CONTRIBUTED BY SIBO LUNGU
I wouldn’t say I have a fear of dentists but the dentist office isn’t my favorite place to go. Unfortunately, the time for my cleaning came about last month so this week I decided to schedule an appointment to for my bi-annual check-up and cleaning.
Like many people, I have the Tricare (MetLife) dental insurance. After being enrolled in this plan, the Osan AB medical center gave me a list of participating dentists in the area. The list wasn’t very long and some dentists were on Camp Humphries. I really didn’t feel like going all the way out there so I started searching for dentists in Songtan.
There are many dentists in Songtan, usually on the second floor of buildings above pharmacies. After a bit of searching on a local Facebook group page I found a dental clinic called Soo Dental Clinic in Songtan Seojeong-dong area (City Hall) area.
Setting up the appointment was easy. I called the number and a man who spoke English well answered the phone. I asked him if they accepted Tricare dental insurance, and if they did, I would like to set up an appointment. He took down my information which consisted of my husband’s and my details and asked me when I would like to come in. He set up my appointment for two days later. Easy!
I was already feeling good about the pending appointment since he spoke English well. If I needed any work done, at least I knew it could be explained to me.
Two days later, I headed to my appointment and easily found the place because it has clear signage on the outside. I walked up to the third floor and was greeted with by a spacious, empty, clean reception area. I was the only patient there. The receptionist immediately knew who I was, greeted me kindly and handed me the standard medical clipboard to fill in my details. It was in English and easy to complete. The dentist came out during this time and greeted me friendlily as well. He was the one I had spoken to on the phone.
As soon as I was done with the form, two dental assistants escorted me into another smaller waiting area attached to the treatment room. This was where I left my bag and coat before being led into the treatment room through the glass door.
The dentist came in and the consult began. He asked me about my dental history and the reason for my visit. He spoke English clearly and slowly. He also talked about my coverage and made sure I understood what my insurance covered. A cleaning and fluoride would be free, but other treatments like a cavity had a co-pay. I really appreciated his diligence because I have visited some dentists in the past who do not clearly explain what they did or the co-pay involved. You just see a big bill a few weeks later!
The only strange part about the visit was that he didn’t immediately do the x-rays. After the consult, he was about to leave me in the hands of the dental assistant when I asked about x-rays. Without any hesitation he happily said “oh, you would like an x-ray? Sure!” I had always thought x-rays are standard for a cleaning. Either way, he led me to the separate x-ray room. It was the modern rotating x-ray machine that takes all the shots at one time. Quick and easy again.
The film was ready almost immediately and he walked me though his diagnosis explaining that everything looked good so all I needed was a cleaning and fluoride application. He even asked if I knew what fluoride was so that I understood everything that was going to be done to me.
The dental hygienist did my cleaning and I must say she was very gentle. She covered my eyes with some sort of cloth that only left my mouth area open. I always close my eyes anyway so this was fine. The two unusual things about the cleaning were that I got no scaling and no flossing. I thought this was standard too, but maybe only in the US. I hate both and I already floss obsessively so I was fine with this being skipped. The fluoride application was different too. I hear this is the new method; the old being the rinse and spit. She applied a gel meticulously onto each tooth then used some other beeping device to set it in. My imagination made me think it was a UV light perhaps? Anyway, whatever it was, it was painless and the fluoride smelled like bubblegum.
I was all done within 30 minutes in what has to be my quickest dentist visit ever! The dentist came back in once we were done to ask if everything went okay. It did, and so I was led back to my private waiting area to grab my coat and bag. In the main lobby the dentist was waiting and told me to come back in six months and that was it! Very quick and easy!
All in all, I recommend Soo Dental for a visit. It is a very clean office, the equipment is modern, and he was pleasant. I can’t give an opinion on dental work, but for a light cleaning it was perfect.
On a side note, if the visit doesn’t go well, there is a bar next door!
Soo Dental Clinic
Dr. Kim, Young-Soo
Phone: 031-662-6436(English) 031-664-6436 (Korean) Fax: 031-611-3760
Address: 818-38 Seojeong-dong, Pyeongtaek-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
Google Coordinates: 37.067983, 127.061522