was like OH HEY GIRL, DID YOU FORGET ABOUT ME. I instantly felt my heart start to race and my hands went SO heavy and felt like a million ants were crawling inside of them. 

I asked the dentist if we could TAKE A BREAK even though he hadn’t even started working on me yet and he said SURE, NO PROBLEM. I asked him about 6 times “MA È NORMALE SENTIRE DELLE FORMICHE NELLE MANI?” (BUT IS IT NORMAL THAT I FEEL ANTS IN MY HANDS) and “NON POSSO SVENIRE SE SONO SDRAIATA GIUSTO?” (I CAN’T FAINT IF I’M LYING DOWN RIGHT) and “NON SO DOVE METTERE LE MANI” (I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO PUT MY HANDS) so my dentist helped me tuck my hands into my jean pockets. QUICK QUESTION: Has your dentist ever helped you tuck your hands into your jeans? You don’t know health anxiety until a dentist has helped you tuck your awkward hands into your jean pockets because you didn’t know where to put them. Don’t worry, I’m still trying to get over the embarrassment. 

Once my hands were stuck in my cheap jean pockets and the dentist’s angel assistant had rubbed my shoulder to comfort me, he started working his magic and the rest went fine. 

So HERE WE ARE, 4 days later, feeling better and hoping it stays this way until I have to go back in November for my next appointment. My dentist didn’t make me pay for anything, he just gave me an estimate of what he had done so far, what he will be doing in the future and his cellphone number in case anything starts hurting again. I was like, you’re just gonna let me leave without paying you?! His kind assistant who rubbed my shoulder even called me the next day to ask if I was feeling better.

I’m happy to say I now have an OFFICIAL Italian dentist (with a gorgeous bathroom full of luxurious hand soap and sexy oversized tile) and baby, it feels good.

P.S. See those plastic bags I had to wear on my feet (because of Covid) in the cover picture? I ended up wearing them all over the city center because I forgot I had them on. Some girls are just classy like that.

Hope you have a wonderful day full of self care and pasta.
Lisa xx

4 thoughts on “Going to the Dentist in Italy

  1. This, of course, made me remember I need to make an appointment for the dentist! Glad you are coming back to normal…and GIRL! You rock those plastic footies!

    Liked by 1 person

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