Root Canal Part I

Today I took a trip down to the dentist in Songdo again. 

For those of you who are just joining the story here is the low down on what’s been going on:

In April I thought I chipped a filling. The pain was intense and it radiated along my jaw. I found an English speaking dentist and she said I needed a root canal, plus some other fillings, plus some gum treatments, PLUS braces (I had braces as a pre-teen). So I waited 4 months until I went home on vacation and the new hottie at my dentist office looked at the tooth and just put in a new filling. He said now that it had lots of medicine in it, it can go one of two ways: better or worse.

That brings us up to today! It’s gotten much worse, it is SO sensitive that eating rice hurts it. How can one live in South Korea and NOT eat rice?!

So I call up the dentist, they don’t ask what the appointment is for but book me in for this morning. I get there about 15 minutes early which was nice since by the time I had arrived my ice-filled Canadian body had melted into a puddle (feels like 40 degrees by 9am!) and I needed some time to reform before going back to see the dentist. Having to wear Doris didn’t help either!

I arrived at 9:50ish, and was taken back around 10:15. I was freaking out and texting my brother over the free wifi in the office. He was great! His last message to me was “take care! Be brave! Don’t forget to breathe!” I love that guy.

They were all set up for a root canal without me even asking, I think they are psychic. I explained to the dentist what had happened in Canada and she thought the x-ray was after my dentist’s work, so she was kind of bashing him a little, thinking he didn’t do a good job. But after we took a new x-ray she apologized. She opened up the tooth again, even praising his work once she saw it.

I know that I react very slowly to the freezing and I need a little bit extra. That could be because I’m a rather big girl, or because I’m a ginger (high pain tolerance over here!), or it could be that apparently my body is very acidic and Novocaine works best when the body is a “base” – or so says the Korean dentist. I asked for extra right away. They shoot me up with like 1/4 of the vile. She comes back 10 minutes later and I wasn’t even tingling. So she puts in almost the rest, once I tell her to give me lots. 20 minutes later, I’m just starting to get some numbing in my tongue but I can still feel cold, so I tell her “you really need to give me lots. Like LOTS”. So she put in a whole other vile! HAHA that did the trick! But it took almost an hour of this back and forth before I was sufficiently frozen.

She does her stuff, and then has me pay. I was paying for the root canal and a ceraminc crown (it’s more expensive option over silver or gold) they will put on it which came to 950,000W. Now that seems SUPER expensive. They will have to put a post in, but since I don’t have dental coverage on my cheap insurance plan, they waved the cost of the post (Koreans are awesome like that). I did a quick currency exchange and it was $1115. Not too bad considering when my mom got a crown replaced a week ago in Canada, it alone cost over $1000. Maybe God’s plan for me to come to Korea was to get this tooth fixed on the cheap?! Praise!

Apparently in Korea, root canals are in two different appointments. I’ve never had one in Canada so I’m not sure if that’s the case there as well. So right now there is loads of medicine in it with a temporary filling. I have to go back next Saturday for the actual root canal. Which I have no idea what that is, but apparently (according to my very insensitive brother) they “rip the nerves out of your tooth”. Here is a little picture I got from the internet:

 

When I left the office, I was given a prescription to be on meds all this week before my next appointment. I ate some lunch very awkwardly since my face was still frozen and then journeyed home. I got to the pharmacy before it closed which I was excited about! Good thing too because it’s a long weekend and I wouldn’t have been able to go to one until Tuesday if not.

I handed the girl my paper and she starts to nervously giggle. Then another one comes over and starts to nervously giggle. Then they were on the phone, and talking to the person behind a glass window with the blind pulled down. Then one of the pharmacists came over to talk to me. She was very shy about her English (as all Koreans are) but explained to me that they didn’t have the same company as the prescription required. They had the same medicine just by a different company. I signed the paper and said it was ok.

I waited for them to fill it, and was called over to the same female pharmacist and she took the time to explain the two sets of pills to me. What each one was and how/when to take it. Then after using all that English to speak to me, she asked if I had any allergies to medicine and I said “yes penicillin” her jaw almost hits the floor “oh this is penicillin” So I explained that when I was 6 I had whooping cough, was prescribed penicillin and it made me throw up. I’ve taken it since and been ok so we didn’t change it, but she said to take it with food and warm water.

I guess I will have to wait until tomorrow to see if I’m actually ok with it. If my brother can out grow his asthma AND nut allergy why can’t I assume I’ve grown out of this? lol

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6 thoughts on “Root Canal Part I

      • So is health insurance free and dental insurance isn’t? Honestly, the way it is portrayed here in the states you would think EVERYTHING is free in Canada with regards to health insurance.

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        • Lol no – health CARE is free. So if I break my leg, I go to the hospital and see a doctor for free, get it set for free. If I want crutches I will have to rent them or buy them, medication I have to pay for as well. But just general CARE is free. Doctor’s visits, clinics, ultrasounds, xrays, giving birth, all free. If you have insurance then it pays a percentage of prescription costs, eye care costs, and dental costs. I had a cavity filled on vacation and it was $350. If I had insurance it would cover probably like 80% of it? At least my benefits with Tim Hortons did.

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