–The Mukmai Dental Clinic, Chiang Mai-
One thing many visitors to Chiang Mai will notice is the overwhelming amount of dental clinics in the city. Every corner we turned there were signs for dentists, our favorite being Mouth 2 Mouth Dental Clinic. It seems like the medical tourism in Chiang Mai is booming.
Our trip started days before we were both due for our six month cleanings. Having no job means no dental insurance so there was no sense in waiting until our first visit home to get a checkup. We decided to take advantage of the services in this little dental hamlet and make an appointment for a cleaning.
A Google search lead me to a detailed review from an expat who had visited Mukmai Dental Clinic. We visited in person to make an appointment and were told it would be 800 Bhat, ~$25USD, SOLD.
The cleaning was done by the dentist himself, with an extra hand from a hygienist in the room. First he traced my gums with a water pick. Then came the metal pic, scratch, scratch, scratch, then he got to my molars and “deep plaque”. Five minutes scratching the plaque off each of my molars leads me to believe my dentists at home had neglected this for years. Needless to say, I will be looking for a new dentist when I get back.
I also had a cleaning done…deep cleaning. I swore I saw pieces of my gums in the sink after rinsing but my teeth felt as clean as ever. The dentist also showed me how I brush my teeth wrong and the affect on my gums. He let me hold a mirror so I could see in my mouth as he was going along and gave me an impromptu educational lesson on tooth care…and also showed me where a cavity was starting. Wonderful…
Price to fix the cavity would be between 1000-1800 Bhat, depending on whether or not I got Novocain. I hate teeth pain and anything having to do with dental surgery, no matter how minor. At the appointment, the dentist started the procedure with no Novocain to see how the pain would be. It wasn’t too bad so I told him to continue drilling away. Eventually it started to hurt but we were almost done so we just continued.
Each step of the way he would allow me to see the progress using a mirror. The cavity was pretty bad even though it wasn’t bothering me. The decay was almost to the root and that would mean another root canal that I really would like to avoid. Once the tooth decay was cleaned out and the cavity was fixed with a white composite filling, the tooth was as good as new. 1000 Bhat (~$30USD) later I was out the door and on my way to the best roti truck in all of Chiang Mai (at least that’s what his sign says).
-Inside the waiting room-
So, two cleanings and cavity fixed for right around $80USD. Not bad. The office was just as clean and professional as you would expect in the US. Maybe everyone should consider buying a plane ticket to Thailand to have any type of major dental work done. Pretty sweet vacation and you get your dental issues fixed. Add the ticket, accommodations and dental work together and it still might be cheaper than just the dentist in the States.