It’s quite possible for you to take a new lawyer – it happens all the time. When you re-locate to another house, you’ll cheerfully sign-up with the nearby doctors at the local clinic. Even changing your local trusted mechanic won’t cause sleepless nights if you have to move. And for sure a good hairdresser is hard to come by, but it’s no big problem is you need to make a change! But a dentist? I know people who have continued to stay registered even when they have moved somewhere new, and have travelled 200 miles and back again to get treatment, simply to keep a dentist they know and
trust – myself included.
When it comes to teeth then people are split into two totally different camps. Maybe 10% don’t really care, because they have never had a bad dental experience. But for the rest of us we would rather be thrown into a pit of rabid alligators than have to check-in with an alien dentist. In fact an alien dentist might be preferable, because they’ve probably got brain-numbing technology, and might even do a facelift while they’re at it!
Joking aside, you only have to look on the local Facebook groups to understand everyone’s concerns and worries. Every month there’s another new posting about dentists. Which one do people recommend? What are they like? Who’s best for crowns or implants? Can they speak English? Will they understand what I want? Is there a dentist who is slow and gentle?
The questions go on and on and keep happening. And it proves my point that doctors and lawyers are all much the same, but a really good dentist is worth their weight in gold.
This is a subject very close to my heart. Because 15 years ago, I probably had the worst teeth on Samui! This was because to go back and get more treatment from my usual dentist would have sent me all the way back to England. I’d had six years of no dental treatment. Six years of sticking broken crowns back in with superglue. Six years of people looking the other way when I smiled. And then I discovered ‘The Singing Dentist’.
Back at that time, she ran a small dental clinic in the north of Chaweng. Today she has an active partnership in one of the most prestigious healthcare centres on the island – Bangkok International Hospital on the main ring-road in Chaweng; Dental Solutions by Bangkok Hospital Clinic. She speaks perfect English. She is bright, cheery and highly experienced.
She will check you out and give an honest opinion without any of the money-making extras that some dentists try to get you hooked on. And, best of all, she will put you totally at ease.
In fact, while she is up to her elbows in your mouth grinding away at that stubborn back molar, she’ll be singing away to herself like she’s on Thailand’s Got Talent. Not belting out some kind of karaoke, you understand. But more of a gentle hum with a few phrases thrown in now and again. It’s like a lullaby. It relaxes you right away. It’s almost hypnotic. It puts you at ease, even if you are like 90% of the population – dentist-phobic. And her name is Doctor Supaporn.
But one day I needed urgent treatment. And alas, she was on holiday! Trembling with anxiety, I nervously gave myself into the hands of another of the clinic’s practitioner, Doctor Valailuck – and it was painless! It all went as smooth and as soft as silk, leaving me feeling maybe just a little foolish, but definitely very relieved. In fact I’ve since learned that there are now no fewer than six practitioners and specialists at the clinic. And, between them, the team here are equipped, both in terms of skill and experience and also with up-to-date technology, to expertly and very professionally handle everything from a full de-scale and clean to comprehensive remedial or reconstructive surgery.
Most people coming to Samui simply don’t realise how well-qualified the top dental teams are over here, and how much less it costs than the same treatment back home. A few years back, my daughter and her husband came here for a holiday. Eventually the conversation veered towards dental treatment, and husband Mark came out with, “I wouldn’t mind getting my teeth cleaned. Can you check to see how expensive it is?” The result was that Mark spent two hours at the Bangkok Hospital Clinic having the most thorough cleaning he had ever had. And he was delighted at having saved a substantial chunk of money while getting it all out of the way at his leisure, without having to schedule time off from work.
The highly experienced career orthodontists here are qualified to practice the ‘ZOOM’ treatment. This is essentially a completely safe bleaching process, beginning with a full clean and polish to reveal the natural enamel colour. Then your gums and soft tissue are screened by coating them with paste, and your teeth are covered with a bleaching gel. This is activated by directing short bursts of intense ‘Zoom WhiteSpeed Whitening LED Light’ at small areas at a time. Each quarter of your mouth is covered in 15-minute phases, making it overall a 2-hour treatment. This might sound a lot, but bear in mind that there’s no stress involved and it’s all actually quite soothing.
Of course all of this might not be news to some of you reading this. You’ve already done the groundwork on previous holidays and have come to realise that intensive dental treatment is far cheaper here. And you’ve become a part of the growing numbers who come to Thailand every year specifically for a dental (or medical) holiday. If that’s the case and you’ve spent your time at the Dental Solutions by Bangkok Hospital Clinic, then everyone will be able to tell – because you’ll be smiling, brightly, with satisfaction!
Rob De Wet
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