Thinking of heading over for a Thailand dental holiday?
We’re seeing a lot more advertising these days for Thailand dental clinics attracting kiwis over to have their teeth fixed up in a Thai clinic. Sometimes this works out great, as the prices are often cheaper in Thailand compared to New Zealand dentists.
There are three different ways people are approaching the Thailand dental holiday.
- Contacting a Thailand dental holiday travel agent who books the travel and the treatment in advance. Usually this means you need a New Zealand dentist to provide the x-rays before you travel. The Thailand dental holiday travel agent will also usually be tied to a specific clinic and possibly be receiving rewards from them for referring your treatment. You should ask any ‘agent’ questions about referral fees and possible kick-backs.
- Contacting a Thai dental clinic directly to organise treatment. This can be problematic as language barriers can cause misunderstandings in exactly what treatment is required. This can result in inaccurate price quoting and surprises when you tun up at the Thai clinic. There is also thee issue of picking the right clinic. Some clinics are much worse than others, and the poor ones often advertise heavily to attract new patients (and therefore are more visible on Google searches) as they cannot rely on positive word-of-mouth for their business.
- The third option is usually to avoid the issues patients face in the two points above. Sometimes patients book their own travel and just ask the local taxi driver or hotel concierge to refer them to a clinic. This of course will be hit-and-miss.
The Thailand dental holiday sounds like a great idea because of the cheap up-front price that gets quoted. We often hear friends and acquaintances boasting about how they got a great deal in Thailand and would ‘do it again’.
And there is the big problem.
They usually DO have to ‘do it again’.
Because of the hit-and-miss nature of the dental clinics in Thailand, we see many cases where the treatment is so poor that it has to be completely redone. The problem for the patient is, as a lay-person, it is impossible for them to know when in Thailand whether the treatment has been done to a high or poor standard. They return to New Zealand having spent all that cash, only to have problems begin developing in the months and years after. The only recourse they have is to return to Thailand at their own expense to have the original clinic fix up the mess.
Often, we end up fixing these problems in New Zealand as the patient is unwilling (or unable to afford) another trip. Sometimes this results in the patients paying all over again for their treatment.
So before you make the decision to go to Thailand, have a chat with one of our dentists. You may be pleasantly surprised as the fees are often not much more that what you will pay for the Thailand dental holiday package. And if the Thailand treatment ends up having to be redone, then you can often end up paying much much more.
Anyway, dental treatment is not always the most enjoyable experience. Let’s face it! So why mix it with a ‘holiday’?