So the visit to the dentist was motivated on by the, er, "discomfort" I began experiencing whenever I would chew on my right side. I have an uncapped root canal tooth over there and I suspected that this might be causing the problem. I was a bit freaked out at the thought of visiting a dentist in a foreign country, but read a few posts on Dave's that put me more at ease.
For the record, I visited the MIR dental hospital in Daegu, which is the Kyungbook National University Hospital subway stop, exit 1, walk one block (toward Banwoldang junction), turn right and it's the large building about twenty feet on your right. A helpful pharmacy technician pointed me in the right direction. The offices are beautiful and modern, with fountains, marble, and those little personal television sets at every station. English ability of the staff is adequate, but I as usual, I'm surprised at how much information is conveyed through inference and standard operating procedure.
Apparently the "discomfort" is caused by food impacting along the gum line as all seems to be well with the tooth. I'm getting a crown put on the root canal tooth. (Cost= 455,000 won, or roughly $455, which is steep by Korean medical standards, but still about half what I'd pay in the states, even with insurance so I'm not complaining.)
The experience was comparable to a visit to a western dentist (you know the drill <-- weak pun), except whenever anyone came to examine my mouth, they covered my face with a lavender scented towel with a hole cut out for the mouth. I'm sure that is supposed to put me, the patient, at ease, but seriously now-- I'm the kind of girl that likes to know what's going on at all times. I tried to adjust the towel so that I could peer out through the top of the mouth cut out, but they kept moving it back to give the dentist a better view (is their view really more important than mine?). In the end, I just decided to try to relax and let them do their job. Yeah, right.
I have another appointment in two weeks.