Those two words send shudders down my spine. I dislike the dentist.
I’m not sure where this fear came from, and I have absolutely no excuse. In my 24 years of life I haven’t had one cavity, filling, extraction, cap, or any other dental related problem. I have gone to the dentist for regular teeth cleanings/check ups, and walk out with a fine bill of health.
I’m quite proud of my pearly whites;dentists love my teeth.
So where did my fear come from? Well, wouldn’t you know it, but I actually have a small little jaw and mouth. It can be quite painful for me to go to the dentist and sit for 40 minutes as someone pokes and prods in my mouth. I also HATE the xray machine. The little paddles they stick in your mouth cant ever lay right against my teeth, and it takes 15 minutes to figure it out (sometimes they’d even pull out the little kid paddles), OR I finally get the paddles aligned properly, and I feel like I constantly need to gag.
The last time I went to the dentist was 5 days before we left for Korea. The dentist told me that my wisdom teeth were coming in and needed to be pulled immediately. Obviously with my crunched time schedule this wasn’t possible. I proceeded to tell him that I’d have to do it in Korea.
I’ll never forget the grimace that appeared on his face. “I strongly suggest you get it done here. You never know what they do in Korea, it’s probably not as safe or as sanitary as what you would get here. You wouldn’t want them to mess up your mouth.” Said the doctor.
His words are still ringing in my ears a year later as my wisdom teeth decide to rear their ugly heads. Last week was very painful for me. My lower jaw was so sore I actually felt like keeping my mouth shut all week. This fact alone should alert 99.9% of my family and friends back home, for I am known as quite the talker. Derik told me to schedule an appointment with the dentist, but as it was stated above, I’m scared of the dentist. Especially here.
Well, lucky for him, my current boss took my pain into her own hands and scheduled an appointment yesterday for me to go into the dentist this morning for a consultation and X-ray. I would be lying if I said I didn’t freak out. Half of it wasn’t my fault; due to the language barrier she just told me that I had an appointment for my wisdom teeth the next day. Naturally I thought this meant they were going to get pulled the next day. She must have saw me backpedalling, and quickly assured me that she was semi-sure that they weren’t going to do any sort of operation.
Feeling a bit flustered, nervous, and apprehensive, I left for my bright and early appointment at 9am today. I arrived at TLC Okpo Dentistry and immediately had some of my nerves calmed.
I don’t know why I thought this…maybe it’s due to the fact that 90% of children run around with teeth rotting out of their heads, but I thought the dentists here were going to be stone-age like. Ok maybe not that old, but at least like something pulled out of the 70’s or 80’s.
As I said, my fears were quickly put to rest as I walked around their modern, fully furnished (and homey) office. They had huge lamps, big comfortable couches, and my health form was (GASP) in English…all English, and only English…no Korean anywhere in sight. Talk about feeling at home.
Without waiting around, I was immediately taken back to the x-ray machine. Much to my delight they had one of these things. Pretty sure my dentist and I would both agree we looked very much like these two strangely robotic looking ladies today. I was relieved to know that I no longer would have to battle it out with the xray paddles in my mouth…I could stand comfortably for 15 seconds while the machine did it’s thing.
My results were great…and in fact, my wisdom teeth are coming in. The bottom ones are breaking the surface, but the top ones are still way, way up in my skull. Ready for the weird part? The dentist won’t pull out my wisdom teeth until they have fully grown in (uuuummmm what?!). She then told me that she’d prescribe pain meds until that point (that’s a bonus right?!).
After my consultation I was free to go. Literally free. The huge xray and consultation didn’t cost me a singe penny and I could have walked out of there scotch free. I guess I should note…I don’t have health insurance. So no one was covering my bill. I decided that since I was in there I might as well have a teeth cleaning.
The teeth cleaning process was pretty much the same as back home, just a little bit more comfortable. I had my own personal TV (as did the 4 or 5 other patients in chairs lined up next to me) that I could watch during the process…so that was nice. The little water-powered tooth scraper was pretty darn painful, but apparently that was due to the inflammation of my gums from my wisdom teeth.
The whole process from stepping into the office to walking out took 30 minutes. No joke. And my teeth feel cleaner than they ever have. The cleaning process cost me 50,000 W (50 dollars). I was more than happy to pay for the excellent service I had just received. I will definitely go back…and would recommend this dental office to anyone!
Did I mention they only charge 50,000 W (50$) per tooth when I get my wisdoms taken out? And it only takes 20 minutes?
Yeah chew on that one for a second.
I have, once again, had my mind blown by the technology in Korea. Sorry America, but you’re not the best to me anymore. :)