One December morning in 2010, Jackie Green’s car was broadsided at an intersection by a speeding vehicle that had run a red light. Jackie was fortunate; she was not seriously injured, but the sideswipe pitched her forward, so her mouth struck the steering wheel. She broke her two front teeth and several others were damaged by the impact. Her dentist reconstructed the two missing teeth by means of a bridge, but apart from whitening, he was not much help when it came to the remaining harm. She felt her appearance had been marred and wanted to recapture the warm smile of pre-accident days. That’s when she started investigating orthodontics.
Orthodontics is the clinical term for cosmetic dentistry. Thanks to the innovative techniques of Charles Pincus back in the 1970s, dental veneers have leaped to the forefront of modern orthodontic procedures. A veneer is a layer of restorative material placed over the outer surface of a tooth to improve its appearance or to protect it because of damage. These delicate veneers are made from a vinyl composite or from more durable porcelain. Done well these stick on films can enhance the appearance and provide protection in a manner that is easy and relatively comfortable for the patient. However, this expert dental work does not come cheaply.
Dentists in Thailand have always kept abreast of new techniques in their field. This means they are fully capable of producing and fitting world class veneers. Typically in the USA a veneer can cost anywhere between $1000 and $3000 per tooth. It was the price that tempted Jackie to Thailand for her treatment. Thanks to some diligent Internet searching she found she could have veneers fitted much cheaper than at home. The difference made it worth her while to fly half way across the world to attend a dental clinic in Phuket. She used a expert medical tourism company, Lotus Medical International also based in Phuket. They made all the arrangements for her, looking after her from the moment she arrived to the time she departed. They arranged the dental appointments and found her first rate accommodation for the duration of her stay on the island. This made the process easy and stress free for Jackie to obtain excellent treatment but also gave her the gift of a sunshine holiday.
Costs vary and depend on the sort of material that the Thai dentist uses to make the veneers. The composites are cheaper; they look good but are not as hard wearing as the more durable porcelain variety. Jackie wanted to improve her appearance, but it was also necessary to protect her teeth as they were already damaged. In her case, the porcelain variety was the recommended option. Thanks to the improvement in adhesives, once cemented onto teeth, veneers can hold for twenty plus years! The porcelain was more expensive, but Jackie was glad to be advised by her dentist. Another advantage of coming to Thailand is the high quality of the treatment. Back home high costs might have forced her to make a cheaper choice but would that have been cost effective with the unfolding of the years?
Jackie was truly delighted with the treatment she received from her Thai dentist, in all she only had three dental visits. This is not always the case, but her Phuket dentist was trained in work with veneers. He was able to prepare her mouth for the porcelain shields in the first session and then send the impression to the lab for the actual production of the veneer. In the second session, a few days later the lab returned the finished product for fitting. There were some alterations necessary, including a better color match, which was done, and the finished veneer fitted on the third visit. This time the color was perfect for her, and she was delighted at the service she received in the land of smiles.