Dental treatment in Korea

Dental treatment in Korea is receiving continuous attention because you can receive a world-class medical quality service at a reasonable price. For an example, you can see the big difference when comparing the price of root canal treatment, which on average cost about $2,000 in the United States and Canada, but costs about $130 to $350 in Korea. Korean doctors are mostly educated at Korean dental schools or in the United States, and have a unique culture, such as actively participating in conferences and seminars to gain knowledge and new technologies. Therefore, for those who want to get dental care in Korea, we have summarized various treatment methods and average costs incurred for dental treatment in Korea for your reference.


(a)Details and Effects

Implant is a dental treatment technique that allows a biocompatible implant body to be implanted in the jawbone at the site where the tooth is missing or where the tooth is extracted so that it can act as a replacement or substitution tooth. It should give a feeling similar to natural teeth and should be aesthetically excellent. And a good implant procedure can be determined by whether there is no discomfort in daily life, has great chewing ability, or whether the alveolar bone is absorbed or not.

(b)Surgery method

Examination before surgery -> A minimal incision is made on the gum area where the implant will be placed, after it is placed then the gum is sutured. Depending on the condition of the teeth, a gum transplant or a bone transplant may be performed together at this point. -> After opening the gum slightly and replacing the cover with a long one, wait for the gum to heal -> After the design of the implant that will fit the gum and surrounding teeth are made, then the teeth are placed directly on the implant.

(c)Type of implants

  • Straumann Implant: No. 1 product in the global market.
  • Osstem Implant: Has the largest market share in Korea.
  • SwissPlus Implant: Produced high-quality implants for more than 30 years.
  • Dio Implant: It is characterized as fast bone adhesion and easy implantation.

(d) Average implant price in Korea: Varies by implant brand (*Example: Korean Osstem, each starts from 1.09 million Won)*2021 price


Laminate Veneers

(a)Details and Effects

Veneers refers to attaching artificial teeth to the enamel, which is the outermost layer of the teeth, similar like attaching gel nails. It is a procedure that can be considered for dental problems such as caries, tooth decay, tooth fracture, tooth loss, molar damage, and front teeth gap. However, if the tooth decay is severe or the tooth rotation is severe, this laminate veneer procedure cannot be performed.

(b)Non-erasing Laminate Veneers

Non-erasing laminate veneers is a treatment that minimizes the amount of tooth surface trimming to 0.1-0.2mm by focusing on the preservation of teeth. Because there is almost no damage to the teeth, the disadvantages of the existing laminate treatment can be minimized and the original teeth can be preserved for a longer time.

(c) Average price of laminate veneers in Korea: From 500,000 won per piece and varies by hospital *2021 price

Source: Memi Dentistry

Teeth Whitening

(a)Details and Effects

Teeth whitening refers to a treatment that whitens the color of teeth discolored due to various reasons such as coffee, smoking, or foreign material.

(b) Procedure method

A chemical containing hydrogen peroxide is applied to the discolored part of the tooth, and special light rays are irradiated to restore its original color through oxidation of hydrogen peroxide.

For satisfactory results, tartar removal through scaling or dental examination to check oral conditions is required before whitening procedure. Teeth whitening usually takes about an hour and recommended about 3 times on average. The visit interval may vary depending on the type, concentration, and device used. But usually, as time goes by, or the color returns, and follow-up treatment is required.

(c) Average price for dental whitening in Korea: Approximately from 540,000 won *2021 price

Gum Cosmetic Surgery (Gingivoplasty)

(a)Details and Effects

Gum cosmetic surgery is a recommended procedure when the gum covers the teeth excessively, although the structure and location of the upper jawbone are normal.

(b) Recommended patient for gum surgery

- If your gums are excessively visible when you smile

- If your teeth looks shirt due to excessive gum coverage

- If your gums are overgrowth due to inflammation or taking medications

- If the left and right occlusal planes are different and your gums look tilted

- If you have toothache due to gum receding and root is exposed

- If you have excessive melanin pigmentation in your gums




(c)Gum Plastic Surgery Method (Gingivoplasty)

Gum plastic surgery (Gingivoplasty) is performed by local anesthesia, and a laser is used to cut the gum, so there is little bleeding and swelling. Depending on the condition, surgery to remove bones may be required, but most of them can return to their daily lives in 30-40 minutes. In addition, if your gums are black and dark, you can consider whitening your gums. If the gums appear black due to congenital or acquired pigments, the melanin layer can be removed to restore healthy pink gums.

(d) Average price for dental gum surgery in Korea: Approximately from 300,000 won per tooth *2021 price and vary according to hospital

Tooth Cavity Treatment

(a)Details and Effects

If early prevention of cavity is not received, you can lose the teeth completely, affecting the surrounding teeth, causing a toothache to be distorted and the occlusion to collapse. In this case, there may be a problem with mastication, which may have a bad effect on not only the body but also the cognitive function.

Therefore, even if you are afraid of dental treatment, it is important to visit the dentist often to examine any dental problems. Especially caries rarely show symptoms in the early stages, but prolonged neglect can worsen the teeth and cause great pain.


(b) Treatment plan for tooth decay symptoms

①Early stage: It is difficult to check with the eyes and does not have any special symptoms because it often occurs on the occlusal surface where the teeth meet or between the teeth.

- Treatment method: resin

*Resin is a treatment that simply removes the tooth decay area and fills it with resin, a dental filling, when tooth decay occurs in the surface layer (enamel, enamel layer), which is the initial stage of tooth decay. Although it is a tooth-colored filling procedure, it has the disadvantage of being weaker in strength than inlays. Meanwhile for amalgam, most of the treatment using resin is being performed as it is not aesthetically pleasing and the problem of the harmfulness of mercury components to the human body has emerged.

②Middle stage: Intermittent pain/begins to become sensitive to temperature

- Treatment method: inlay or onlay

* This method is used for mid-stage cavities with deep or wide caries. Inlay and Onlay are procedures in which models are sampled, obtained, and then charged through ground work, enabling solid restoration treatment necessary for deep damage. It is classified into inlay/onlay according to the amount and area of tooth trimmed.

③Last stage: Required root canal treatment / Persistent pain / If the pain is severe enough to cause discomfort in daily life, extraction may be required


(c) Treatment method: root canal treatment + prosthetic treatment

①Root canal treatment: If the nerves started to rot, it will accompanied by very great pain. It progresses when the nerve tissue is infected or inflamed, or when the nerve is exposed due to a tooth fracture.

It is a treatment that removes dimensional tissue containing nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth and seals dental materials in the space to maintain the function of the tooth. Teeth that have completed root canal treatment must be finished with a crown because they become weak due to not receiving nutrients from the blood.

Root canal treatment procedure:

Remove cavities and expose the root nerves to remove inflammation -> Disinfect the nerves to remove them cleanly -> Removal of nerves and internal shaping and enlargement of the tooth root -> Fill the root of the tooth with an appropriate material and remove the head of the teeth with resin, etc. -> Tooth head is formed and covered

③Variety type of crown materials for different caries treatment

  • Gold Crown: It can be elaborately manufactured with bio-friendly materials that do not have corrosion or allergic reactions, and the amount of tooth trimming is small. However, since it is less aesthetic and has higher thermal conductivity compared to other crowns, crowning the teeth where the nerves are alive may cause temperature and pain, and if used for a long time, the chewing side may wear out.
  • Porcelain Fused to Metal Crown (PFM): The inside of the PFM crown is a prosthesis made by making a cap with a metal and placing a ceramic filling on it. It is a tooth-colored material coated with porcelain on top of metal and has better aesthetics than gold crown. In addition, the interior is made of metal, so it has high strength. However, care should be taken as the filling on the surface may wear out over time, and in that case, the metal cap may be exposed.
  • Zirconia Crown: Zirconia have a similar color to natural teeth. Since it is non-toxic, it is mainly used for molars where chewing ability is important due to its human-friendly and durability. After the procedure, you can feel it is very comfortable to wear and the thermal conductivity is also low, so it is not much affected by cold or hot food.

(d) Average price for dental cavity treatment in Korea: Vary depending on tooth size, location and materials used


Teeth Scaling

(a) Details and Effects

Scaling is an important procedure to prevent oral diseases by removing tartar and plaque from the surface of the teeth, such as hardened plaque on upper and lower gum line. When tartar and plaque accumulate, symptoms do not appear immediately, but eventually lead to oral diseases such as tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontitis. Let's say if the tooth is left without removing the plaque, the tooth root and alveolar bone are destroyed, and the tooth eventually falls out.

Scaling helps to keep teeth and gums healthy by removing tartar, plaque, food debris, and smoothing the tooth surface or preventing reattachment.

(b) Average price for dental scaling in Korea: Approximately from 100,000 won *2021 price


Gum disease

(a)   Details and Effects

Gum disease can be recovered by periodic scaling and correct brushing in the early stages, but if the treatment time is missed, gum bones melt and weaken teeth, causing the teeth to move.

(b)   Gum disease treatment

Treatment methods for gum disease include scaling, periodontal curettage, and gingival incision valve surgery (flap surgery).

    Periodontal Curettage (gingival curettage): It is a direct treatment method through an instrument designed to treat the inside of the gums after diagnosing the inner space covered by the gums through X-rays from the outside. In severe cases, treatment is performed four to six times

    Gingival Incision Valve Surgery (flap techniques): If gum disease becomes severe, this procedure will be done to remove the inflamed gums tissue. This surgery helps the gum to regenerate and rescrontruct lost and destroyed tissues. It is performed under local anesthesia, and the gums are incised to separate the tissue. Next, inflamed tissue is removed and the bone is transplanted or trimmed. The operation takes about 30 minutes.

(c) Seoul dentist’s average price for gum disease treatment: Approximately from KRW 100,000 for simple treatment *2021 price

Wisdom Tooth

(a) Details & Effect

Wisdom teeth refer to the third molar, which is the third position among the large molars. It is the last tooth to emerge from the far corner of the mouth, and generally has four teeth, one on each side of the upper and lower jaws.

(b) Wisdom Tooth Treatment Candidate

- If your wisdom teeth do not come out straight, but are slanted

- If the gums around the wisdom teeth are swollen and painful

- If food or debris are often caught between the wisdom tooth and the front molar

- If the wisdom tooth has decay but it is difficult to treat

- When cavities in the front molars are difficult to treat due to wisdom teeth

- If you undergoing orthodontic treatment

(c) Average price for wisdom tooth treatment by doctors in Seoul: Vary depending on molar and teeth condition

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