Why Dentistry in Thailand is the better option

Thai dental sign

I have been missing Thailand more than usual the past few days but not for the obvious reasons of sun, sand and a particular lady. No, the reminders this time came in the form of a massive tooth ache and a trip to my local dentist.

Dentist offices in Thailand are like food carts and 7/11’s, they are literally everywhere and you can usually find at least two dentists per block if you’re in the right area. My favorite dentist in Thailand resides in Pattaya on Soi Buakhao and she makes a normally hated experience for me into one that is highly pleasurable. The fact that she’s a great dentist is just the icing on the cake when you take into consideration she’s beautiful, she’ll sing to you while she works and the big plus, she’s very reasonable even for Thai prices.

The reality is that you can have dental work done in Thailand for a quarter of the price that you’ll pay in the West. A point that was driven home for me yesterday when my American dentist told me that I would need a root canal at a cost of $800. After I picked my jaw up off the floor I made the comment that the price was a bit much, the answer I got in return was you won’tget a better price anywhere else.

The interesting part came when I mentioned that I could actually get a much better price in Thailand. My American dentist, who happens to be from India, exclaimed that getting dental work done in third world countries was dangerous because they use substandard equipment and materials. I had to chuckle at that before I let her in on the fact that Thailand has emerging nation status as well as the fact that the dentists there use the same state of the art equipment and materials.

Obviously there really isn’t an arguement to be had as I am in America,  not Thailand at the moment,   but it’s troubling to me when I keep hearing how well we have it in America compared to other places in the world when the reality is that we don’t have it so well, that’s just a lie we keep telling ourselves. With the health care debate raging in Washington I want to believe that change is possible but I’ve become jaded and I know greed will win out in the end.

You don’t need to look any further for reasons why medical tourism is on the rise and why Thailand is getting their fair share of medical trade. We are the new immigrants of the 21st century, not looking for freedom or shelter from persecution, just looking for decent medical attention at reasonable rates.

If nothing more I’m grateful for the percocet I’m on at the moment, while it deadens the pain it also eases the anger I’m feeling at the country that is letting me down more and more each day.

sig1 Why Dentistry in Thailand is the better option

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Comment by SiamRickNo Gravatar
2009-11-24 20:31:05

I know this topic can spark long and multiple rants against western everything. But especially medical care. I have been a very happy patient of my dentist in Canada. I consider him outstanding. But I didn’t have to pay the bills, my dental plan did. Next year that is likely to stop (so I will welcome all Thailand medical care tips!).

The point is that recently he turned me from patient into customer when he quoted $5,000 for one tooth impant. I got quotes in LOS of $1,400 to $2300 US. Still haven’t done it yet but it’s likely to happen next year so you can imagine where I’m going to go.

You wrote Talen: . . . the anger I’m feeling at the country that is letting me down more and more each day

This is definitely rant-worthy only in my case it’s Canada. From service and product pricing to male-female relationships to public service, I got a million stories. I just have to calm down enough to blog about them.
SiamRick´s last blog ..Beer in Thailand promotes good, healthy argument My ComLuv Profile

Comment by TalenNo Gravatar
2009-11-24 21:42:37

Rick, We should start a North American Rant Blog…we would have enough ammo for a hundred years or more.

Even though I am quite buzzed right now on my pain meds I’m still pissed that the all the millionaire politicians of my fine country act is if they are doing something for me and mine when they are really just doing what they do for the lobbyists that pay them.

My brother got a 3 tooth bridge done last year in Thailand at a cost of $500 or so and it was done in 1 day. If that were done in America it would have been $5000 and at least 4 visits. Hell the bastards charged me $70 bucks for a 10 minute look at my tooth and writing a script for pain meds…I think I should take more of them now to mellow me out.

Comment by MikeNo Gravatar Subscribed to comments via email
2009-11-25 00:46:14

Talen I agree with most of what you say particularly regarding cost and quality of service. However like many places in the world Thailand has its fair share of dentists who set up practice and are not qualified.

Recently there have been several articles in the local press and on TV about this sharp practice(ouch)!

Also there has been a lot about kids getting dental braces fitted for cosmetic reasons from back street outfits. Some of which(braces) were harmful to the kids concerned.

Of course compared to the UK a fully qualified dentist here is excellent value and high quality.
Mike´s last blog ..Cycling in Thailand-Trek 4300 My ComLuv Profile

Comment by TalenNo Gravatar
2009-11-25 01:06:26

Mike, Yeah you have to make sure you pick a good one, and I have heard some horror stories about some bad ones.

I had a dentist in America years ago that started off pretty good but increasingly got worse over time so I stopped going to him. About a year later he was jailed for performing surgeries he wasn’t qualified to do and for triple billing insurance companies.

Comment by ChuckWowNo Gravatar
2009-11-25 08:05:09

I have not had the need to visit the dentist in Thailand. My wife, however, decided she needed braces for beauty so in she went.

All in they cost around $1000.00. That included the initial consultation, removal of four molars, two years of monthly office visits, cleanings and ultimately the removal.

Paid cash for all of it on the pay as you go plan without any insurance to muck things up.

I don’t think there is any way I could have afforded to do this in the states.

Comment by TalenNo Gravatar
2009-11-25 12:50:33

Chuck, that is a great price for braces. Hell my parents paid more than that for my braces back in the 70’s.

Comment by Martin In BulgariaNo Gravatar
2009-11-25 14:09:33

In Bulgaria the same applies, excellent service at a fraction of the cost of my past homeland the UK. Rip off and taking advantage of clients seems a western fashion and has been for years.
Martin In Bulgaria´s last blog ..Another Bad Experience From Expatriates In Bulgaria My ComLuv Profile

Comment by MartynNo Gravatar
2009-11-26 03:19:50

Visiting a dentist in the UK is just as painful as toothache itself and reads about the same as your US experience. My last trip to a dental practice was in Pattaya and the service was excellent and the cost cheap. I pray my teeth remain okay but barring any emergency dentistry then any future work on my teeth will be done in Thailand. The difference in price could be the cost of the flight itself.
Martyn´s last blog ..Habits, Rabbits and Dog Bits My ComLuv Profile

Comment by TalenNo Gravatar
2009-11-26 06:17:37

I wish I had been in Pattaya this week…My mouth would still feel like hell right now but the beautiful surroundings would ease the pain and I’d have more money in my pocket.

It really is insane that the difference in pricing is the cost of a ticket to SEA.I’ve long ago tossed my pro/con list for moving to Thailand but if I still had it out medical costs would go way up on the pro list.

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