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The Tooth – a bite too far

WCF-toothNot long before we left Florida for Italy I was eating something, and bit down onto a hard peppercorn. Letting out a yelp, it felt like a hot poker in a lower molar. Fortunately, the pain subsided overnight, though there was still increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods.

Just before we went to the airport, the level of discomfort began to increase. Luckily the tooth responded to combinations of ibubrofen, Orajel (anesthetic w/ 20% benzocaine), and/or warm salt water rinse.

However, the relief was short lived.

Over the next days, the ability to reduce the discomfort waned and I contacted my dentist back in the US for advice. He said that I was doing everything right, but the prognosis was likely further deterioration. That night I couldn’t sleep. It was more than discomfort.

The night was rather rough, so I got up early and contacted our travel insurance company**. Not only would they cover most if not all of the procedure, they provided the names of three local (Verona) dentists. I chose one* for their proximity (15 min away), they advertise that they speak English, I found many excellent reviews, and they could see me quickly.

They were able to take me at 10:00 for a consult, so I made the appointment.

The ChairWhen I arrived, Dott. Michele Recchia, took photos and an x-ray. He said that the cracks made it difficult to assess, and he would need a further examination to determine the depth of the cracks. I was back in the chair at 11:00, and he discovered that while the crack was deep at one end of the tooth, it was shallow at the other. The tooth could likely survive the procedure, so we made the decision to proceed with the root canal, repack it, and replace the filling. Fortunately there was no infection. We were finished by about 13:00, and I’ll set an appointment for placing a crown within the next week.

All went well. No pain, other than the first injection of anesthetic, and I left the office having had an excellent experience.

The takeaway is that stuff happens, unexpectedly. Be prepared, on many levels.

When traveling, especially in foreign countries, get travel insurance for medical care and evacuation at the minimum, and trip interruption if you can’t self-insure. Read the policy and understand the coverage and limitations.

If a problem arises before you leave home treat it then or at least have it looked at, which I did … but. If you have issues after arrival at your destination, don’t put off seeking assistance, things can always get worse, but they can also get better.

Safe travels.

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This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. Completely understand!!!☹

    I am just completing a 6month journey of extractions, 2 permanent bridges and now my last replacement crown?

    Though many $$$$ later, a wonderful feeling now, sorry for your issues, but what a great resolution.

    Enjoy Verona.

    1. Ouch, ouch, ouch! It’s amazing how such small things can be so painful. Hope all your dental issues are over and you can focus on that house! Looking forward to seeing more of your progress photos.

  2. So happy this worked out well for you! Wonderful advice too. Love to you and Jeannie. We leave for Paris this Sunday (yikes!!).

    1. Enjoy your trip!

  3. Hi Jeannie and Chris,
    This is Gianna Golding, maybe you remember me meeting you at your brother’s unit at the MG.
    It looks like you finally made it to Verona. My sister in law, my niece and nephew live there for the past 40 years or more. Please visit Vicenza, another exquisite town, also called the town of Andrea Palladio about 30 minutes away. He built numerous Villas in the country side (one of which is Villa La Rotonda just west of the city) and many Building between 1550 to 1600 such as The Teatro Olimpco and the Palazzo Chiericati across the street from Teatro Olimico. All still standing… and well maintained. Also check out the Piazza dei Signori where the Basilca Palladiana stands tall. This town was my stomping ground where i went to school. In 30/40 minutes train ride you can also be in Venice. South of Verona you can visit Mantova another very special City.

    1. Hi Gianna, it’s good to hear from you. We are planning to see Vicenza later this week (the weather is drizzly so we’re looking for a sunny day). Last week we went to Mantova for a day and it is a special and beautiful city. This area of Italy has many fine towns to see, we hope to visit many while keeping enough days to just wander and appreciate Verona. Thanks for joining us on this adventure!

  4. Just another example of your great preparation (and experience) and how that pays off. Grateful for a good outcome.


    1. We try to prepare for the unexpected, and hope for the best! Good outcomes are appreciated!

  5. So thankful you had good travel insurance. I pray all is well with your tooth.

    1. Chris has 2 more appointments in May to finish the repair. Fortunately it is not hindering his enjoyment of Italian food!!

  6. Excellent advice for us newby travelers!!

    1. Experience is a great teacher, but helpful tips can reduce the damage from the unexpected. And then when something goes awry, just find the best way to deal with it!

  7. I am so glad that your travel insurance covered all of this. Ain’t nothing more annoying than having dental pain ! And to be in Italy, where the eating is sooo good!

    1. I don’t think the travel insurance will cover all of it, but certainly enough to ease the pain (tooth and bank account!) You’re right that this is not the place to not be able to enjoy the food; though one might be able to survive on gelato!

  8. Glad that all worked out well. When we travel now we also use Allianz Travel Insurance. When traveling in Italy my sister broke her leg and had a great experience with their travel insurance. They took care of the hospital stay, surgery and the trip back home. Don’t leave home without it!

    1. We’ve purchased Allianz insurance since we began this adventure in 2014, and this is the second time we’ve had a small claim. They are very responsive!

  9. good story, hope your making a full recovery!

    1. The pain is gone and he is able to eat! Two more appointments and all repair will be complete.

  10. Glad it went smoothly. That yellow will keep you alert!

    1. Definitely!

  11. Nothing worse than a toothache in a country with great food. Glad you are all better

    1. Agree and agree. Full steam ahead on this adventure!

  12. Glad things are going well as can be expected.

    1. This was unexpected but the recovery is going very well, thanks.

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