I had no idea how substandard my previous dentist, a really nice guy in Jeonju, was. My new dentist took one look at my fillings and asked my what country I’d gotten them done in. When I told him Jeonju, he tsk-tsked and showed me why he was disturbed.
Yes, he showed me my teeth. I’ve never before had so many dental impressions and digital photos taken of my teeth, let alone so much discussion of what was wrong and why this or that procedure had to be done. He actually sat down with me at a computer, into which his assistant had uploaded the photos she took of my teeth, and showed me where the decay was visible here and here, and why the filling I had in one of my molars was basically weakening the tooth instead of keeping it together, and so on. It was a revelation.
And then, I was very pleasantly surprised to feel not a damned thing as he drilled out the old filling and, discovering decay in the molar jammed next to it, drilled out some of that molar, too. That’s right, he gave me enough anaesthetic, and actually let it take before starting to drill. He even checked, and when he found I still had sensation in my lip, he told me he was going to wait till the nerves there had dulled. (And they sure dulled. Even now, the muscle in my jaw is a little sore, like when I had my wisdom tooth out on the same side.)
His assistants, when doing things like taking dental impressions and putting in the temporary filling, actually checked to see whether I was okay. They asked me. And they all seemed to know exactly what they were doing. When he drilled the old filling out of a molar, all I ended up spitting out when I rinsed my mouth was a tiny bit of amalgam, because the assistant had used her air/vacuum unit to get most of it right away. And the one who put in the temp filling did a pretty good job of it.
Of course, I do have one tiny complaint — if I’d known I’d be getting a temporary filling, I’d have put off treatment until after I got back. After all, my visit was prompted by a small fracture in one tooth that happened weeks ago, and it wasn’t so pressing that I couldn’t have waited a week longer. Now, whilst traveling, I’ll have to make sure to concentrate my chewing in the right side of my mouth, to make sure the temporary filling doesn’t come out. (The dentist said I shouldn’t worry but the assistant suggested a little caution would be a good idea.)
But anyway, yes, this new dentist totally rocks, and he’s going to be sorting out all the stuff that was messed up by the last guy. I’m thinking of saving up for crowns for my molars, too, because, well, it’d be nice to keep these damned teeth as long as I can.