North Korea / Places We Go

The North Korean Dental Experience

I went to the dentist last week for a routine cleaning. Settling into the dental chair, the contrast between what I saw around me in Dr. Carver’s office and what The Velvet Rocket staff observed in a North Korean dental office during our recent visit there, prompted me to decide that I would not wish to experience a dental emergency in North Korea.

A broad view of the North Korean dental studio we visited:


Ready and waiting for a patient… You?


A dentist in the studio at work on a patient:



I was curious about the dental tools that were being utilized and took these closeups of the instrument trays:


The cigarette lighter mixed in with the dental instruments doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, does it? Or does it?


This machine for dental x-rays was located on the wall behind me when I was taking the pictures of the dental office… I don’t know if it is functional or not:


Next to the x-ray was this inspirational poster on proper dental hygiene for North Koreans… Good stuff, huh?


Keep in mind that this is the flagship dental studio in North Korea that they show off to the foreigners. So, one does wonder what might be found elsewhere in Pyongyang, let alone out in the countryside.

10 thoughts on “The North Korean Dental Experience

    • Ha, well, it certainly shouldn’t be considered a representative of what the rest of North Korea has in the way of dental care. This is the jewel in the crown.

  1. Pingback: Make Your Teeth Happier With These Tips | Write-up Gathering

  2. hi i am DMD

    answers for criticism :)
    yes the unit is old and Korean made.but i have seen worse.

    the Xray old but looks if not fancy then sufficient. if westerner Xray manufacturer didn’t have to compete with others he would make it look the same.simple.
    a tube with the small cathode ray tube being hit by Electrons in the back…

    and the Cigarette to heat stuff. like wax, or when he does a root canal treatment (its a root canal treatment “Kit” in the photo),he lights a colloquial with which he heats a cureta to slice the Gucha perka with witch he fills the canals.
    it costs him 0.5 $ ,while mine that is electrical cost me about 85$. When mine will die on me, i will buy a lighter :) or matches.

    the poster well:
    brash and floss
    and compact wisdom tooth.
    what else do you need?

    sterile it looks that way. the brown on the tools means it been sterilized many times and its old ( Appears after 3-5 years in use even on stainless-still).but it looks functional.

    dont see nothing to be scared about. if you go for first aid he’ll do the minimum needed to relive you of your pain and free you to blessed treatment in you country :)

    good day.

  3. The lighter is used during root canal treatment. Although I don’t use the regular BIC lighter, a flame is necessary.

  4. It reminds me of that song from sesame street, “one of these things doesn’t belong here”. Some of the tools are rusty & you can see many tools that aren’t sanitized.

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