Dental treatment is feared by so many people.
I never ever recalled looking forward to going to the dentist. That is until now. What would cause anyone to say such a thing? Well as of now, I can honestly say I have changed my mind. The quick painless results have turned this dentalphobic around.
I've always heard that dental care in Thailand as well as many other medical and surgical procedures are not only affordable, they are safe and "state of the art" in terms of quality and efficiency. Having visited Pattaya Thailand before, and visited this particular dental office once for a filling that fell out, I was amazed at the fact I walked in and 15 minutes later I was in the Dentist's chair being worked on. Within the hour my cavity was fixed and the new filling was firmly in place. The best surprise was the total bill was 3000 Baht. (About $100.00 USD)!
Two years passed since then and I have been having increasing dental problems due to age and frankly some neglect. Last month I re-visited the "Pattaya Dentist" to see what they could do about my lose temporary crown I have been nursing for a few months back home in America. I was waiting in hopes I could make it back to Thailand before it finally dislodged in an unwelcome way in an unknown meal. Eating was almost like playing Russian Roulette for a few months as I anticipated my trip. On my first visit for this problem the first dentist I met advised me to make an appointment with the clinic's founder, who was the "hands-down specialist" on all things root canal, and custom crown work.
Upon meeting him he went right to work. The hand held X-ray machine being positioned by one of his attractive professional staff was my first clue this was no ordinary dental office. I may be old school but last time I visited a dentist in America they were still using the cumbersome roll around cast iron X-Ray machines with a heavy lead blanket to protect your reproductive equipment.... No such thing here. First clue about futuristic things to come. I must say that the level of professional communications in Thai between the technicians and the doctor was efficient and flawless. Very low-key. A steady stream of tools being supplied to the dentist by his team of young dental technicians functioning like a well-trained, well-oiled machine, and the doctor being the maestro that he is was working at a pace that was truly impressive. No hesitation to go from one procedure to the next, no wasted time, and no mistakes. This was indeed a well-rehearsed procedure. Obviously one that they have done hundreds if not thousands of times.
He told me he has been doing this over 20 years now and was educated in Bangkok. He also
explained that there are many new techniques and technologies at hand in his office that would make it possible to do an entire root canal, implant posts in the tooth that grip the crown, manufacture a new crown and install it all in one day! Whoa!!! One day? Again last time I had a root canal it took two months, five visits, and was a completely disheartening experience.
The thought of this getting done in one day? How could this be? How much would it cost?
I was about to find out.
First things was the Novocain shots which were painless due to his steady hands and a dash of numbing gel. Removal of the loose crown. No big deal. More X-Rays to access and plan the procedure. The excavation part is never easy but it was absolutes painless. The tooth and nerve were completely dead and this part might sound worse than it was. He wen into the nerve canals with very small progressively longer flexible drills that removed all former nerve tissue. Again no pain and dare I say actually interesting. Especially knowing he was clearing a path for a permanent pin that would keep the tooth healthy indefinitely. It's what we all want right? I felt the rapid progress and with each passing minute I was more and more impressed with this dentist who was wielding many seriously well engineered tools. He was every bit as artistic with his craftsmanship as some of the finest concert-level musicians.
When that procedure was complete he didn't miss a beat when he picked up the amazing laser digital oral imaging known as an "Intra-Oral-Scanner" and started wielding it in many different positions within the confines of my mouth. It sounded like it was snapping about three images per as it built a three-dimensional color image of my exact tooth and gum structure on the computer screen before us. It really was like something out of a Star Trek episode!
That being done, I was through with the first phase of this amazing day. The good doctor asked me to come back in two hours to fit the crown! Really? How. Could this be possible? Well, it turns out he also has the 3-D ceramic hydro-jet milling machine located upstairs in the same building. This machine completes that entire process. Making it possible to the qualified dentist to deliver an entire root canal and custom crown installed in four hours or less. The "Trios Pod" laser images are converted into complex mathematical equations, then delivered to the "Mes-iCore 140i" 60,000 rpm milling machine upstairs. A blank ceramic cube is loaded into the precision water jet lathe, a button is pushed, and twenty minutes later you have a color matched polished tooth that should fit perfectly, and does!
I returned two hours later while the Novocain was still in effect. After sliding back into the comfortable patient seat he and his very well coordinated team went right to town in fitting the new crown. It fit perfectly with only minuscule adjustments after the final glue hardened.
I was sent away with five days worth of antibiotics to take care of any residual infection not taken care of by the procedure. The doctor said because there was a little bit of infection deep in my jaw that the medicine would take care of that in a few days and it did.
The best part was this entire experience cost me only 17,000 Baht, which is about $493.00 at current rates. Hmmmm,,,, have you priced a root canal and crown in America lately?
This business known as "Pattaya Dentist" located at 32/14 S. PATTAYA Rd. M. 10 Nongprue, Banglamung Chonburi, 20260 Tel: +66-038-424222
Editorial supplied by Lee Floyd