This entry isn’t an advertorial. I’m writing this just to share with you my journey to getting braces in Thailand.
Growing up, I had always had crooked teeth. I also had a lot of cavities, and that explains the many fillings on my teeth.
The old black fillings which I got when I was younger were still visible on some of my teeth. But nowadays there are the tooth-coloured composite fillings, so I guess that should do dental aesthetics some justice.
Anyway, for over 30 years I had to put up with bad teeth, with no intention whatsoever to get them straightened, simply because it would cost a bomb in Malaysia. My sister got hers done for just RM1,000 or so at the government dental clinic, but that was only because she was under 17.
I attempted to get my teeth aligned by an unlicensed street dentist when I traveled to Hatyai some 7 years ago. But having no knowledge of orthodontic treatment back then, I naively thought that getting a freaking retainer would do the job!
So truth be told – I only wore it for a couple of nights before chucking it at a corner and leaving it to rot. HAHA!
So fast forward to my stint as a teacher in Thailand. My then girlfriend (now fiancée) has had her braces on for quite sometime. Initially I was hesitating whether or not to get braces in Thailand – at least at the same dental clinic as hers since she said her orthodontist was good and the price reasonable. However, I eventually decided not to do it as I wasn’t sure if I would stay in Thailand long enough to receive the long-term treatment.
Those two years in Thailand were when my oral health received the least of care as I indulged myself in all sorts of good food and snacks. So naturally tooth decays and cavities began to happen and I ended up having to visit the government dental clinic for a few times to address the problem.
One of the dentists who treated me expressed shock upon seeing the condition of my teeth. She asked if I had ever experienced a fall before, which affected the structure of my upper teeth because my upper teeth looked as if they were about to collapse! And yes, “collapse” was the word she used.
After being told of the serious condition of my teeth and also advised to get orthodontic treatment as soon as possible, I decided not to take risk with my teeth and proceeded to make an appointment with my other half’s orthodontist.
Speaking of dental braces in Thailand, they are EXTREMELY popular. Walking down any street in Thailand, you would easily bump into people – teenagers especially – with braces. Because of that, orthodontic services are competitive in Thailand and most orthodontists are also very skilled.
But of course, many of the braces people are wearing are also fake ones, and people wear them as a fashion accessory. It can be dangerous and deadly, but I’m not going to go into that.
My orthodontic treatment costs a very reasonable 35,000 Thai Baht (about RM4,300) for three years. In Malaysia it would cost around RM5,000-6,000. At the clinic I go, customers could either opt for the lump-sum payment or monthly installments at a reasonable cost of 1,000 Baht with each visit. I chose the latter, and didn’t need to pay any deposit, unlike at some dental clinics.
Like I’ve said earlier, my teeth were in a horrible condition, and that needed to be rectified before I could proceed with the orthodontic treatment. I spent quite a bit getting not one, not two, but about ten teeth (re-)filled and another extracted! But the total amount spent was still way cheaper than if I did in Malaysia.
My orthodontist had to make sure that all my teeth were in a good condition before she could put braces on them.
Below I will take you through the journey of my orthodontic treatment.
The following picture was taken in May 2016 in Bangkok, a few months before I got my braces:
From the front, the condition of my crooked teeth may not look too serious, until…
Holy cricket, they looked like the collapsing log bridges in some areas of Sarawak the government didn’t pump money into!!!
This was when I finally got my braces after a few rounds of dental treatment (i.e., fillings, removal of a tooth). However my orthodontist said she would only put on the bottom braces two month later.
Damn ugly. Make sure you’re not eating when looking at these pictures.
No visible changes yet on the upper teeth after a month.
The same month that my orthodontist installed braces on my bottom teeth, the upper ones began to see some improvement. Amazing results given only two months’ time!
The brackets are beginning to be aligned into a straight line, how amazing!
This picture was taken during the Valentine’s Day, hence the many love stickers from students:
My orthodontist got the jagged edges and chips of my front, bottom teeth sanded, so they looked so much neater now.
In just five months time, this was how much the structure of my upper teeth had evolved:
A picture clearly showing the condition of my upper teeth, eight months into my journey of getting braces in Thailand:
At the time of writing this entry, my teeth are of course a lot more straightened compared to the last picture above. While my upper teeth are now near-perfect, the bottom ones will require some major jobs done, and that includes fixing the tiny, triangle-shaped gaps between some of my teeth.
As both the second molar teeth at the bottom had been extracted before due to decays, I’m looking at the option of tooth implants, perhaps sometime in 2019.
So anyway, I shall update you with the Part 2 of my orthodontic journey when the time is right.
I doubt any sane Malaysian would go all the way to Thailand to get their braces done, but just in case you’re based in Chumphon, Thailand or any of the areas nearby, and considering to get braces in Thailand, below is the dental clinic I go to:
Again I don’t get paid to write this post, but feel that good things should be shared. The only orthodontist at this clinic is experienced, gentle, and discusses with you on how you want the look of your teeth to be before proceeding to recommend the best procedures.