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Una Visita dal Dentista Posted by on Oct 14, 2011 in Italian Language

O.K. I know you all like to read my blogs about our wonderful landscapes, delicious food, and deeply rooted traditions, but sometimes we have to deal with some of the less pleasant realities of life. What happens, for example, if you’re on holiday in Italy and you have mal di denti? = tooth ache?

Don’t worry, here is Serena and Geoff’s guide to dealing with Italian dentists, inspired by Geoff’s recent visita dal dentista = visit to the dentist.

Firstly note that dentista is one of those words that doesn’t change its ending according to gender. We simply change the article to denote whether it’s a male or female dentist: il dentista (male) la dentista (female).

Now, what does a dentist look after? I denti = the teeth (singular il dente = the tooth). Yes, simpler than English: denti = teeth therefore dentista = ‘toother’.

So, let’s have a look at a bit of dental vocabulary taking Geoff’s experience as a starting point:

ieri Geoff aveva l’appuntamento dal dentista

yesterday Geoff had an appointment with the dentist

qualche giorno fa, mentre faceva colazione, ha sentito un fortissimo dolore ad un dente

a few days ago, while he was having breakfast, he felt a really strong pain in one of his teeth

una vecchia otturazione si era rotta, e il nervo del dente gli faceva così male che ha dovuto prendere degli analgesici

an old filling had broken, and the nerve hurt him so much that he had to take pain killers

all’ambulatorio, il dentista lo ha invitato ad accomodarsi sulla sedia reclinabile e ad aprire bene la bocca

at the surgery, the dentist invited him to sit in the reclining chair and open his mouth wide

poi gli ha chiesto dove gli faceva male mentre con uno strumento gli toccava gentilmente i denti

he then asked him where it hurt whilst gentle tapping his teeth with a surgical instrument

nel frattempo l’infermiera ha messo la radiografia, detta comunemente la lastra, sul light-box

in the meanwhile the nurse put the x-rays, commonly known as ‘the plate’, on the light box

individuato il dente colpevole, il dentista ha cominciato a prepararlo col trapano

once the guilty tooth had been identified, the dentist began preparing it with his drill

ha deciso che in questo caso non c’era bisogno di fare l’anestesia

he decided that in this case it wouldn’t be necessary to anaesthetise him

pulito il dente, ha chiesto all’infermiera la matrice, e di preparare l’amalgama

once the tooth was cleaned, he asked the nurse for the matrix (that thingy that they fit on your tooth when they do a filling), and to prepare the amalgam

siccome non aveva dato a Geoff l’anestetico, quando gli ha messo la matrice gli ha fatto un po’ male alla gengiva

as he hadn’t given Geoff an anaesthetic it hurt his gum a bit when he fitted the matrix

ha usato l’amalgama per fare la nuova otturazione

he used the amalgam to do the new filling

poi ha chiesto a Geoff di mordere una striscia di carta impregnata con inchiostro blu per controllare il contatto fra i denti

then he asked Geoff to bite on a strip of paper impregnated with blue ink in order to check the contact between his teeth

infine lo ha invitato a sciacquarsi la bocca

finally he asked him to rinse his mouth

e adesso la cosa più dolorosa: pagare la parcella!

and now for the most painful bit: pay the bill!

Key words:

l’appuntamento = the appointment

il/la dentista = the dentist

il dente / i denti = the tooth / teeth

la gengiva / le gengive = the gum / gums

la carie = tooth decay

l’otturazione = filling

un analgesico = a painkiller

l’anestetico = the anaesthetic

fare l’anestesia = to anaesthetise

la radiografia / la lastra = the x-rays

il trapano = the drill

l’amalgama = amalgam

apra la bocca = open your mouth, please

si sciacqui la bocca = rinse your mouth, please

l’estrazione = extraction

la placca = the plaque

l’ablazione tartaro = tartar removal

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  1. Jeannet:

    Salve Serena & Geoff,

    Some like/ wil get it ‘hot’! reading this story: ‘la visita dalla dentista’ – pfff…..

    Espero non mi passe qualcosa sia in Italy
    prossime semane! -crossing my fingers!


  2. Moira:

    Dear Serena and Geoff
    I really enjoy your blog, I started learning for fun while I was living in South Africa and then 2 years ago my husband and I moved to Mauritius and I had to start learning French!It was so confusing for me that I stopped all my Italian even listening to Italian music! I really missed my Italian lessons and speaking that beautiful languagee I was worried that I would forget everything I had learned and then I stumbled upon your blog, it is so wonderful to still be able to have some italian in my life without confusing the French thing too much. Thanks again your efforts are appreciated.

  3. eduardo:

    thank you very much ,Serena,for this wide vocabulary about dentist session

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