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VICENZA, Italy — Suzi Boydston prefers going to an American dentist.

That’s why the Navy spouse chooses to postpone routine dental care for herself, if the alternative is finding a dentist off-base.

“I’d be very afraid I would not get the same level of care I’m used to getting through American dentists,” said Boydston, whose husband works for American Forces Network.

She said she’s received several cleanings, checkups and other dental work at the military clinic in Vicenza, and “my experience has been excellent.”

Her daughter, Jessica, a senior at Vicenza High School, received braces from the military dental clinic about 11 months ago.

“I didn’t particularly like the braces, but the orthodontist was helpful and nice,” Jessica said.

Suzi Boydston said she has never had trouble getting an appointment on base for her children. It’s only her routine appointments that she’s sometimes had to put off until later.

She said she believed that other family members in Vicenza are happy they’re able to be treated on base, instead of getting referred regularly to Italian dentists.

“I do know that if the (on-base) dental care would go away, there would be a lot of angry people,” she said.

Dental officials at the clinic declined to be interviewed for this story.

Related story: Taking the ache out of tooth care

Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for almost 38 years.
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