One group of people I fear the most are dentists–and that’s self-explanatory. I had been a “suki” of my dentist in the Philippines since I was young. I’ve been visiting Dr. Cruz since I was 6 and until I finished my high school. During that time, he was specializing in children’s dental care. So I had to change my dentist when I became an adult. From then on, I changed from one dentist to another. My last visit to a dentist was in October 2002 when my lower left wisdom tooth ached so hard. The dentist (forgot her name) told me to go back for a surgery. I never visited her again.
Last week, I felt pain on my right cheek. It was really terrible that I decided last night to find a dentist and have my wisdom teeth removed. Finding a dentist in Seoul is not an easy thing for a foreigner like me who can only speak basic Korean. Luckily, my husband was with me and he acted as the interpreter for the dentist. We went to the health insurance office at 2PM to get my card. We then headed to the nearest dentist from our apartment. We did not make any appointment so we must be very lucky ‘coz the dentist was free.
The dental assistant checked my teeth and another assistant took an XRAY of my dental profile. It was a high-tech XRAY machine that they’re using, by the way. The dentist then explained to my hubby what must be done to my teeth… two extractions, one surgery, scaling and dental fillings. I started to calculate how much it’s going to cost us. The dental fillings alone is 180,000 won per teeth. I have about 10 teeth needed to be filled… so go figure that out.
I had to get my upper-right wisdom tooth extracted. The dentist immediately injected an anesthesia and I swear, I didn’t feel any pain at all. I was directed to the reception area and wait for the anesthesia to take effect. It didn’t take a long time for them to usher me back to the dentist’s chair. I felt so nervous that sweat beads started to form on my forehead.
I think the dentist had a hard time pulling out my tooth… I heard him sigh a lot! He also changed pliers a number of times. It did not really hurt, unlike my previous extractions. I didn’t cringe but still I was nervous. It probably took him about 10-15 minutes to finally get the tooth off! And boy was I relieved.
We paid 25,000 won for the extraction and the XRAY… and we’re instructed to go back tomorrow to have the lower-right third molar extracted. It’s okay, it didn’t really really really hurt. 😀