Dental Care in Korea is generally of a high standard. General dentistry, orthodontics as well as oral surgery are all available. Many dentists* have studied abroad and speak English.
*For information on expat recommended dentists/dental clinics, visit the Korea4Expats Directory.
1. Just because the name of the clinic is in English doesn’t mean that the dental specialist speaks English.
2. If the dental practitionner does speak English, it doesn’t mean that members of her/his staff (receptionist, technical, hygienists, etc) do. It is unlikely any of the support staff will have studied abroad, although the dentist quite likely has.
3. The cost of dental care in Korea is generally very affordable, especially compared to many of our home countries. Foreign residents, who have National Health Insurance Coverage, will find the costs even lower since many of the basic procedures are covered by the NHI.
4. Patients with National Health Insurance Coverage are required to sign a form authorizing the dentist to release information on the date of the patient's teetch cleaning/scaling. This is a requirement by NHIS as there is a limit of the number of teeth cleanings allowed in a given year. Patients will be asked to sign the form at their yearly teetch cleaning.
5. The majority of dental clinics will have cutting-edge or near cutting-edge equipment – you can pretty much expect lots of technology.
6. Not all dental clinics have private treatment rooms. In some there may be 3-4 chairs in the same room – all occupied. If there is one dentist, s/he may move from one patient to the other. That said, most of the clinics that cater to foreign patients, do have private or semi-private treatment rooms.
7. Most offices/clinics are very much up to international sanitatio/sterilization standards. However, this may not be the case in some of the more 'old-fashioned' clinics described above.
8. Dental specialists in Korea, just like some medical practitioners, are rarely accused of being over-communicative. Explanations may be brief if they are given at all – this is in part a language issue but also a cultural one. Many, especially those who are older and/or who have not trained/lived abroad, are not accustomed to answering questions or to justifying the decisions they make or the treatment they chose. Again, those outreaching to the foreign community are more likely to make a special effort to be more communicative.
9. Just as in other countries, there are good, not-so-good and excellent dentists and dental specialists in Korea. Shop around. Ask other expats about dentists they have visited and listen carefully to their impressions and feedback. Those that have studied abroad are not always the best choice, while those that have trained only in Korea should not necessarily be overlooked.
Finding a dentist you can trust can be a challenge. The Dental Specialists who have been accepted as advertisers on Korea4Expats.com have been recommended by expats who have used their services and we have visited their clinics.
See the Directory for details on each one.
NOTE: Some people have noted an increase in cavities during their stay in Korea. This may be the result of the absence of fluoride in dental products here - there is no fluoride in domestic toothpaste or mouthwashes (even in imported brands). If you are from a country where fluoride is commonly added, you should bring a supply of your own brands with you.
K4E Note: Korea4Expats.com tries to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and complete, so should you notice any errors or omissions in the content above please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated on 2015-06-09
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