Dental Procedures

Korea is well known for its high-end dental technology and highly skilled dentists. We send thousands of international dental patients to the top Korean dentists every year. The pricing is very reasonable and the level of skill and materials are the best in the world. The most sought after cosmetic dentistry treatment is the veneer. These are thin porcelain covers which change the shape, size and color of the tooth. If you have ever seen a Hollywood smile from a movie star or artist, it is mostly veneers (also known as dental laminate). The most requested medical dental procedure is the crown or a half crown (also known as an inlay or onlay). From our vast experience, the absolute best dentist in Korea is Dr. Chulmin Bae at the Oaks Dental Clinic. This clinic has the highest technology such as a dental surgical microscope of which only 133 exist in the entire country and only 3 exist in dental clinics. They have their own in-house laboratory which means you can get a crown in under 60 minutes and the speed of veneers, crowns and other restorations is amazingly fast; often in just one day.

1 Day Smile Make Over with Veneers

You can get the smile you have always dreamed of in as little as one day! A dental veneer is a thin porcelain shell that goes over a prepared tooth. These veneers will be made to match your facial dimensions perfectly. The number of veneers needed depends on the number of visible teeth in your smile line and if you want to do the bottom teeth as well.  Normally, veneers should be done in pairs to bring balance to the left and right side of your mouth. We highly recommend getting veneers in sets of 4, 6 and 8 per arch. If budget is a constraint for you, consider getting only the visible teeth done in your smile line done which are usually the top front 4, 6 or 8 teeth.  For a full and beautiful smile the top and bottom should be done so it is best to get 8, 12 or 16 veneers in total. Depending on the number of veneers you are getting, teeth whitening by laser may be done on non-veneered teeth to get them as white as possible so we can color match the veneers to the natural teeth. Once veneers are placed they can’t be whitened so make sure you are satisfied with the color of your natural adjoining teeth first before getting the veneers done.

If your teeth are unhealthy, meaning you require gum treatment, root canals or other extensive repair work will be needed and thus 1 day veneers can’t be done. The underlying problem must be fixed first before making and placing the veneers. In this case, you should have at least 1-2 weeks in Seoul as it will take a few days for your gum to heal before we can do veneers.

There are two kinds of veneers, prepped and no-prep veneers. Prepped veneers require the original tooth material to be shaved so the veneer can be fitted over it. This is the same process that happens when having a crown placed but it is much more conservative. A no-prep veneer does not require any tooth shaving and thus is only suitable for teeth which are extra small with large gaps between the adjacent teeth.

Cases where no-prep veneers are used are rare. If you simply place a veneer over a tooth without preparation it will look extremely bulky and cause bite problems.

The material of the veneer should be porcelain. There are cheaper versions of the veneer which come in the no-prep form such as resin veneers. Resin is a weak glass and plastic mixture which is hardened with a UV light. They last for under a year usually and produce very poor results. Porcelain veneers on average last 12 years but they can last longer with good dental hygiene. Seoul Guide Medical is here to ensure you get the best dental treatment. We will be there with you every step of the way. Our dentists provide a 1 year warranty for most work such as veneers so you know you are getting top quality treatment.

Treatment Time: 1 day-7 days depending on your dental health

Recovery Time: You can eat normally once you leave the clinic but no very hard foods such as apples should be eaten for 1 week.

Average Lifespan of Restoration: 12 years

1 Day Cavity Treatment

Cavities can be treated in just 1 day using our express service. The most common types of cavities can be fixed with: resin (only for very small cavities), porcelain in-lay, porcelain on-lay, porcelain crown, zirconia crown or a zirconia-based porcelain covered crown. We don’t recommend using any metal in your restorations. Metal amalgam crowns have mercury and have been banned in some countries. Gold crowns and metal amalgam look very out of place in modern society as well. Porcelain fused to metal crowns have an internal metal base which causes the white exterior to darken in about 1 year. If you have gum recession (which the majority of adults experience) then the metal starts to show as soon as the gum recedes even slightly.  In the short and long run, it is much better to go with a white, tooth-colored material than to have any metal in your teeth.

For crowns, Seoul Guide Medical advises that the type of crown you choose should be determined by what is demanded by the position of the tooth and the bite forces on the tooth. For example, a back tooth molar crown should normally be done in zirconia as placing porcelain in this area usually lead to premature wear on the crown. The doctor will advise you as to what kind of material is best for long term stability. Please note that if the internal health of a tooth is in a bad state, a root canal may have to be done and then the crown placed on the tooth.

Treatment Time: 1 day-7 days depending on your dental health

Recovery Time: You can eat normally once you leave the clinic

Average Lifespan of Restoration: 12 years

Braces, Invisalign and Clear Aligners

Although traditional metal braces are a great option to correct crooked teeth, a bad bite and other alignment issues, there are more modern techniques that are better options for many people, especially adults. Lingual (2D) braces are completely hidden behind your teeth. Instead of being attached to the front, they are attached to the back of your teeth meaning they are virtually invisible. The only downside is that they are uncomfortable on the lower side because your tongue presses against them causing your tongue to fatigue. Invisalign is the best treatment option for many cases as we can accurately predict the exact length of time, perform computer-simulated models and create all the needed aligners at the once. For case that do not require any tooth shaving (sometimes a tiny amount of tooth material from the area between the teeth is shaved to create space instead of removing whole teeth), the entire Invisalign package can be given at once. This is great for those who only have 1 week in Korea or are staying for a short amount of time. Clear aligners are the Korean version of Invisalign. They are a good option but often take longer and require monthly dental visits with more tooth shaving. There is no computer simulation for this system although a statistical analysis will be done to predict how to apply the procedure. Ranked from lowest priced to highest priced, these alignment systems are as follow: metal braces, lingual braces, clear aligners and Invisalign. However, the price difference between metal braces and Invisalign is usually not as much as you’d expect as pricing is very reasonable in Korea. Please note that metal braces tend to carry a monthly visit fee while the other systems usually do not. Contact Seoul Guide Medical today and find out which system is right for you.

Treatment Time: 3 to 24 months usually

Implants & Bridges

Missing teeth are aesthetically unpleasing and can cause severe bone loss in the jaw. Implants will fix this problem. If there is not enough bone in the implant area, a bone graft will be needed. After it heals (usually it takes about 1 month), the implant is placed and left to heal (for about 2 months). A post is then placed called an abutment and then the crown can be placed on top of that. Although 1 day implants are available at some dentists, we highly advise against this as the failure rate is remarkably high in reality. For long term dental implant stability, time is needed to have the gum completely adhere to the implant.

If you don’t have the time to wait for a dental implant then dental bridges are a faster (often 1 day) option. They literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap. These two or more anchoring teeth have the false tooth/teeth in between. A dental bridge is usually made of porcelain or zirconia and can really improve your smile and the function of your teeth.

Treatment Time: 1-2 days for dental bridges and around 3 months for implants

Recovery Time: 1 day

Average Lifespan of Restoration: 12 years for dental bridges and 25 years for implants (but the crown on the implant has an average lifespan of 12 years)

Teeth Whitening

Have a nice, bright smile is very important in almost all societies across the world. When our teeth first come in they are not white but an off shade of white which under some color systems is called A2. As we age, our teeth become darker over time. Drinking dark colored liquids like tea, coffee, cola or smoking discolors your teeth faster and more strongly. Over the counter teeth whitening strips or other products do whitening your teeth but end up causing damage to them due to the materials used. The best and safest way to whitening your teeth is to use a cool laser light. Modern technologies allows for a cool laser light to be used over the old hot laser light (which was often uncomfortable due to the intense heat). Using 2 back to back sessions lasting 20 minutes each, your teeth are safely whitened.

The best way to whiten your teeth even more or to touch up your teeth once they start changing color again is by having the home whitening kit made. This is a customized plastic upper and lower mouth guard. Our dentist will provide you with a strong whitening gel only available to dentists.  Small drops of a special whitening gel are applied to the mouth guard and you wear the mouth guard for at least 4 hours or while you sleep. The gel should last 10-14 times and after 2-4 times you see a color change. This gel lasts years so you can keep it and whiten your teeth once they darken over time. It is the easiest and most affordable way to keep your teeth white after laser whitening.

Treatment Time: 1 hour

Recovery Time: Some patients experience temporary (half a second) pains in some teeth but if it happens it only lasts for 1-2 days at the most

Average Lifespan of Whitening: 3-24 months depending on eating and smoking habits

Dental Cleaning

Professionally cleaning your teeth should be done every 3 or 6 months depending on your case. There are two kinds of dental cleanings: scaling and deep cleaning. Scaling is the normal teeth cleaning procedure which removes plaque, tartar and build up while polishing your teeth. Deep cleaning happens when the gums are infected or in a bad state. Each individual gum flap is lifted slightly and the base of each tooth is cleaned. This treatment is normally divided into 3 or 4 visits although in some cases it can be done in just one day.

Treatment Time: 20-30 minutes

Recovery Time: For deep cleaning, anesthesia wears off after 2 hours

Average Lifespan of Cleaning: 3 to 6 months before you should do it again

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom teeth don’t pose any problems unless they are coming in at a bad angle causing pressure on the adjacent molars or if they block you from cleaning the molars well which leads to cavities. If this is your situation then removing the affected wisdom tooth or teeth is the best option. Upper wisdom teeth are easily extracted by most dentists with proper training. However, lower wisdom teeth should only be extracted by an expert. There are nerve endings in the lower wisdom tooth area and you can damage them if the tooth is not extracted carefully. In some cases, a dental surgical microscope should be used for the extraction. Our dentists extract both upper and lower wisdom teeth easily, quickly and precisely because they are experts and have the right technology. When it comes to wisdom teeth, have them extracted by the best and there will be little to no downtime.

Treatment Time: 5-20 minutes

Recovery Time: Anesthesia wears off after 2 hours and swelling lasts 1-2 days

Dental Surgeries and Other Procedures

Because of the high level of skill and technology, procedures which are normally not possible at most dentists are possible with our dentists. As you will see, the x-ray technology is advanced ranging from CT scanners to handheld scanners for deep single area x-rays. This allows us to diagnose the exact issue so we can create the solution. After the diagnosis, using equipment like a dental surgical microscope will allow normally impossible or very hard to do procedures to become routine. Seoul Guide Medical will connect you to the right specialist in Korea for your dental procedure. Contact us today.

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