By Glen Lewis
Want to get your teeth into Thailand? Don’t come for Phuket, Samui, Chiang Mai, shopping or food… There’s a better reason: getting your teeth fixed.
Recently, when a dentist told me I needed all my teeth out and dentures, I wasn’t too happy. He said they could all come out for $6000, plus $3000 for the dentures, and $1000 for the hospital.
Fortunately, my ace in the hole was that I was about to return to Bangkok, where I’ve lived half-time for 10 years.
My first appointment was with one of the many clinics located in Siam square. This is tourist central, home to MBK, and more dental (and skin) clinics. This dentist was one of the few who took the trouble to open the 3D Xray I’d brought from Oz.
The Siam Square Mor’s (they call ’em Drs, though they ain’t) advice was to keep ’em, but he went into detail about root canals and implants. This would cost 100000 baht ($4000). These treatments make dentists of all nations smile as they’re time consuming and costly. One offered by another Bangkok dental franchise, called the 3×4, costs around 300,000 baht ($12000).
Tiring of the central city clinics I set out to the wilds of eastern Bangkok. This clinic had a website that promised free consultations and a limo ride there. On arrival, I was given an almost royal welcome, with several attendants and a full surgery — including other Australians.
This Mor was a long-haired man with a brisk, businesslike manner, although on his website he looked like a well-fed Charles Sobraj. He came up with a similarly daunting plan for numerous root canals and implants and charged me 500 baht ($20) for the consultation.
This left two more clinics and two hospitals. First was a clinic north of Sukhumvit in a Soi (street) full of Chinese tour buses and massage parlors that the police raid sporadically.
So off to another clinic in Tonglor, a more up-market location with a mainly Japanese clientele. The dentist was pleasant but could only give a pencil sketch of her plan — just as costly as the one near Sukhumvit.
The second Australian dentist I’d seen had recommended to get ’em all out in a hospital and have an ‘immediate denture’ fitted. So I checked out two. The first was in lower Sukhumvit, one of the best-known in Bangkok with programs for Korean and Japanese patients.
The dentist advised me to go to the Dental Hospital near Victory Monument, a place for Thais that foreigners can use as well. Some of their dentists are graduate students and their charges are much lower.
I then went to a close-by private Dental Hospital, where at last I found a sympathetic experienced dentist who came up with a plan for extractions, fillings, and two partial dentures — all for around 30000 baht ($1200). He told me not to drink fruit juice and get rid of my sweet tooth.
After several trips, I had four teeth out, eight fillings, a deep clean and two partial dentures, all for the reasonable amount of 34000 baht ($1360). Thailand sells itself as a ‘medical and dental hub’ for the region. Most of the doctors and dentist speak English, and many have overseas credentials.
– This story was taken from Huffington Post.