How I Saved $3k By Going To The Dentist In South Korea

By in Asia, dentist, health care, save money, Seoul, South Korea, Travel Tips on August 13, 2016
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I have saved over $3,000 in Korea. No, it’s not from penny pinching and transferring money home (although I do that too), no, it’s because I went to the dentist.

Yup. The dentist.


How I Saved $3k By Going To The Dentist In South Korea

Dental care in South Korea is cheap. It’s not insanely cheap, no, but it’s much cheaper than back home in the United States, and the standard of care here is phenomenal. The offices are clean, the procedures well done, and everything is just all around a lot more inexpensive.

I hadn’t been to the dentist in seven years. That’s right, seven years. It was too expensive in the USA, even when I was covered under insurance. It was completely impossible to even think of going when I had to leave my mother’s insurance when I came of age, so I just didn’t go. Yes, I had cavities, but I monitored them and never had any pain, so I figured everything was okay. And more or less things were.

However, I knew I needed to get a bit of work done, so when I was thinking of making the move to Korea I looked up how much dental care was there. To my surprise it was a lot cheaper than even I had been expecting, 1/3 if not lower than USA prices WITH insurance. It was a no brainer for me. I stuck it out and waited until I was settled in Seoul before heading to get my teeth fixed.

How I saved $3k going to the dentist in South Korea - A+ Dental Apgujeong - The Nerdventurists -
Photo: A+ Dental Clinic

The Price Difference

On the recommendation of a co-worker and friend, I went to A+ Dental in Apgujeong. Not only do they have a dedicated English speaking coordinator, but he gave a glowing account of how they worked. The prices there are a tad more expensive than other dentists in Seoul, but I was willing to pay a bit extra for the piece of mind of actually knowing what was going on in my mouth.

So I priced it out. What I needed done would have cost over $5,000 in the United States. Absurd, right? The dentist I did have back in the day I never liked. He always did unnecessary things, had hidden charges, and did kind of a shitty job. I found this out when my dentist here told me some of my old filling had broken and needed to be redone. He tutted when I told him my dentist back home did them a number of years ago. He was not impressed, and neither was I.

I’m not saying all dental care in the USA is subpar and unnecessarily expensive… I just had some bad experience myself. Medical tourism is a thing, and now I completely understand why. Even with a plane ticket and accommodation, it’d still be cheaper to come to South Korea to get dental work done.ย That’s kind of insane, isn’t it?


A+ Dental

I did not need to get any root canals or extractions or implants, which will of course run higher, but for fillings, inlays, and a crown I saved over $3,000 by going to Korea to get them done. I’ve gotten about half of the work done so far and am VERY pleased with the results. Everything is natural looking, fits great, and they took wonderful care of me.

How I saved $3k going to the dentist in South Korea - A+ Dental Apgujeong - The Nerdventurists -

A+ is great because all the staff speak at least enough English to explain to you what they’re doing. There’s also none of that awkward staring up at the dentist as they have a sheet they cover your face with, just leaving a hole for your mouth. As someone who always felt awkward laying there with her mouth open and not sure where to look or if I should just close my eyes, this was a godsend. Also it was a bit relaxing. I felt more at ease at the dentist than I had ever been. Though if you’re claustrophobic, probably not great, though I’m sure you could ask to not have it. Most dentists in Korea have shared rooms, there multiple chairs and examinations going on at the same time. However, it seems most of the rooms a A+ are private, which is also nice.


How to Pay

A+ also makes sure to check up on you, sending you texts to remind you of your appointment and see how things are feeling. Their English Coordinator, Joyce, is insanely lovely, and she’ll help you work out a payment plan. I did 50% on one visit and 50% on the next, no problem. They’re also open on Saturdays if, like most expats here, you work during normal business hours.

How I saved $3k going to the dentist in South Korea - A+ Dental Apgujeong - The Nerdventurists -

In short, I cannot recommend them enough, so if you go, tell them I recommended you! You’ll get a discount (I did because of my friend!).

On a side note,ย I don’t understand why Korean toothpaste doesn’t have fluoride in it though… so definitely bring your own, else maybe you’ll be going more often than not!

A+ Dental Clinic

Address: 636-7, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoulย 135-896

Phone: 02-3442-7616



I’ve received no endorsement or sponsorship from A+, I just think they’re awesome.

Kristina is an ardent traveler and has been to over 48 countries and has no plans to stop. She taught English in a small fishing city in Japan for a year, volunteered on an archaeological dig on an Iron Age site in Israel, drove 10,000 miles in a 1994 Corsa from London to Ulaanbataar for charity, and accidentally fell in love with K-pop in Seoul. Itโ€™s been a wild ride.
    • Courtney Jones
    • August 13, 2016

    That’s awesome. I’ve heard of people getting dental work done in some dodgy places, but this looks like a legit way to save money!

  1. Reply

    It’s a small world! When I was in Seoul last October I’d been ignoring toothache for ages and suddenly it was so agonising I was on a diet of different painkillers. I went to A+ too! I called them at about 11am, got an appointment at 3pm and they did an emergency root canal. We have to wait days for an appointment in the UK even if it’s an “emergency”! So much better!

    1. Reply

      Oh gosh, small world indeed! So glad you were able to get that sorted though!!

  2. Reply

    That’s so cool! Also makes me miss living in Austria, where most of my dental work was free. In the UK it is until you’re 18 (16 if you don’t stay in full-time education) but if you have a lower income you can claim for free dentist treatment.

    Also it might be cheaper in SK than in the USA… AND you get to go to SK!!!

    1. Reply

      Gosh, free dental. I love Vienna, maybe I need to see about moving there <___<, haha.

      1. Reply

        yesssss! Vienna is incredible – one of my favourite cities. Social security is fairly pricy (as a % of your paycheck) in Austria but it’s really worth it, I never had to worry about paying to see the doctor/dentist (although they do have some limits and you still pay for most prescriptions) and also when I had to go to hospital for an x-ray on my ankle it was so easy and simple (and free).

  3. Reply

    I would’ve never thought to go elsewhere for dental care! That’s so interesting. I do need some work done – maybe a trip is in order

  4. Reply

    Good info, I would definitely consider doing this, especially since you get a mini vacation included!

  5. Reply

    This is amazing, and definitely true! I’m from Thailand, and there’s always an interesting topic of conversation regarding medical tourism. Thanks for sharing!

    • Fee
    • August 15, 2016

    Would never think to do this, but coming from the UK it’s not so bad in terms of paying out a lot for dental when you have insurance. Interesting to think of though ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Reply

    This is awesome! I’m currently getting laser hair removal surgery for a fraction of the price it’d be in the US. My friend just got major dental surgery over winter break also for super cheap. Gotta love Korea sometimes!

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    • Jo
    • June 28, 2018

    Anyone get BRACES while “teaching in Korea”

    • Esther
    • October 28, 2018

    Is it possible for people to get dental work if they’ve just visiting on a tourist visa and hold their passport?

    1. Reply

      Yes, but the price may be more without insurance.

    • jake
    • January 20, 2019

    how much for full dental implant?

    1. Reply

      You’d have to contact them about that, I’m afraid as I didn’t receive one I don’t know.

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