8
Jul

Korean Dental Experience

Ok so I decided the hospital wasn’t enough of a medical culture shock for me so I thought I’d try the dentist out too.

Well can I say that it has not only cured me of my dentist-a-phobia, but I found the whole experience rather amusing and enjoyable.

Let’s rewind a bit, last time I went to the dentist was about 2006, oh don’t judge me, I had an abscessed tooth, one of the front ones. Well all I’ll say about that is ow and would not recommend it to anyone! So the front tooth has been discoloured for awhile and I knew I needed to go, so we begin my dental cultural month, um yeah I said month.

I’ll start with the set up, three different dentist chairs set up in a big room with a big computer monitor in front of each chair. They are all pretty far apart and all faced the outside wall. Now you may be wondering why the chairs are all in the same room, so on any given day if you look a bit over to the side you can see your neighbour getting some work done. Is this to save space in a small country, perhaps, but I’m more inclined to say it’s to allow the dentist easier access to work with multiple patients at the same time.
Yes you read right, the dentist would rotate myself and his other patients, a few minutes with each.

OK if I explain the treatment I had it will illustrate this a bit better. I had a bunch of fillings to do top and bottom, but the piece de resistance was getting a crown on my front tooth to take care of the discolouration. Now what a crown entails in a nut shell, with my obvious dental background, is that you file the tooth to be crowned into a sharp freaky looking point and then whack the crown, ie fake tooth on top of it. Now this may, I assume in most cases require a temporary crown to be put on for sizing, before the actual crown is done.

So this is how it all went down….. They put a piece of cloth over your face with a hole cut into it, like you are a captured lion at the Kruger National park, although that being said I did quite get used to going to my dark place for some meditation 🙂 The dentist files at the tooth for two seconds, either saying ‘good job’ or ‘no pain no pain’ or ‘one more time’ when it clearly was not one more time! or ‘OK OK’ or “Good Allison” or “Please open your mouth” which is actually one of my grade 3 lessons.  It was all I could do not to smile..so he files for literally two seconds, then bjjjjjert the electric chair goes up and he says “Please, clean your mouth” then bjjjjert the chair goes down, he files for two sec, then bjjjjert the chair goes up “Please, clean your mouth”
I kid you not every two seconds!

I have never drooled on my self so much either, cause they don’t use suction like you should so either you are choking on your own spit or you are gobbing all over yourself when you “Please, clean your mouth”

The treatment literally took about a month, a month for what most dentists could whack out in an afternoon. The first day he just showed me the damage, financial and dental lol. By day two he’d put on a temporary crown and then worked on like two teeth at a time. I had all the yuck literally ground out of my teeth by this really freaky sounding grinder thing, I had temporary fillings and then real fillings. He would literally work on me for about 2-5 mins then bjjjert up I go the TV comes on and off he goes to work on someone else, so random. Then comes back and is like “OK, please open your mouth” and off we go again.

Other personal favourites from the dentist included “You may feel some cold sensitivity pain” and whenever he would use blast away stuff with pressurised air, he’d say “air’ Having his armpit oh so very close, luckily he uses Shield for men, lol, him singing away or having full on conversations looking the other way while he operates a drill in my mouth…nice one.

But my personal favourite 🙂

When ever he’d put in the filling material, he’d file it down to neaten it up and of course make it fit into my teeth. What he’d use seemed to be a bit of almost wax paper that he’d ask me to bite down on and grind and so he’d be able to tell how much to work off. Not only was the “OK bite and open, bite and open, OK bite bite bite” hilarious but at one stage, I’m assuming while he was waiting for the assistant to bring the biting paper, he made me practise my biting hahahahah how funny is that!!
Here I am with the dentist’s hands cradling my jaw “OK bite and open, bite and open, OK bite bite bite”

I am very impressed by the crown though, the man is definitely a perfectionist. He had the man that made the crown come in and made me feel like a car in the workshop with the two of them trying on my tooth and chatting away as though I wasn’t really there, lol.

Then the two assistant ladies came and took a look and also during the course of all the treatment some other random dentist lady came did one filling and then left again…weird weird weird!!!
Also the one younger girls would be asked to hold my crown down on my tooth while the ‘glue’ was setting and she’d, with her hand on my tooth be doing other things so either my head is being yanked to one side or my nose is being smoshed by her arm. 
I also had the pleasure of having my face numbed and then going out to eat with Cara, lol it was funny having no control over my lips hahaha.

The dentist’s English was well OK, shame I really felt for him, I could see it was a concentrated effort to try and communicate with me.

They did an excellent job and I was way too entertained to feel any fear. So at the end of the day they have cured me of my phobia. The final crown, after two temporary ones he worked on for a good while and I must commend him for his excellent work.

Although it was a tad longer than I would have liked, for the price, the professionalism and the entertainment oh and the confident new smile, it was totally worth it 🙂