I’m currently in Bangkok, Thailand as the first part of my 2 1/2 week SE Asia trip for this year. When I was in Chiang Mai last year, I noticed a plethora of dental clinics. My Italian expat friend had stated that many, many expats come to Thailand to have dental work done because it’s much cheaper than in their home countries, plus most dentists here are trained in either the U.S. or Europe.
I’ve been due to have a cleaning for awhile now. If truth be told, my dental cleaning is a few years past due. The last time I went to my dentist for a cleaning, I unfortunately had a gum infection. She prescribed medicine for my gum infection, but regretted to inform me that she wouldn’t be able to clean my teeth until the infection was gone. Not being overly fond of the dentist, anyway, I never rescheduled the appointment.
Fast forward to the recent past – the dentist had called me to remind me that my teeth cleaning was long overdue and to ask if I’d like to schedule an appointment. I declined, of course. Once I knew I was coming to Thailand, I asked my ex if he knew of somewhere that I could have my teeth cleaned while here. He said that he’d check into it. Unfortunately, he’s been sick with the flu for about a week and a half now, so we haven’t even been able to see each other; he has two doctor’s appointments this week.
As I was wandering in the neighborhood near my condo yesterday, I noticed that there was a dental clinic on a little soi across the way. I stopped by in the afternoon to see if they had availability to do a cleaning. Although they do evening appointments during the week, they were completely booked all of yesterday and today. (I’m leaving for Bali on Wednesday.) I told them that I’ll be back in Bangkok on the 29th, but their office will be closed for an extended vacation until June 3rd. They did, however, take my E-mail, in case there was a cancellation.
I wasn’t expecting to hear from them at all, but around 5:30 p.m. yesterday, they sent me an E-mail saying that they had time to do the cleaning. I was just about to hop in a cab and go see some Muay Thai kickboxing, but derailed that plan and immediately ran over to the dental clinic. I filled out some forms and was in the dentist’s chair within 15 minutes. The actual cleaning took maybe 20-25 minutes, maybe even less.
As far as my experience at the dental clinic, it was excellent. The facilities were very clean and modern. The dentist (who was a beautiful Thai woman, by the way) was quite kind and explained everything as she went along. I confessed that I have a fear of dentists and she reassured me that there would be minimal pain, if any. As she reclined the seat, I asked if she was going to shoot me up with anesthetic (usually I need two shots, as I have a high tolerance for drugs of that sort). She said that her instrument was so small and that she’d be using the “water” technology, so it wasn’t necessary. She jokingly offered to shoot me up, if I preferred. The cleaning was fast, efficient and pain-free. The only strange part was that they cover my face with some material which only has a hole for the mouth. Although that takes away from my having to see any needles or dental instruments coming my way, it kind of felt like some weird bondage procedure! When the cleaning was done, they rinsed my mouth with some solution containing salt. The dentist, did, however, suggest that I have my left wisdom tooth extracted. My regular dentist in San Francisco has been bothering me about that for years. However, if I return to Thailand next year, I will most likely have THIS dentist extract it. All in all, that was the most stress-free dentist appointment that I’ve ever had. The best part, the cost was a mere 980 Thai baht (approximately US$29 at today’s currency exchange)!
The name of the dental clinic is Aesthetics Dental Clinic and they’re located at 459/21-22 Suanplu 8, South Sathorn Road. Their telephone number is (+66) 02-287-4922. You can E-mail them at email@example.com. The card I was given says that the dentist’s name is Dr. Pokpong Amornvit, though I’m not necessarily sure that that’s the dentist I had. The card also says that the dentist is certified in Implant Dentistry from UCLA.
So there you have it, people! There’s no reason to fear the dentist any more if even I was relaxed and had a wonderful experience!