Still, one's health should not be neglected simply because one is intimidated by language or unknown procedural costs. Despite my nursing background, it actually took me a couple years to work up the courage to go to the dentist in Korea. As a result, I ended up with a few cavities and an urgent need to get myself to the nearest clinic ASAP. I did a few searches on Google and came across multiple testimonials that led me to Hus-hu Dental Clinic, a highly reputed dental office that caters to both locals and foreigners from all around the world.
I arrived at the clinic, located conveniently just outside Apgujeong Station, and was immediately impressed by the lobby's decor. The clinic felt more like a luxurious hotel than a medical facility, complete with plush couches, free internet, and a small coffee bar. Apparently, Hu-shu is a popular choice of K-pop and K-drama stars, as there were photographs of some idols I recognized with the dentists and hygienists displayed about the room.
I was promptly greeted by Yeona, the clinic's friendly receptionist/interpreter who spoke perfect English and after filling out some paperwork and taking some x-rays, I was off to have my teeth cleaned. Sanitation is of utmost importance to me in a medical facility, so I was pleased to see that the clinic rooms were spotless and was reassured after being introduced to Hus-hu's "one instrument for one patient" rule: each packet of dental tools is removed and sterilized after each patient's visit.
After a rather pleasant cleaning (if a dental procedure could be described as such), I was informed that I would need to have two cavities filled. I was made aware of my options and chose to have them filled at Hus-hu. Yeona, who stayed in the room with me at all times to interpret, explained to me the procedure so there would be no unexpected surprises during the remainder of my visit.
Both the hygienist and dentist did everything in their power to ensure that I was comfortable during the cleaning and filling. The procedure was quite similar to what I had experienced in America, with the only difference being a pad that was placed over my face that obstructed my vision. Perhaps it was because I couldn't see or maybe it was simply that the staff were that good, but honestly, I didn't experience any pain or discomfort during the entire visit. Why did I ever wait so long to go to the dentist in Korea? One thing is for sure... I won't be missing my six month check-ups now that I know Hus-hu exists.
One might expect a visit to such a lavish medical facility to be extremely costly when in actuality, the price is exceptionally affordable. For those with National Health Insurance (which includes most foreigners working in Korea), a yearly dental checkup, x-ray and cleaning is only 20,000 won ($18USD). This insurance also covers periodontal (gum) problems, root canals and wisdom tooth extraction (only 10,000-20,000 won per tooth!) No wonder medical tourism is on the rise in Seoul!
Additionally, the clinic offers a number of other services such as cosmetic dentistry, dental implants and crowns which are not covered by insurance but are quite reasonable considering the quality of the clinic. They also offer special discounts on their website and Facebook page so be sure to keep an eye out for exclusive deals to save money and take care of yourself while you're away from home. Don't neglect your well-being like I did for so long... get in touch with Hus-hu for a comfortable and affordable check-up today.
Clinic Hours: Monday-Friday 10:00-21:00; Saturday 10:00-16:00; Lunch Break Monday to Saturday 13:00-14:00
To Make an Appointment: Call 02-1588-7464 or fill out the appointment request form here.
To Get There: From exit 3 of Apgujeong Station (Seoul subway line 3), walk past Café Pascucci and IBK Bank to the Gujeung Building entrance just before the crosswalk. Take the elevator or the stairs to the 3rd floor. (For a map, bus directions, and taxi instructions in Korean, click here.)
*Although this post is partially sponsored by Hus-hu Dental Clinic, the opinions are, of course, my own.
Words and photos by Mimsie Ladner of Seoul Searching. Content may not be reproduced unless authorized.