or for that matter, toothache.

The other day I felt a little pain and sensitivity in a tooth that I had some work done on last year in Bangkok. I should have probably had a crown put on then or this past July when I was there, but I thought I could wait a few more months until the next time I am back there.

Great, I am going to have to visit a dentist in Daejeon. Well, it probably wouldn’t be that big of deal of I knew where to find a decent dentist in town. Now if I were back in Seoul, all I would have to do is pay a visit to Dr. Kim in Yonhui-dong (for some reason. Dr. Kim, who once had a practice in Chicago, spelled his name Dr. Kymn; I guess if you are looking to be unique and separate yourself from all the other Kims, a little spell change might drum up more business). He spoke really good English and always gave me a good deal (except the time when I think he extracted a tooth that shouldn’t have been extracted, but that’s a different story). And if I didn’t want to see Dr. Kim, all I would have to do is check out all the ads for dentists and dental clinics in either the Korea Times or the Korea Herald.

But I am in Daejeon, and sadly for having been here for eight months, I am still not too familiar with the layout of the city and services that are available here. (My friend Kyle tells me that it’s probably because I am looking to get out of here so that’s why I have been living this transient existence since I arrived here; you’ve got that right pal.) Last Friday it was my first visit to a doctor (who fortunately had an office in the same building that my gym is located in) in Korea since 1991 and now I was going to have to find a dentist in Daejeon.

It didn’t turn out to be so difficult after all. A week ago, a colleague at school was also looking for a dentist, so I hurriedly shot him an email and he got back to me within a few hours with information for three dentists: one about a thirty-minute walk away, another one in an office downtown, and the last one, about an hour bus ride away. All the dentists came with good recommendations from teachers who had gone to them in the past and being that I was looking for one close, decided to pay a visit to the dentist whose office was within walking distance from where I live.

Now, according to the information that was sent to me, this dentist—another Dr. Kim—at the Daedung Dental Clinic, spoke passable English and that his clinic was modern and up-to-date. Located near the GS Mart and next to Dominoes Pizza, the dental clinic was pretty modern (he has this cool digital x-ray machine); however, Dr. Kim’s English wasn’t as passable as I had been lead to believe. Nonetheless, when it came to talking about dental stuff he was pretty good with his English so not much was lost in translation. The only thing that was kind of trippy though was that he had three dental chairs in his clinic and sort of worked on three patients at a time—moving from one patient to another (the set up reminded me of this dental clinic I visited in Hamamatsu, Japan where it was all open, but with a couple of dentists working on patients).

Turns out that it was good I had gone to see a dentist when I did because I have the beginning of a cavity that could have caused me some problems down the road and because Monday is a school holiday, I could come back again on Monday to have my cavity filled. If I had gone to one of the other dentists, it would have been a little more difficult trying to coordinate an office visit.