Friday, 11 September 2009

Brittle Teeth or Kimchi of Steel?

Today during lunch, I had a piece of one of my back teeth suddenly break off. A small but sizeable wedge- so now I can say that I've quite literally had a cavity in my tooth. Now, I'll be honest here, once the discovery of the detachment had been made, I wasn't sure if I felt more concerned about needing to go to the dentist, or delighted that I wouldn't have to eat the octopus soup and little minnows side dish. Although maybe it's an unfair comparison, because I've spent so much time getting fillings growing up; the hovering eyes of the dentist is much less of a concern than the beady eyes of dead dried fish.

Once the dentist was assured that I was not infected with the H1N1 virus because I've lived here for 6 months, we got down to business. Sitting there figuring out what was wrong with my teeth was a little frightening. The dentist took a look at my teeth, and while he was explaining the problem to Taebun he kept playing with a little model set of teeth in his hands. He kept pulling out one of the teeth from the model and putting it back, and Taebun kept saying "ohh" in a manner most foreboding. After 3 minutes I had worked up quite a sweat thinking he was going to need to pull the whole thing out. But really I just needed a filling because I had a pretty bad spot of decay.

The process was the same that I was used to, minus the happy gas. Quick and painless, except that I waved off the Novacane shot. The dentist was trying to get me to put in a gold crown, which would have been 250,000 won because it's uncovered by insurance, so I opted for the regular silver filling which was a much nicer price. The whole unscheduled visit cost me 8,600 won, about $7.


  1. Hmmm...$7 or $230? That would be a hard choice. I like the image of the dentist cowering in fear that you might be "infected."

    This is a good story for grandkids one day too!

    "See that! I got that tooth when I was in Korea during the great Swine Flu scare of '09!"

  2. Sounds like you handled everything bravely... and without pain killer - go you!!
    <3 Mom

  3. Sara, I just chipped my front tooth on a ring pop and it cost $109 to fix. I could have found a better way to spend that.