As the title suggests, this is the continuation of a piece I posted a few weeks ago outlining my experiences using the Thai Dental tourism industry, so follow the link if you want the background story of what led me down this path.
If you have read Part 1 of this series, you would know that I have nothing but praise so far for the customer service and standards shown by Bangkok International Dental Centre (BIDC) during my previous visit, but at the end of the day, it was a consultation with some minor dental work, nothing more.
It was time to (taking my denture out first of course) bight the bullet and start organizing the first stage of my dental implant surgery. This stage was to involve the gum augmentation surgery on the front partner tooth, making my receded gum line of the missing tooth symmetrical with the gum line of the teeth either side of it, as well as the bone graft required to support the titanium screw that would become the ‘root’ for the new artificial tooth, that was also to be inserted in this sitting.
Mentally and emotionally, not the easiest scenario to come to grips with, especially as it happens while you’re still awake in the chair.
On the advice of a friend, who had recently had the whole procedure finished on both front teeth, which was: “the sooner you get it done the better, as the rewards (no longer having a denture) are definitely worth the procedure and healing time involved”, I contacted BIDC and asked what was the earliest I could get an appointment to have the required work done.
I received a now trademark immediate response from BIDC saying that my request to begin the surgery had been past to the Doctor ‘managing’ my case (that’s right, I have a dental ‘project manager’), and a specific date and time for the required treatment would be given to me for confirmation in the days to follow.
A few days past and I received an e-mail from BIDC outlining the exact procedures to be performed on my next visit, as well as a date and specific times for the two required (gum augmentation and implant placement). The date I was given was dictated by the need for the periodontist (gum specialist) and the implant specialist to be at the centre at the same time as to be able to perform each of their respective operations immediately after the other to achieve the best results.
This time frame (within the coming two weeks) worked well with so I confirmed the dates and timings, and booked my flights and accommodation immediately after.
Accommodation wise, I opted to return to Mini R hotel, which I stayed at on my previous visit, as its facilities, service and close proximity to BIDC are extremely good value.
The time passed and I returned to Bangkok from my current location in the Philippines. BIDC and Mini R are located on a significantly major road in the Din Daeng area of Bangkok, so getting to BIDC/Mini R isn’t difficult at all.
The day for the surgery soon arrived and I made the nervous stroll over to BIDC where I was met with the same professional service as I was on my first visit. After a minor wait in the reception area I was directed to the first surgery room where the Periodontist (Gum Specialist) was waiting for me. He quickly re-explained what he was about to do, how he was going to do it and then answered any last questions I had.
The procedure started with tear-jerking anesthetic needles and within thirty minutes, the surgeon was finishing with the last of my stitches. He showed me what he had done with a mirror and I was already amazed with the difference it had made in evening up the gum line and was very relieved to know that it was only going to get better once the new veneers are put on in a few months time.
I was guided back to the waiting area and a few minutes later I was back in the chair but this time for the implant. After seeing the footage of what’s involved and from previous dental experiences i.e. getting wisdom teeth removed, this was definitely the part I was dreading the most.
If there’s any advice I can give to anybody who may need to get this done in the future, it would be that you have nothing to worry about. You are well and truly numb to any feeling in your mouth by this stage, and the fact that the specialist is working with gum/flesh means you aren’t enduring the nauseating sounds, feelings or vibrations that come with any work associated with most dental work on actual teeth such as fillings, root canal etc. The initial needle was the worst part.
Another thirty minutes later and I was all done.
I was given antibiotics, mouthwash and pain killers. I then paid for the work that was done that day and then sent on my way. Both procedures combined were done in less than an hour!
The itemization of what was charged that day was as follows:
- Crown lengthening (gum augmentation) – 5,000 THB
- Surgical Placement of implant – 55,000 THB
- Amoxi anti-biotics – 126 THB
- Ponstan pain killers – 50 THB
- C-20 antiseptic mouth wash – 60 THB
- BIO-OSS implant – 5,500 THB
- Total – 65, 736.00 THB ($AUD 1,994.70)
The afternoon following the surgery I was starting to feel sorry for myself pain wise once the anesthetic began to wear off, but it was nothing the pain killers didn’t immediately hit on the head. I wasn’t affected with my eating or anything like that as a result of the surgery and any bleeding I had was well and truly stopped by the next day.
I returned five days later for a checkup so the surgeon could inspect the work. He was more than happy with the healing and informed me that I would be ready to have the next stage (placement of the crown onto the implant root and new crowns on adjoining teeth either side) in two months time.
One negative of this visit was that they informed me I needed to be around Bangkok for ten days to have the checkup after the surgery. I was able to get them down to seven days as I was restricted by work commitments. As I already said, the doctor ended up seeing me only five days after and as I had already pre-booked flights, I had to hang around in Bangkok three days longer than I needed to.
Overall another great experiences and I am more than relieved to have the ‘hard part’ behind me. One more sitting and I’m done!
This is just one experience and it is clearly positive but at the end of the day, its just one experience. If you are seriously considering this sort of work using the Thai system I highly recommend doing your home work and researching it extensively for yourself. The most credible source I came across and used was the “Thailand Dental holidays Travel Guide” which meant dropping a few dollars, but considering the amount of money I have saved so far, not to mention the quality of service I have also received, I consider it an investment. It’s also worth the stress relief it provides by giving sound advice and information on a pending major dental operation such as mine.
If this article has been a help, be sure to keep an eye on this blog over the next few months as I will definitely write up on my experiences surrounding the final phase of my treatment.