I am an advocate for government assistance here for Boomers as bad teeth will wreck your health and I have met Boomers who have all sorts of body pain and infections that they don’t realise are caused by their teeth.
The exorbitant cost of having your teeth fixed in Australia means that many of us leave it until the last moment when the pain is no longer bearable to have our teeth fixed and therefore probably have related health problems because of it
Indeed, many of us won’t go to the dentist because of a fear we have for the dental chair and childhood memories of the pain that is associated with it.
My teeth in general were deteriorating and...
I had a local dentist quote me for the work and was shocked at the $4000 odd price. A quick search of Google and I realised that many Aussies go to Thailand for dental work so I emailed the Bangkok Private hospital and found they had a branch in Phuket. Several emails later and I had a quote to do the same work for a third of the cost.
We booked flights and an appointment and headed off in June 2013 with the thought in mind that this could also be a bit of a holiday.
Thailand is very third world and we were shocked and a little concerned about the lack of infrastructure when we arrived. We stayed at a garden resort at Karon Beach which is half an hour from the hospital.
There were no footpaths around us and you took your life into your hands dodging the thousands of scooters and motorbikes plus cars that became a daily ritual as you moved about. The place is incredible dirty with waste everywhere and open unhygienic drains so our alarm bells were ringing big time about whether this had been a wise decision to come here.
The next morning after arrival and setting up home at the hotel, a taxi arrived and to take us to the hospital. It was an eye- opener to see the poverty of the country as we were driven there and I was ready to get on a plane home by time we arrived there.
What a transformation it was but once we were greeted by the guard at the door of the hospital who opened our cab door, saluted us and directed us into the hospital. It was not only a first class modern hospital but the staff were incredible friendly, supportive and helpful and we were immediately directed to the registration table. The young lady spoke good English, took our details in a professional manner and had access to the latest equipment.
We were taken upstairs to the dental section as they do all surgery at this hospital and many young Australians are accessing the cosmetic options they offer. Indeed my niece is now a size D after surgery over here in May and she was very satisfied with their procedures and the result.
My wish was for the fears of my childhood dental visits (when I would have nightmares the night before an appointment and hoped that I would be too sick to go) to be alleviated.
From the moment my blood pressure was tested by the nurse to meeting my lovely young dentist I realised I was in good hands. My dentist asked me what I wanted from the visit, took x-rays and prepared a quote for me.
For the same $4000 for a bridge in Australia, I was to have 7 filing replacements, 2 root canals, 2 crowns, a bridge to cover my missing tooth, one extraction ( wisdom tooth that was in the way of the bridge), 6 x-rays, teeth whitening and moulds made so I could continue the whitening at home.
It took one and a half days for her to complete all the work and she was very gentle, compassionate and professional. She used equipment that I had never seen in Australia including mouth protectors and plastic inserts that keep your mouth open while she works so you are not constantly requested to ‘open wider please’.
I actually slept in parts it was so relaxing and even though I will never be completely comfortable with the drill and 100% relaxed, I felt little pain. During breaks they have a small coffee shop that has lunches as well so we were well catered for.
The taxi returned me to the hotel at their cost and it was an experience that I thoroughly enjoyed and the customer service meant I felt valued by them.
To sum up, we had a 2 week stay which was almost a holiday as we waited for the bridge and crowns to be built (one week if you’re planning the trip) and by time we left I had become accustomed to the mad pace of the place (1000 Thais die a month on those scooters we were told) and the gentleness of the people who are mainly Buddhists.
I would recommend it to anyone but particularly the Boomers as bad teeth will ruin your life so here is a cheaper alternative for those who can afford the $1800 air fare or can wait for a bargain package deal to one of their many resorts if you book well in advance.
Footnote: 30/7/13 I have just seen an article where a dentist paid $3.9 million for Boothville residential home in Windsor Brisbane.
Isn't it time we stopped paying so much for dental care in Australia?
Why can't dentists send their work OS for crowns, bridges and dentures to be made.
It would be back within a week at a third of the price being paid in this country.