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Taking the pain out of toothacheEnglish-speaking dentists welcome foreign patients in Jeju City
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승인 2009.10.28  00:36:10
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▲ Dr Ken Lee, of e-Pyunhan Dental Clinic near City Hall, Gu Jeju. Photo by Cat Lever

e-Pyunhan Dental Clinic, Gu Jeju

Dr. Ken Lee, of e-Pyunhan Dental Clinic, near Si-cheong, has been practicing dentistry for nearly 30 years. He spent a year as a research fellow at UCLA before going on to specialise in orthodontics at Vanderbilt University, Nashville Tennessee, where he was a resident for three years. He knows first-hand what it is like to live in a foreign country and these days enjoys the opportunity to chat in English with his foreign patients.

Dr. Lee is an amiable man, who makes easy conversation. He used to play music with foreign residents in a local bar before it closed down some time ago, and these days is very keen to help the foreign community in any way he can. “I want to give something back”, he says, as he felt very looked after by the people of Nashville when he lived there.

Currently, he treats around 4-5 foreign patients a week (?) and really enjoys seeing them, “I have a chance to speak English, I don’t want to forget,” he laughs. Most of his foreign patients come for regular check-ups but many also come with problems that need more serious treatment. He says that his real-time intra-oral camera detects cavities that are not obvious to a dentist’s naked eye. “They like that because they didn’t know they had those problems, so I can show them and they have the chance to take care of them.” He says.

To make an appointment, or to request pricing information, Dr Lee can be contacted by email at, more information can also be found on the clinic’s English website:
e-Pyunhan Dental Clinic is easy to find from Si-cheong. Walk up the hill with the City Hall building on your left. Turn left at the main intersection at the top of the hill. E-Pyunhan( e or E?) is opposite the SK gas station, in the same building as the GS. It has a large, vertical sign, in English, outside.

The clinic is open 9a.m-6p.m Monday to Friday, and 9am-12pm Saturday. They close for lunch daily from 12:30-2pm.

▲ YEIN Dental Clinic in Shin Jeju welcomes foreigners and Dr Lee Ho-jung‘s relaxed and chatty manner will put even the most nervous patient at ease. Photo courtesy YEIN Dental Clinic

Yein Dental Clinic, Shin Jeju
Dr Lee Ho-jung of Yein Dental Clinic in Shin Jeju, studied at Dankook University in Cheon-an, where he majored in prosthodontics. He also spent some time living and working in Mongolia and Russia, about six years ago. He understands well what it is like to try and pick up a new language, while trying to make it in a foreign country. “It was not about treatment,” he says about interacting with foreigners for the first time, “just survival,” he jokes. Dr Lee is young, with a great sense of humour- something most Westerners are unlikely to associate with a trip to the dentist.

Currently Dr Lee receives about five new foreign patients each month, he asks each one to fill out an English questionnaire about their medical background, to make sure that he is fully aware of any medicinal allergies or other conditions that might affect treatment. He feels very strongly that patients should understand what’s going on every step of the way and uses a variety of diagrams and models to make sure they do.

Dr Lee feels that some dentists on Jeju might be nervous about foreign patients, simply because they are not accustomed to treating them and aren’t confident with their language ability. This is not true in his case however. “They are not alien, just foreign(?),” he says with a smile.

For more information, or to make an appointment, call 064 711 2842, the clinic’s reception staff do not speak English but are used to foreigners calling and will find Dr Lee for you to speak to. The clinic is located between Woori bank and Dunkin Donuts, near Emart in Shin Jeju. Go through the door on street level and take the elevator to the third floor, turn right and the clinic is at the end of the hall.

Yein Dental Clinic is open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-7pm, Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30am - 9pm, and Saturdays from 9:30am- 2pm.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (
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