Editor’s Note: Sibo wrote a review of her experience with routine dental care at the Soo Dental Clinic in Songtan, but after her experience with a more extensive procedure, she decided to let us know how that went… because while we all want to hope that going in for our semi-annual cleaning is all we will ever need, sometimes root canals happen.
CONTRIBUTED BY SIBO LUNGU
I think I jinxed myself when I said my last dentist visit was quick and easy, because three months later I found myself in the dentist’s chair for a root canal. That treatment ended up failing because I had a pretty bad infection by the time I went to him. (I thought my tooth hurt because of hanging out the cold wind). After about four check-up visits he recommended that I get the tooth extracted. A week later, I am no longer in pain and feel great! Therefore, I still recommend Soo Dental Clinic to anyone looking for a dentist in the area. They took great care of me for a very affordable price and even signed off on my overseas dental clearance.
For my root canal, I was given as many shots as I needed until I couldn’t feel the pain. Unfortunately, because of the severity of the infection, the shots didn’t numb me much so he had to be fast and precise before I woke up the whole neighborhood from screaming. The dental assistant must see a lot of squirming patients because as soon as I started to squirm, she brought me two stress balls from the back for me to squeeze. Before that she had been holding my hand, and I may have come a bit too close to clawing her skin off! I can’t lie, the procedure was no fun, but I was in and out within the hour. The root canal took about 20 minutes. I appreciated this because I hadn’t even had an appointment in the first place. I had called Dr. Kim at 10 am saying that I was in pain, and he told me to come to the office immediately.
The events leading to the extraction and the extraction itself went just as well as the root canal. At each FREE weekly checkup after the root canal, he’d take an x-ray of the tooth to check the status of the infection with me. So when after a month of two rounds of antibiotics, I was still in pain, and there was little progress, I completely understood when he recommended that I needed to have the tooth extracted.
I managed to make my escape the day he said I needed one, but I reluctantly showed up the next day. I still have all my wisdom teeth so the idea of losing a tooth, not to mention the terrifying metal tools used to do this, freaked me out. But I went through with it. Again, I was numbed up very well. I only felt a slight pressure when he pulled it out. He quickly put in stitches and I was good to go. I got them removed a week later.
The only negative I have to say about this dentist visit (and many in Korea as I have heard), is the reluctance or inability to prescribe strong pain medication. I only received Advil – regular headache Advil. I am no druggie, but that just wouldn’t do. My head felt like it was going to explode! He recommended that I go on-base to get something stronger. My friend encouraged me to do so as well, so I went into the ER at Osan AB. I was seen and prescribed some proper pain medication that helped me get through the first few days. After that, the pain subsided and I didn’t need anything, not even Advil.
Total cost out of pocket for all this: root canal, 7 visits, temporary fillings, rinsing canals, x-rays, and the tooth extraction as Non-Command Sponsored on MetLife/Tricare: $190!! Medication at the pharmacy across the street: $10 (antibiotics, pain meds and anti-inflammatory pills). Over the month I had 3 rounds of medication so the total was $30. Incredible!
Lastly, he filled out my overseas clearance form in about 3 minutes. Dentist visits are rarely pleasant, but they did their best to make me comfortable. The place is still clean like last time, and the staff is pleasant and very professional. And best of all is the sense of humor. When I walked in a week after the extraction to get my stitches removed, I was smiling again and Dr. Kim’s first comment when he happily came to greet me in the waiting room was, “You are alive!” Everyone chuckled because it had certainly been quite the month.
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