Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dandelions Anyone?

We found dandelions for sale at our Home Plus. They were expensive too, 11,000 WON per kilogram ($11US). I was shocked to see them but then I have never seen a dandelion in Korea. I wonder what they do with them, dandelion soup?
Now onto my unscheduled dental visit. A veneer fell off while I was eating and it was one that had fallen off before so I thought it would be just a quick trip to the dentist to glue it back on. I called my Korean friend Jennifer and she made the appointment for me. They told her they were really booked that day but would squeeze me in if I came right away.
I arrived 15 minutes later with my tooth and only waited a few minutes before being led to a private room (almost unheard of) which I was grateful for. The dentist came in and he spoke very little English. He looked at the tooth and my mouth, the tooth again and my mouth again. I knew something was up so I tried to tell him in simple English using my arms to demonstrate. Glue tooth. He really seemed baffled what to say so I called Jennifer.
She spoke to the dentist and it turned into a long conversation. The panic set in when the dentist gave me the phone. Jennifer said that part of the veneer was still on the tooth and the dentist needed to do a crown. She said it would take two hours and they wanted to start right away. If you read my blog, you know I have a nasty dentist phobia and the last place on earth I want to be was getting a crown by a dentist that doesn't speak English.
I told her to tell him okay BUT I wanted/needed Novocaine. I wanted NO PAIN. My girlfriend Hannah had just told me about her recent visit to a dentist where she had a lot of work done and no Novocaine. She said it was very painful. The dentist and the two assistants saw that I was terrified so they did try their best to calm me down.
The first thing that happened was a guy with a really nice Canon camera came in and took some pictures of my teeth. He also brought samples to match the color of the new tooth to my other teeth. Next the dentist came back and rubbed some blue gel on my gums. It was pretty potent stuff and made everything numb including my throat. But then his assistant made the mistake of handing the dentist the Novocaine filled needle right in front of my face. It looked huge!! My dentist at home keeps it hidden from me so I don't actually see what the needle looks like. But it was pretty painless as far as shots in your gum go.
The dentist left while the Novocaine did it's thing. He came back and gave me more even though by then even my nose was numb. The next thing I knew the lights went out. The assistant had draped a green cloth which covered everything but my mouth. The dentist started drilling and I lasted for a few minutes before I had to yank the cloth off. This went on several more times during the drilling when the dentist finally told the assistant to stop putting it over me. (I could tell that's what he told her in Korean because the green cloth disappeared.)
Every time the assistant suctioned me, she went for the back of my throat which made me gag. She finally got the message to stay away from that part of my mouth after the third or fourth time. Water also dripped down my mouth into my hair and shirt. I wasn't sure why that was happening. The dentist drilled for so long that my mouth became really sore from staying open so long. Finally, he was finished and I saw that he used seven different drills bits.
Next came the impressions. First, the assistant used a glue gun to squirt blue plastic all over my front teeth. She then asked me to bite so it hardened into an impression of my bite. Then she made regular impressions of my top and bottom teeth. Finally, she made the temporary tooth which took about 45 minutes. I thought it was a lot of time to get a tooth looking and feeling great when it was only going to be in for a week.
I have an appointment on Monday for the new crown. Total cost: 600,000WON ($600US).


autumnal scent said...

Hmm... maybe some flowers in your tea??

I understand your pain >.< I feel sorry for dentists... they have to deal with people who don't like them very much... One time I got one offended because he wanted to put a crown in my mouth but I wouldn't let him. I couldn't IMAGINE going through that episode again (I already have one) plus I convinced myself that if I brushed more frequently from then on it wouldn't be necessary although I feel that once the decaying starts, it doesn't stop... I'm sure I'll pay for such bad decisions later =[ Anyways, he actually gave up trying to argue and just gave me fillings... I also opted for no shot because I hate shots but I also hate the pain but I hate shots more >.< Is it true that once you get a crown, you'll need a replacement every couple of years?

$$$, wow. Is it an out of pocket expense?

CreekHiker said...

I thought dandelions were for salad or sauteing....

The crown price is the first price you've ever mentioned that is comparable to US... Interesting!

Becky said...

Autumnal scent: That was before our insurance but we have lousy dental insurance so I'm not sure how much they cover.

Holly: How about sending me some dandelions??? I could sell them on the street for 5000WON.

The Davis' said...

Ouch! With the exchange rate now, that actually cost around US$ 380.00 - still expensive. I feel your pain about dental visits too.
As for dandelions, I think they're used for teas, soups and salads. They look so pretty in your photo!

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