Buying a Thai Smile – Part 2

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.

Pre-Op photo 1. Denture is the longer of the two front teeth where the gum line receded.

Pre-Op photo 2. Without my denture in. Obviously...

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.

Post-Op Photo 1 (next day). Implant has been put in and gum line has been corrected to be in line with other teeth. (yes, braces for the bottom teeth are definately now on the cards!)

Post-Op Photo 2. Already noticed the difference. Cant wait to get the crown on the implant and the new veneers!

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.

20 thoughts on “Buying a Thai Smile – Part 2

    • Im literally about to have the last part of all the work done this week, so I will be sure to post about how it all goes and how the finished product turned out!
      Thanks for checking the post John!

      • Thanks again for sharing your photos and experience using dental tourism. We have found that there can be a major stigma attached, but you have obviously proven how great the care can be overseas.

        $2000 seems like a steal for all the work they did, as a comparable implant, in the US at least, would be $6500+

        Nice job.

  1. Hi Ash, thanks for generously sharing your experience so far. Just wondering if you could post your latest veneer/crown experience, and perhaps a photo or two? Cheers.

    • Hey Jess, I ve had the final post on this on the backburner for too long now, thanks for the hustle! I ll get onto it and let u know by email when i do!

  2. Hi how was the final treatment? I am looking at getting my front tooth extracted and implant done. I have been putting it off for the past 12 months. but am going to bangkok in january. can you please advise of final result? thank you

    • Hey Beb, man I ve been slack and really need to get that final post up. In short though, cant encourage you to do it more! Best decision I ve made and am VERY happy to not have that dam denture anymore! keep on my back about photo’s/posts etc if its still not here in the coming weeks!

  3. I really enjoyed reading these blog posts. I am going to go to Thailand to get all of my dental work handled (finally)

    I’m tired of the anxiety/dread of the multiple visits for dentists in the US.

    Thanks for taking the time and please finish part 3!!

  4. Thanks for the Dental Diary. I’m planning a tooth trip to BIDC and reading all the blogs I can find. Can’t afford 2 implants in Sydney.
    Your link to the Mini R Hotel is dead. Do you know if it is still open?
    Hope your mouth is doing well

    • they must have gotten rid of their site. You can still find its information on trip advisor or contact BIDC direct and get the customer rates for the hotel off them.

      Implants have been a dream, no regrets what so ever. Thanks for checking it out and good luck with your work!

  5. Thanks for sharing your experience, feed back and recommendation.
    Matter of interest what was the total cost including accommodation and flights for your last visit?

  6. Hi Ash, Thanks for your dental travel experience. I was just looking at Tripadvisor to get some tips on where to go for dental cleaning and filling in Bangkok since I’m heading there soon and found BIDC as good recommendations from other bloggers as well. Thanks for sharing your experience. I was a bit apprehensive at first but after reading your experience I booked the appointment with them.

  7. When you get an implant done, you have to wait several months before the crown is placed on it. Are you given a temporary crown in the meantime.

    • Hi John, For me, I wasnt given a temporary crown. I already had a denture, so I continued wearing that until the healing process was done and I was ready to have the crown placed on the implant a few months later.

  8. Hi Ash,
    Thanks for your fantastic blog. I am about to book my flights to Bangkok. I have sent photos and Xrays and I am just waiting for a quote from BIDC for about 20 implants. Was tossing up between BIDC and Dr. Sunil. Dr. Sunil was very quick with his quote but am put off because all this work will be done in one trip over 10 days. Every thing I’ve researched says that the bone needs to grow over the implant screw so there are at least a few months required between initial preparation and final crown being fitted. i really enjoyed reading your experience which has assured me that BIDC is the place to go. Thanks

    • Hi Anna

      I’m in New Zealand and reading all this with great interest. I’d be keen on hearing how you get on with your 20 implants. I’m in similar position so considering all the same things. Cheers. Annie

  9. Hi again Ash,
    I’m trying to buy that E Book about the Thailand Dental Holidays but it seems to be no longer available :( :(

    Would I be able to buy a copy from you please?


  10. I have just moved from Australia back home to NZ after 38yrs and thousands and thousands of dollars spent on dental work there.
    I have 4 teeth only that have not had root canal treatments. I never had the requisite crown after a root canal as it was too costly. A root canal was bad enough even with the pathetic rebate from the health fund. Now I find myself with only 7 lower teeth left, and barely functional top teeth all starting to break down. I received a quote of $28,000 for 2 lower implants topped off with denture. Plus a suggestion that the root canals in my top teeth be redone and crowned. A total of $40,000.
    I’m 57, I’d rather spend money on buying a house. Although that’s another hellishly expensive task considering Auckland real estate prices at present.
    My Osteopath suggested Chiang Mai, as one of his patients was ecstatic with her result from dental implants.
    Your blog has inspired me to explore more into overseas dental work. Thank you for the information, and continued good luck with your own teeth.

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