Last week you noticed your teeth were a little more sensitive than usual.
A few days later that sensitivity grew into an underlying ache.
Today, the ache turned into a throbbing pain and you couldn’t eat.
Now you know it’s time to see a dentist.
But you’re probably wondering: Are dentists in Bangkok safe? How much do they cost? Where should I go?
This guide shows how to pick the right dentist in Bangkok, where to go for general and complex treatment, and how much it costs.
- 1 Why Get Dental Treatment in Bangkok?
- 2 Types of Dentists
- 3 Types of Dental Clinics
- 4 Price of Quality Treatment
- 5 Getting Dental Coverage
- 6 Finding the Best Dentist
- 7 Visiting the Dentist
- 8 Now, on to You
Why Get Dental Treatment in Bangkok?
Bangkok is a popular destination to get your teeth treated.
Dentists in Bangkok work in clean clinics with safe, modern equipment and offer rates lower than what you pay in other countries.
For example, you pay $30 for a tooth filling in Bangkok at brand-name dental clinics. To get your tooth filled in America, on the other hand, you pay $150.
And the average cost of a root canal in Bangkok is roughly $300. The same procedure costs you $1,000 in America or $1,500 in Australia.
Some doctors and nurses in Europe, America, and Australia even make it a point to get their dental treatment done while they vacation in Thailand.
So if you need to see a dentist in Bangkok, you’re in good hands.
Types of Dentists
You have two choices for dentists in Bangkok: general dentists and specialists.
Dentists in Bangkok are internationally qualified. After graduating, many of them study in countries like America, Germany, England, and Australia.
And most of them speak good English.
General dentists study for four years in dental school. After that, they spend another two years training in a hospital to get their dental license.
General dentists can treat your teeth for:
General dentists can also take care of complex procedures like braces, crowns, root canals, and so on.
But if you want to play it safe it’s better to see a dentist who specializes in these procedures.
You can a general dentist’s license by visiting the Dental Council of Thailand’s website. Enter their first and last names and you get their credentials.
But the website is only available in Thai.
General dentists who spend another one-to-three years studying a specific dental field at accredited dental schools become specialists.
In addition to their extra years of study, specialists deal with complex procedures more than general dentists.
For example, an endodontist deals with over 20 root canal cases a week. But a general dentist might deal with two of those cases in the same week.
Here’s a list of specialists you can find in Bangkok with their respective specialties:
- aesthetic dentists (crowns, whitening, veneers)
- endodontists (root canal)
- implantologists (teeth implants)
- oral surgeons (oral surgery)
- orthodontists (braces, retainers)
- periodontists (periodontal disease and oral inflammation)
- prosthodontists (replacing teeth)
If you need an orthodontist, read our guide on where to get braces in Bangkok.
Types of Dental Clinics
Dentists in Bangkok don’t only work from clinics. You have four choices when it comes to visiting dentists in Bangkok:
- brand-name dental clinics
- privately-owned clinics
- dental schools
You can get dental treatment at each of these places, and they each have their pros and cons.
Let’s take a look at each of your choices.
Brand-Name Dental Clinics
Brand-name dental clinics specialize in general and complex dental procedures and have branches throughout Bangkok.
When compared to privately-owned clinics, brand-name dental clinics offer better facilities and more modern equipment, and they cater to more expats.
Bangkok International Dental Clinic
One of the well-known brand-name clinics in Bangkok is Bangkok International Dental Clinic, or BIDC.
BIDC was the first dental clinic in Thailand to get accreditation by the JCI and has over seventy English-speaking dentists on staff.
Their headquarters is on Ratchadapisek Road, but BIDC have been expanding their branches to many popular places like:
- Siam Paragon
- Central Festival Eastville
Karsten Aichholz, the founder of Thailand Starter Kit, has been going to BIDC since 2008.
Bangkok Dental Smile
Bangkok Dental Smile is another popular brand-name clinic. They have four branches in Bangkok:
- Sukhumvit 5
Aside from BIDC and Bangkok Dental Smile, you can check out the clinics below. They also have specialists for all kinds of treatment.
- Srisuk Dental Care
- Truth Dental Clinic
- iDentist Clinic
- Smile & Co. Dental Clinic
- Siam Family Dental
Another way to find a dentist is to ask your friends and neighbors. They might be able to recommend a clinic.
Privately-Owned Dental Clinics
You can find privately-owned dental clinics on the streets and inside malls of Bangkok. They are usually owned by one dentist but could have a few dentists working there.
Dentists at privately-owned clinics can handle general procedures and might be able to do complex procedures depending on the dentist and the equipment.
If you choose a privately-owned clinic, be sure to check customer feedback.
Facilities and quality at privately-owned clinics vary. You might find private clinics with basic equipment or similar facilities to brand-name clinics.
As for prices, you might get a quote of 5,000 baht for wisdom tooth removal from one clinic and a quote of 2,000 baht from another.
Your can save money by going to dental schools if you’re willing to let dental students work on you under the guidance of instructors.
You could pay less than 200 baht for a tooth removal at the dental school. The same procedure would cost you around 1,000 baht at a clinic.
But since you’re getting treated by dental students, you might be under the light a bit longer and you could experience more pain than if you went to a professional.
Dental school clinics usually open from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM on weekdays with an hour break at lunch.
If you plan to get dental work done at a dental school, get there early to beat the long lines.
You can also make appointments to see dental instructors at dental schools, but expect to pay more than you would at individual clinics.
Three popular dental schools in Bangkok are:
You should bring a Thai translator with you since these schools may not have English-speaking staff on hand.
You can see a dentist at government and private hospitals in Bangkok. Facilities, qualities, and prices depend on each hospital.
If you go to a government hospital prepare to wait a long time to see the dentist. We know someone who waited two years to get his jaw fixed.
Going to a private hospital for dental work isn’t the most popular method either, since private hospitals charge for nurses’ and hospital fees.
In Bangkok, you should go to the hospital if you get sick or injured or to get a health checkup, but not for dental work.
Now that you know your options when it comes to dentists and clinics, let’s move on to finding a dentist that can help you.
Price of Quality Treatment
The cost of seeing a dentist in Bangkok depends on:
- which clinic you go to
- how complex your case is
One clinic might charge you 1,200 baht to extract your tooth, while the other might charge you 2,000 baht.
But on top of that, either clinic may charge someone else 800 baht for a tooth extraction.
Confused yet? Don’t be.
To simplify, the price you pay depends on how much work you need.
You can find the estimated costs of dental work for various dental clinics in the table below. Prices are in Thai baht.
|BIDC||10K to 20K||9K to 15K||33K to 60K||60K to 195K|
|Truth Dental Clinic||8.2K to 20K||8K to 16K||45K to 85K||55K to 195K|
|iDentist Clinic||9K to 20K||5K to 9K||55K to 80K||38K to 170K|
|PMDC||15K to 17K||8K to 12K||75K||85K to 180K|
|CU Dental School||8K to 16K||5K to 8K||70K||52K to 160K|
|MU Dental School||7K to 8K||5K to 8K||50K||-|
*Price per tooth.
Getting Dental Coverage
You can get coverage for dental work through either Thailand’s Social Security system or insurance.
Let’s take a look at both options and how they could cut the cost of your dental work.
If you work legally in Thailand you’re entitled to Social Security benefits. You get dental coverage with these annual limits per treatment:
- 900 baht for tooth removal, filling, and cleaning combined
- 1,500 baht for prosthodontic treatment of a few teeth
- 4,400 baht for prosthodontic treatment of all teeth
Although the coverage doesn’t amount to much, consider it a freebie from the Social Security taxes you pay every month.
Back in January of 2017, Social Security set up direct billing with thousands of dental clinics in Thailand.
If you get dental work done at these clinics, you don’t need to pay anything up front as long as the price is under the coverage limits we mention above.
Clinics with the direct billing system set up have Social Security stickers and logos followed by the Thai memo:
“สถานพยาบาลแห่งนี้ให้บริการผู้ประกันตนกรณีทันตกรรม ทำฟัน ไม่ต้องสำรองจ่าย”
“This clinic is under Social Security. You can get dental coverage without having to make an advanced payment.”
If a clinic doesn’t have a direct billing system, you can hand in your claim at any Social Security office up to two years after you get dental treatment.
You need to bring these documents:
- SSO dental coverage form (สปส.2–16)*
- medical certificate
- a signed copy of your passport
- a copy of the first page of your bank account passbook**
*Provided by the dental clinic.
**Not required if you’re reimbursed in cash.
You can also give power of attorney to someone you trust, like a human resources officer in your company, and ask them to make a claim for you.
Most insurance companies offer dental coverage as an add-on. But you might have to wait nine to 24 months before you can use your dental coverage.
The dental coverage from private insurance works like Social Security coverage but you get a higher limit and coverage for all dental treatment.
For example, with Luma Health Care Plan 4 you get a 32,000-baht annual limit. You can make immediate claims for routine treatments like cleanings and removals.
But you have to wait nine months for major treatment such as orthodontics, prostheses bridges, and implants.
With the ACS Gold Plan, you get an annual limit of 33,000 baht. But you only get coverage for 90% of your dental costs.
And you can get dental coverage with ACS without having to wait the nine to 24 months.
But you have to get expensive treatment like prostheses and implants approved by ACS beforehand.
Finding the Best Dentist
You won’t find one dentist in Bangkok that’s better than all the rest. Instead, the best dentist for you is the one you’re comfortable using.
Although you can get dental treatment done in any clinic, you should choose wisely.
You don’t want any old dentist drilling and scraping and pulling at your teeth.
You want the process to be quick and painless.
You also want to pick a good dentist because you see that dentist at least twice a year–more often if you get braces or implants.
You can find horror stories online of people getting braces from unqualified orthodontists, further damaging their teeth.
So you should consider four things when looking for a dentist in Bangkok.
Let’s look at all four points more closely.
To check a dentist’s years of experience, enter their first and last names on the Dental Council of Thailand’s website.
The results show you how many years they’ve been a dentist.
But if you can’t read Thai you need to get help from someone who can, since the website is in Thai.
If you need complex dental work, see a specialist. Since not all dentists are specialists, you need to call the clinic and ask them if they have a specialist.
Some clinics may post this info on their websites.
You should go to the dentist at least twice a year. This means you want a dentist who is easy to get from where you live.
But if you need complex treatment, it may be worth it to travel a little further for a specialist.
Most clinics have their prices listed on their websites or at their clinics. But some prices may change depending on your needs.
For example, you might pay 750 baht for a light cleaning at a clinic but 1,500 for a heavy cleaning at the same clinic.
If you need complex treatment, you shouldn’t cut costs for less-qualified dentists. Get the right treatment the first time by a specialist, or you could end up paying twice.
Considering these four points, you should check out Bangkok International Dental Clinic.
As we mentioned earlier, Karsten Aichholz has been using BIDC since 2008 and has never had any problems with them.
Visiting the Dentist
When you visit a dentist in Bangkok you face the same process as you would back home. You make an appointment, arrive early, see the dentist, and pay the bill.
Making an Appointment
Although you don’t need to make an appointment, you should do so.
This way you know for sure the dentist will be available when you get to the clinic.
To make an appointment you can call the clinic, send a message on Facebook, email them, or fill out the contact form on their website.
If you want to see a certain dentist, let them know when you send your message.
After making an appointment, you should arrive at the clinic at least five to ten minutes before your appointment.
If it’s your first visit, get there 15 minutes early so you can register.
Certain clinics may ask for your passport so bring it with you. You can also use a government-issued ID like your Thai driving license.
If you have insurance, you should tell them when you register.
If you show up without an appointment, staff screens you and sends you to a dentist that can help you at that time.
Normally, you see a general dentist. But you can ask to see a specialist.
Seeing the Dentist
The dentist might send you for x-rays before you get treated. This depends on your dentist.
General cleanings and checkups take from ten minutes to more than an hour, depending on your case.
If your case is too complex, a general dentist might refer you to a specialist.
Once you get treatment, the dentist sends you to the lobby where you pay the bill.
Paying the Bill
Most of the time you have to pay the bill with cash. You can use credit cards at brand-name dental clinics and some privately-owned clinics.
If the clinic you visit doesn’t have direct billing set-up with your insurance company, the clinic gives you the necessary paperwork so you can make a claim.
Paperwork you should get include:
- the Social Security Office form
- medical certificate
After you pay, you get an appointment card for a follow-up visit or to schedule further treatment, if needed.
Now, on to You
Don’t hesitate to see a dentist when you have problems with your teeth. It’s safe, cheap, and the process is the same as back home.
With prices being cheaper than you’d find back home, and with quality of care being on par or better, you really do have no excuses to seeing a dentist in Bangkok.