This week’s topic was requested by Ben Paz of Utah. Ben wants to know how to find a “trustworthy dentist” in Korea. I’ve got three leads on this one, so lets roll ‘em out.
1) Ask A Friend
Personally, I haven’t been to a dentist since I got here over a year ago, but I will soon and my good Korean friend has offered to take me to hers. I’m not sure if he speaks English well, but my friend highly recommends him and will be there with me for interpretation. I would start by asking a friend if they can recommend anyone and ask if the dentist speaks English before heading out on your own. If they can’t speak English and you’re concerned you may have problems, see if a Korean friend can join you and offer to buy them lunch for taking the time to help. If you live in or near Seoul, you could always head to Itaewon and just have a look around as well. Itaewon has a large US Army base and has many services for the soldiers and their families. It may be a little more expensive than other towns, but it’s an option.
2) Search Waygook.org
Waygook.org is a site for English teachers in Korea to share teaching materials and ideas for the classroom. It also has discussion threads on all things about life in Korea, including dentists all across the country. For best results, go to google.com first, then type in “dentist+waygook” and you’ll see a link to the site. The link should say “the dental thread” and it’s huge. It’s a compilation of recommendations and warnings about good places to go and places to avoid in all provinces of Korea. You may have to do a lot of reading but reviews are honest and provide current info on where to go and who to trust. If you’re feeling lucky, you can also type in “dentist”, your city name, then “waygook” and see what comes up.
3) Search Whatclinic.com
Whatclinic.com is an international database for doctor/medical services around the world. I’ve used it before for dermatology clinics in Seoul and it worked out well. The site has customer reviews and detailed information like hours, price range and appointment making options too. They usually mention if they have English services too, so keep your eye out for that. Once you’re on the site, you can type in the kind of doctor or clinic you’re looking for and the city name and results will come up. You can search for cosmetic dentists, braces, restorative, emergency and so on. Choose one with multiple reviews and if past clients are happy, you probably will be too. You can usually e-mail the clinic with any follow up questions you may have and from there you’ll get some insight as to what their English abilities are.
Thank you for writing Ben; I hope this helped to answer your question. If anyone else has a question or would like to request a topic, leave a comment below or post a message on facebook and I’ll get on it right away. Until next time Dear Readers, be well.