Not 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.
When 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.
For those interested:
- The dental office: *Recchia Ambulatorio Polispecialistico Odontoiatrico ed Ortodontico
- Our travel insurance: **Allianz Travel Insurance