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Dentistry In Vietnam


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Dentistry In Vietnam

written by Neil Brook

 

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"I’ve taken the plunge to get my dental work done at home in Asia

 

Sitting on the beach in Nha Trang in Vietnam a casual conversation with a lady sitting next to me turns to dentistry. She’s had them all done! Shiny white veneers from top to bottom. I’ve heard the many stories of great work and cheap prices but for some reason I have avoided, or maybe not really avoided, I’ve just never thought about getting my dental work done in Asia and we’ve lived here for six years.

 

When I think about it, it’s crazy I haven’t considered it. I guess I’ve always been a little apprehensive and concerned about quality and hygiene. Given I have crowns and fillings lining my mouth it’s something I have now come to consider as previous work starts to degrade and the ravages of time mean that replacement is now imminent. A recent checkup in London before I left revealed a chipped crown. After price checking crowns in the UK (not too bad) and Australia where the price of each one could support a small family in Vietnam for a year or buy a Vespa, both of which are more appealing ways to dish out my cash, I’ve taken the plunge.

 

I’ve done the internet scroll and found a place that advertised as ‘international’ with clients from all over the world. They have clinics all over Vietnam and opened in Nha Trang three months ago. Given that’s an easy set up whether you have testimonials or not. Reading their website a pop up opens and I start a real time conversation and have booked in for the next day. Just a checkup to start. I arrive to a clean, fresh townhouse with welcoming staff. I’m a little early and escorted upstairs to meet the dentist (doctor) who speaks perfect English and so we begin. She apologises for her English as she studied in Paris so French and Vietnamese are her first languages. OK then.

 

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I have checkups and cleans every six months in London when I am there and the last was three weeks ago, which as we start the initial consultation and Dr Ho mapped out my mouth with a telescopic camera makes me wonder why I bothered. While the front of my teeth seem clean enough, the backs slap me in the face when I see the stains.

 

So firstly a clean. At $20 it’s worth a go and the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos speak for themselves. Something else strikes me as we continue. The dentist seems to care. We take a walk around my mouth via the photos on screen. I’ve really just come to discuss replacing the crown that is chipped. Now however I see another two are chipped.

 

I’ve been complaining about food stuck between a gap for some time. Just floss it out and use these wire brushes to clean was the response. Mind the gap! Now I know why. I can’t imagine how this hasn’t been picked up and how I didn’t choke as a piece, like a huge iceberg crashing free from it’s glacial host into the sea, has broken off and disappeared.

 

No doubt I passed that through my system months ago. Anyway there are also two fillings to replace that look dodgy. So let’s do them now? OK. There’s a cavity underneath one that takes some time to clean out. The dentist puts a material in the tooth that will nurture and protect the tooth and will replace it with a composite on another visit for no extra charge. Did I hear that right?

 

I’m apprehensive as the dentist suggests no needle as it ‘isn’t good for your health’ but don’t worry ‘I’ll be gentle!’. Didn’t feel a thing and afterwards I can eat and drink without drooling like I’ve had a stroke.

 

I’ve booked to have my crowns replaced. Three for the price of one in Australia and less than half the price of one in London. I am heading to Ho Chi Minh city shortly on my way to London and we decide to do two there as my dentist will be there when I am and they can scan in the morning and have them fitted later that day. The third I’ll get sorted when I return to Nha Trang. In Nha Trang it may take two days. Really?!

 

I arrive at the clinic in Saigon (as locals still call it) and as I have a couple of days to pass decide to have the scans and impressions done and return the next day for fitting leaving plenty of time for a final check if need be. On my return one fits perfectly whilst the other needs a little adjustment. The technician pops in to have a look, takes it away and returns fifteen minutes later. My dentist is not available this morning so another does the fitting and she can’t quite get this one to fit perfectly. I’m getting pushed for time now so we arrange for me to return the next morning to see a crown specialist, early as I fly out at 2pm. He drills, just a little and pops it on.

 

My first experience here will not be my last. Caring professionals provide treatment with gentle hands and attention to the finest details. I have however taken away a couple of lessons. My original dentist in Nha Trang is excellent and her communication and knowledge is exceptional. I will insist on seeing her at all times. In Nha Trang she is the resident doctor so all’s good. Secondly while all done in a day sounds great in theory, and in some cases in may be, with major work allow a couple of days for unexpected hiccups. While you may feel like the only person they are treating, there are other appointments you may need to work around.

 

Medical tourism is a booming industry and for good reason. You can fly over, book a hotel, bring the kids, have some work done and a holiday and still have cash to spare compared to the prices in Australia and London and I can only imagine inmost other western countries. Who can afford dental work in the States? Time will tell if the choice I have made has been worthwhile. I live in Nha Trang and split my time between there and London so I am privileged to have choice. For the time being, I have made mine.

 

Source: Expat Lifehttps://expatlifeinthailand.com/health-and-beauty/dentistry-in-vietnam/

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34 minutes ago, Fairynuff said:

A good read, particularly if like me you’re not the easiest patient. I’ve found a brilliant dentist in Bangkok with excellent prices, good English and very considerate of my anxieties 

I have seen been to this dentist office in Bangkok but the and the German dentist office in Jomtien and this German dentist in Jomtien was at least 30% cheaper and the office was a lot better and the dentist at the German dental office seem to know more.

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If you live in Bangkok there is certainly no need to go to Vietnam. I have not tried any of the clinics that cater for the general local population in Bangkok although they may well be perfectly good, but at the clinics here where the dentists have typically studied and worked in the US and target the international community here, I have found over the last 20 years, that the standard is absolutely first class, and I would challenge it to be bettered anywhere in the world. It's true the prices at these clinics (of which many are located inside the international hospitals here) are higher than at those used by most locals here, but the fees are covered by most health insurance policies anyway. From my memory the treatment that I recall receiving in the UK in the past just does not compare, and I would never contemplate ever using the NHS there again; and the treatment that I recall receiving in Australia, although excellent, is far more expensive, and certainly no better that here.

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Went to the same dentist in Pattaya for over 15 years and with my lousy teeth probably saw the guy over a 100 times:had everything done there :fillings, crowns, root canals, implants :excellent work and cheaper than most :started giving me discounts after some time. 

Then last year I moved to Vietnam (Delta area), didn't take long for my teeth to act up again, found a clinic that looked clean modern (was a little worried that for that reason it might be a little expensive) :she did a double root treatment on 2 severely infected teeth :when the bill came I thought I had missed a zero :It was was so cheap, even compared to Thailand, let alone the west. Only problem was communication :her English was very basic, but with the help of Google translate and a phone call to a Vietnamese friend to translate, we managed. 

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1 hour ago, jkcjag said:

It's true the prices at these clinics (of which many are located inside the international hospitals here) are higher than at those used by most locals here, but the fees are covered by most health insurance policies anyway.

Really?  Sure are not covered by mine.  Dental is normally a separate policy in USA and not covered by health insurance AFAIK.  Believe quality is good but prices are not that low in name hospitals of Bangkok.  That said I do use their services rather than a soi shophouse facility (which found less than ideal in past).

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21 minutes ago, lopburi3 said:

Really?  Sure are not covered by mine.  Dental is normally a separate policy in USA and not covered by health insurance AFAIK.  Believe quality is good but prices are not that low in name hospitals of Bangkok.  That said I do use their services rather than a soi shophouse facility (which found less than ideal in past).

I’m not sure what your issue with shophouses is, a phobia perhaps? My dentist is in a small soi off sukhumvit though not a shophouse. The standard would rival anything in my home country but prices I’d estimate around half. Clientele are probably 50% Thai

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There are good and bad - but the hallmark of Thai dentistry is specialization, just as for doctors of medicine, and that means large offices with more doctors rather than the single or two dentist shophouse.  Have experienced a few very unsanitary places.  FYI grandfather and two uncles were dentists so know a bit about how a single person office should look - and it should be clean!

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i have a known tooth enamel abrasion that can cause pain. a walked into a random hanoi dentist and the lady doctor put some composite on the abrasion and i felt a whole lot better. she refused to accept money. we have been friends on facebook since

 

sure if i returned for significant dental work / time consuming she'd charge me but the gesture of goodwill is unforgettable

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if in Hanoi in the Tay Ho (Westlake) district there is an excellent dental clinic on the ground floor of the Fraser Suites building (8 years ago)...not cheap but the work was top class...all locally trained VN staff...

 

I wouldn't take my dog to a dentist in the UK...they were laughable...I got better treatment in medieval Bolivia 50 years ago...

 

 

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20 hours ago, jkcjag said:

If you live in Bangkok there is certainly no need to go to Vietnam. I have not tried any of the clinics that cater for the general local population in Bangkok although they may well be perfectly good, but at the clinics here where the dentists have typically studied and worked in the US and target the international community here, I have found over the last 20 years, that the standard is absolutely first class, and I would challenge it to be bettered anywhere in the world. It's true the prices at these clinics (of which many are located inside the international hospitals here) are higher than at those used by most locals here, but the fees are covered by most health insurance policies anyway. From my memory the treatment that I recall receiving in the UK in the past just does not compare, and I would never contemplate ever using the NHS there again; and the treatment that I recall receiving in Australia, although excellent, is far more expensive, and certainly no better that here.

Your comment about the treatment in Australia is correct, I live in the North and the treatment I have received here is as good as anything received in Australia only substantially cheaper.

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23 hours ago, jkcjag said:

If you live in Bangkok there is certainly no need to go to Vietnam. I have not tried any of the clinics that cater for the general local population in Bangkok although they may well be perfectly good, but at the clinics here where the dentists have typically studied and worked in the US and target the international community here, I have found over the last 20 years, that the standard is absolutely first class, and I would challenge it to be bettered anywhere in the world. It's true the prices at these clinics (of which many are located inside the international hospitals here) are higher than at those used by most locals here, but the fees are covered by most health insurance policies anyway. From my memory the treatment that I recall receiving in the UK in the past just does not compare, and I would never contemplate ever using the NHS there again; and the treatment that I recall receiving in Australia, although excellent, is far more expensive, and certainly no better that here.

 

i would say a very small % of thai dentists have studied/practiced dentistry in the usa they would have needed to pass usa dental boards and then need to gain acceptance in special university programs where they essentially repeat clinical years and such programs are exceedingly expensive by usa standards let alone thai standards. the infamous thai lady dentist did this at harvard, the one that renegged on her agreement to repay the lender.  attending linited workshops or courses is a different story. not uncommon to claim they trained in the usa when in fact they attended a company sponsored workshop.

 

on the other hand there have historically been lots of thai medical doctors in usa residency programs.

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