Today I had my first and hopefully last experience at the dentist here in Korea. I don’t think that anyone can say that they really enjoy a trip to the dentist's office (sorry Uncle Alan!). It’s bad enough going in your own country but imagine being far from home and having to go to the dentist where you can’t fully communicate with them. I’m used to going to the dentist every 6 months back home so after being here for almost 9 months now, I felt that I was overdue for a cleaning.
One of my friends recently had to make several trips to the dentist including having a wisdom tooth pulled (with just local anaesthetic I might add, she was totally awake). The place that she went was relatively close to my apartment and the dentist spoke a reasonable amount of English so I decided to go there for my cleaning and check-up.
I got there right on time today and filled out a brief dental history form and was told to remove all of my jewellery for an x-ray first. All the while the dentist was making small talk about the weather and work. After the x-ray, I was ushered to a chair where I was promptly inverted. They then placed this green dish cloth looking thing over my face with just a hole where my mouth was to stop water from spraying on my face they said. It was kind of terrifying not being able to see what they were doing.
The hygienist had less English, so in the darkness of the green dish cloth that was covering my face, I could just hear her say “air”, “water”, “cotton”, as she shoved different things in my mouth. Forty minutes and $100 later, I was finished.