A few weeks ago my mom forwarded me an email from my dentist saying it was time for a check up. I kindly thanked her and pushed that notice to the back of my mind. Eventually that decision came back to haunt me when I ate something sweet and felt a really intense pain in the back of my mouth. After that brush with fear I decided it was time to find a dentist ASAP.
When I first began my search for a dentist I spent a lot of time on Google, but soon realized it might be better to ask around. I first asked the westerners at my job about a dentist they went to and interestingly (and disgustingly) enough not one of them could direct me to one because they hadn’t been to one. I mean, some of these people have been here for years and haven’t been to the dentist once, but that’s another conversation for another blogpost. I then asked a coworker where she went to the dentist and she directed me to a practice whose name was in Thai, which was fine, but it’s safe to say that if a practice’s name is in Thai then it’s probably Thai-exclusive. I finally asked a friend of mine, who recently had their wisdom teeth out, where they had that procedure and they told me about Dental World.
After a few Google searches and a couple great reviews I decided that’s where I would go to have my teeth cleaned. I called Dental World on Saturday morning and was given an appointment for 1 p.m. later that day.
Dental World’s location is optimal being that it’s in the Chiang Mai Square and it’s right down the road from the famous Tha Phae Gate, which makes it very easy to find. I arrived and saw a sea of Thai faces both waiting and working and was warmly greeted by the staff. The first receptionist I approached did not speak English, so she passed me onto the receptionist that did. Her English was so perfect it felt like I was having a conversation with the receptionist at my home dentist, but way kinder. I filled out a few forms, handed her my passport and she told me to head upstairs to another waiting room. While sitting there I saw a few westerners exit different offices, which made me feel more comfortable than I already was. I sat for 10-15 minutes until I was summoned by a dental assistant who was unable to pronounce my name, so she came out and flashed my passport. Once in the chair I met my dentist, Dr. Kanokwan, who asked what I was there for and then she got to work.
One cool thing about the dentist is that they put a piece of fabric with a cutout hole over your face, so you don’t have to awkwardly stare at each other and they don’t speak to you when they’re in your mouth!
My doctor was gentle and if I made a noise she was attentive to what I was experiencing. When all was said and done she asked if I wanted fluoride (for a fee) and I said yes, which she happily applied. During my cleaning there was some sensitivity in a certain area and I asked what was the deal with that. She said, my teeth were fine, but the power setting on the machine may have been set too high. When I talked to her about the pain from sweet food she offered to take x-rays (for a fee), which I obliged to because I’m used to having x-rays done when I have a cleaning. The process of getting the cleaning, fluoride and x-rays took about 25 minutes total, and in the end Dr. Kanokwan said my teeth were doing great and to come back in six months.
When I was finished I went back into the main lobby and waited about 15 minutes to have my information processed. The receptionist told me they would keep my information on file and I could call them when I was ready for my next appointment.
The procedure in total was 1,550 baht or $47 USD:
Cleaning: 800 baht ($25 USD)
Digital x-rays: 500 baht ($15 USD)
Fluoride application: 200 baht ($6 USD)
Sterilization fee: 50 baht ($1.50)
I had a great experience at Dental World and would recommend this dentist if you live in Chiang Mai or if you end up having a dental emergency while in Chiang Mai. The English spoken by all was great and it was a clean and comfortable facility.