Friday, January 27, 2012

A Trip to the Dentist

I had an interesting experience here in Korealand today.

I went to the dentist.

We went to the Fine Dental Hospital here in the grand little city of Changwon.

Fine Dentist Hospital
This is where Jesse goes for her dental work.  She had an appointment today and cleaning (or scaling as it’s called here) doesn’t require an appointment.  So, Casey and I met Jesse in front of Lotte at a about 1130. 

I was there first (about 1100) so I went and wandered around the grocery part of Lotte.  Saw one my Genesis students (Sharon) there with her Kindergarten class.  They were doing some sort of shopping lesson thing, it was adorable to see them carrying the shopping baskets around.  You have to understand that the shopping baskets are large enough for the kids to fit inside of.

Jesse ended up showing up and about two minutes later Casey arrived on a bicycle.

We wandered down the street a couple of blocks until we were at a rather large and impressive building. 

At the dentist office Casey and I had to fill out some paperwork.  It was in English and a LOT simpler than the forms in Korean.  I wonder what they left out on our form.

Casey and I chilled in the waiting room for about twenty minutes.  We played a game on my cell phone and looked at the Korean magazines.

Classic Magazines
The waiting room was rather full of people and eventually they moved us down to the floor below where there was another waiting room and receptionist desk.  At this point Jesse was in her appointment so Casey and I were dealing with the clinic’s main English speaker, who spoke about as much English as Michael B. speaks Korean.  A fairly nice amount, but just enough to get by and nowhere near fluent. 

That was fine though.

The waiting room was really nice.  It wasn’t as cozy as my dentist back in Niceville, but is very nice.

Waiting Room and Receptionist Desk
Coffee Machine
Free Computers with Internet
Huge Television
After a couple minutes we were lead back to the dentist chairs.  I got a nice view out a huge window; Casey got to stare at a pillar. 

Not that I got to enjoy the view for long.

The dentist came and looked at my teeth with the pick and the mirror.  He said my teeth were good, but I needed to floss a little more often.  That’s the same thing Dr. M used to tell me back in Niceville.  I’m very good at brushing two to three times a day, but not so good with the floss…

I really, really need to work on that.

And, yes, I know by saying that here I’m going to have at least Kay-Kay asking me if I flossed every time I talk to her on Skype.

After the dentist looked at my teeth the hygienist cleaned my teeth.  She used this really, really painful water thing to clean them.  Before she did this she put a heavy towel over my face.  It had a hole in the middle of it for my mouth.  I’m pretty sure it looked ridiculous on me because I saw Casey when he still had his on.

That was the most painful cleaning (scaling) I’ve ever had.  I seriously was about to cry.  My gums have always been sensitive, so the dentist has never been exactly pleasant, but this was worse.  I think it’s because she went so fast…

Whatever it was I was so glad when it was over.

Once she was done I got to rinse and then was done.

That was it.

Basically, for ₩ 60,000, my teeth got pressure washed and I was told I had no cavities. 

I can see why people don’t go to the dentist as often here as they do in the states.

My teeth felt a lot cleaner when I left, but they didn’t have that squeaky clean felling I always had when I left Dr. M’s. 

We left the dentist about 1240 and headed straight to work.  Casey had to run by his house first to get his laptop, so he was a little late to work.

I got to work and Sophie handed me this:
Nice and Large.

I could only laugh at how large Aunt Diana wrote ‘South Korea’.  Jesse saw it and wanted to know if she was afraid it would go to North Korea.  I said, “No, that’s just my Aunt Diana.”  (Don’t worry Aunt Diana, I love you!) 

Inside the package was a really nice 100% wool sweater.  I’ll try it on when I get home, but it looks super warm and comfortable.

Those were the big things in my day.  Tomorrow we’re going on a field trip to this park here in Changwon.  The name of it translates basically to: “Changwon House”. 

It should be really fun and interesting.

So, to end this lovely entry here’s just a few more things about the dentist:
  • The sink:
    • In the US of A the sink is not connected to the chair.
    • It’s also not really awesome and weight activated.
  • The Dentist:
    • In the US of A the dentist looks at your teeth AFTER the hygienist cleans them, not before.
  • Face Cover:
    • In the US of A the face cover is not a towel, it’s a disposable paper thing.
  • Hanger:
    • In the US of A there’s no awesome hanger and hook for your bag and jacket.
    • Also, the hygienist won’t help you put your jacket on afterwards.
  • The Cleaning:
    • In the US of A (Dr. M’s at least) they clean your teeth with a sand blaster thing and then go over them all with the pick.  Scraping off whatever got missed.
    • It also feels a lot more thorough than it did here in Korealand.
  • Waiting Room:
    • Waiting rooms in the US of A do not typically have huge flat screens and computers for you to use while you wait.
    • They also don’t have coffee machines.
Addendum:  SK is informing me that his dentist does not have a sink attached to the chair and also uses the paper face covers.  So I guess the one I went to is unusual...

So, that was my trip to the dentist.  Hopefully I don’t have to find out what a trip to the doctor is like here anytime in the future.  I like being healthy.


  1. I was told you couldn't receive packages there... hmmm and to think I gave your Christmas present to your sister... oops :(

  2. If you were in Germany I would have written "Germany" in large letters. I was not trying to make sure the package went to SOUTH Korea instead of North, I was trying to make sure that some underpaid postal employee would not go postal and throw the package into the wrong pile.

    I love you still,
    Aunt Diana