I have always found issue with my teeth:
- At age 13 I had a small (in my mind massive) gap filled between my two front teeth.
- At age 14 I had a crown on one of my front teeth.
- At age 17 I had a root canal on a molar, followed by an abscess, followed by more root canal followed by *drum roll please* a gold crown [insert pirate/cash4gold jokes here].
- At age 18 I had professional teeth whitening because I was so ashamed of the colour of my teeth.
Between the tender age of 18 and the less so tender age of 26 my teeth have been through a fair amount including, but not limited to:
– the filling between my two front teeth being replaced (multiple times)
– don’t try at home DIY teeth whitening
– multiple cavity fillings.
So, long story short, I have never liked my teeth and I haven’t had the best of luck with them. Anyone that knows me knows that I have been constantly whitening them or crying when the filling that disguised my naturally gappy teeth fell out every few years. And yes, I am fully aware that this is a first world problem that makes me look extremely self-obsessed and vain but…
… I started off in January with a Korean dentist who was recommended to me by a ‘friend’. As requested, he replaced my gold crown with a white one, filled some cavities (without so much as an ibuprofen) and finally replaced the filling between my front two teeth. Needless to say, the experience was not good. Although I wasn’t a particular fan of his no injection approach to dental treatments I’d paid, so I saw it through, and what a sight it was. After years of waiting to have the money to replace my gold crown with a white one, I was disappointed, to say the least.
Fast forward to July and I found myself a fantastic and highly recommendable (I promise) dentist. I knew I needed at least one more cavity filling, a couple of wisdom teeth pulled and a cap on one tooth. Trust me when I say I did my research but after months of treatment, the majority of my wages and an uncountable volume of Kakao messages I can safely say that A+ dental clinic in the one and only Gangnam (Apujeong to be exact) delivered the goods. Yes, the many certificates that adorned the walls of the surgery did fill me with confidence but that major factor in my experience was indisputably their English translator, Joyce.
From the consultation to my final veneer fitting I can honestly say that I had such an amazing experience. Whilst five root canal treatments wasn’t exactly my idea of fun, the professional treatment I received was exceptional. Whilst every dentist, orthodontist and dental assistant I encountered spoke some degree of English, Joyce was the reason I felt at ease. Joyce was the reason I handed over my well earned won to get my teeth fixed up reeeeal pretty and Joyce was the reason I left with a smile on my face. The day before any of my appointments, Joyce would send me cute reminders such as: “I hope you have had a lovely vacation in Japan, we will see you tomorrow at 9.30am!” Is it in her job description to remember where I went on vacation? No. Did she someone manage to recall this information (amongst the masses of information she’s told from the many foreigners she deals with every day)? Yes, she did. She even went as far as to write a letter to my boss in Korean/English so that I might be allowed a couple of hours off work for a root canal treatment as my boss wouldn’t let me. Actually, she ended up calling him and informing him of the urgency of my treatment until I was finally allowed to use my allocated vacation days for the dental treatment. So, basically, Joyce was my tooth fairy and we went through a lot together…
- Dealing with a difficult man (my boss)
- Dealing with a bad break up (handing in my resignation)
- Finding a new job (I was stressed)
- Moving apartment (more than once)
- Going on vacation (I had to be picture perfect)
- An earthquake (somehow there was even time for an earthquake!)
Whilst it may seem as though I chose an expensive dental clinic it was actually cheaper than the bootleg dentist I saw initially. Further to which, if you have insurance of any description it’s pretty reasonable. It cost me 30,000 won for a wisdom tooth extraction which is around £20 or $27. And if recollection serves me correctly, each root canal treatment cost 8,000 won which is $7 or £5.50. Moreover, I requested teeth whitening (of course) and Joyce advised me after one treatment that I wouldn’t see any noticeable difference from an additional treatment (as I’d requested). So, whilst she could have cashed in on my vanity she was honest with me then as she was throughout.
So, if anybody in the Seoul area is in search of best dentist in town then check them out! Two of my co-workers have already visited on my referral and have returned with purely positive feedback. Please Kakao message, Joyce (aplusdental), if you’d like a consultation, she is literally the kindest and most helpful person I’ve met in Korea. Thank you for providing me with the best smile an ESL teacher can afford!
Here’s a before and after pics for your viewing pleasure (excuse the iPhone 6 quality):