Tanya's Dentist Diary from 2012 in Chiang Mai, Thailand

My first dentist appointment of many - so excited!

Not many people like going to the dentist. I, on the other hand, really enjoy it. I have had a lot of problems with my teeth in the past. A mixture of poor dental hygiene as a young adult, the genetics I was lucky enough to receive and teeth grinding in my sleep has provided me with a constant need for dental work.

When we were living in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2009 I had a few toothypeg issues that needed to be sorted urgently. Visiting a number of not so suitable dental surgeries took us finally to Grace Dental Clinic. They are situated on a soi (side street) off Nimmenhaemin in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Full details will be provided at the end of this post.

I received such good dental work from this surgery that I knew I would be back to get other dental work completed. Grace Dental Clinic may be a little more expensive than other surgeries in Chiang Mai but they are just so good!

So, here I am back in Chiang Mai again. Off to the dentist again to get yet more dental work done. A lot of it too. I was scared about what was going to happen but I was also excited. If it meant a few weeks of agony to have no pain for a long time, it would be worth it.

During the time I spent in Chiang Mai going to Grace Dental Clinic I wrote a diary. The below is pretty much unedited. I figure I would leave it just the way I wrote it. Some days I was happy, other days, very sad, very high on painkillers or very very sore. Highs and Lows, all for a healthier smile.

The before shot of my toothpegs.

03/02/2012 - Emailed Grace Dental Clinic

Emailed Grace Dental Clinic saying that I had previously been and was coming to Chiang Mai specifically to see my dentist again.
Asked to make appointments for both Andrew and I on either of the certain dates after certain times.

Hi Grace Dental Care Clinic,

My name is Tanya Davis (nee Vinci) and I was a patient of Dr Chanika in April / May 2009.
I am coming back to Chiang Mai as of Monday 6th February 2012 and would like to make an appointment with Dr Chanika again if possible.

I am available from 2pm every day for this appointment. I am looking to have some root canal work, fillings, a replacement front tooth crown and probably a lot more!

My husband, Andrew Davis, will need a check up as well. He may need a couple of fillings as well as teeth cleaning.

Can you please reply back with a suitable time for Dr Chanika from 2pm onwards from Monday 6th February 2012.

Thanks,
Tanya Davis (Tanya Vinci) and Andrew Davis

03/02/2012 - Received a call from Grace Dental Clinic

Grace Dental called me in the afternoon, very happy and booked us in for:
07/02/2012
2pm - Tanya
3pm - Andrew

I was very excited about this as I have a lot of problems with my teeth that I am hoping to get fixed up.

07/02/2012 - General check up and chat with Dr Chanika @ 2pm

We were both quite nervous about going to the dentist today. Andrew was nervous as he doesn't really like visiting them. I was nervous because this was going to be the start of a crappy road of root canals and fillings and pain killers.

We reached Grace Dental Clinic at about 1:45pm, we are nearly always early for appointments, and were greeted with smiling people and big hellos. Awww how nice ๐Ÿ™‚

Met with Dr Chanika, pleasantries aside, finding out how long we wil be in Chiang Mai for and where we are staying... we got to the teeth!

Tanya has her appointment:
I explained that I had trouble with two back teeth on my top left side that needed work asap, I also had a back bottom tooth that needed work asap, and that I wanted to replace my front fake tooth.

Mouth opened, Dr Chanika had a look, then sent me for an xray done by a lovely lady.

During this time... Andrew has his appointment:
"You may need two little fillings in about two years time."

Enough said about Andrew and his mouth, I (Tanya) am so jealous of his perfect teeth.

Tanya comes back:
Dr Chanika then tells us (Andrew was in the room) that I was going to have to have a gum and bone operation because one of my problem teeth had cracked so low that they didn't think they could just root canal and then put a veneer over it. Much discussion later, Andrew piped in as well, we decided that she needed to get a second or third opinion and to carry on with the rest of the problems.

Required:
One root canal with crown on tooth #24 - top left, three teethy pegs from the front to be started as soon as possible

Replace front left tooth crown.

Once the appointment was finished, we went back out to reception and were asked to sit down. We received our first lot of appointment cards and then off we went, enjoying Chiang Mai until...

14/02/2012 - Andrew - Teeth Cleaning with Dr Lee @ 4pm

Dr Lee mentioned that she could tell that Andrew brushes his teeth really well. It is always pleasant getting a nice compliment like that.
After the teeth cleaning, they discuss the possibility of teeth whitening.

10/02/2012 - Tanya - Root Canal Treatment with Dr Preeyanuch @ 2:30pm

Tooth #24 - Walked into the dentist reception... "Kuhn Tanya, would you like some medicine?" - "What medicine?" - "To make you calm." - "Oh, in that case, yes please!"
Thirty minutes later, I was certainly a lot calmer than what I was when I had walked through the front door.

Dr Preeyanuch and her assistant were lovely. They sat me down and explained to me what was going to happen in very good English. Back I laid and had my first dose of anaesthetic. Dr Preeanuch carried on setting up everything around me and then started to do things to my teeth. Ouchies. I could still feel the drilling, so out came the anaesthetic needle again, I was about to turn into major Elvis!

An hour later, I had my tooth "root canalled", it was cleared of all nerves and whatever else they remove. The calmative medicine certainly helped me lay calmly on the dentist chair. I may have fallen asleep at one stage.

My mouth was quite sore throughout the night, it felt quite bruised. Probably from all the drilling and the scraping and whatever else they do. Andrew was a lovely nurse and went and puchased me Tom Kah Gai (a Thai chicken soup) to eat in bed.

Till the next appointment!

14/02/2012 - Tanya - Root Canal Finishing of tooth #24 with Dr Preeyanuch @ 4:30pm

"Kuhn Tanya, would you like some medicine?" "Yes please!"

This appointment was a bit of a pain. Literally. Even though the root canal work was good, my tooth was fine, I was having referred pain when Dr Preeyanuch was putting the cement (?) into one of the canals.
An xray or two later, we were all assured that the tooth, my mouth and me would be fine.
That was a bit of a nervous appointment, the calmative didn't really make me that calm!

15/02/2012 - Tanya - A chat with Dr Chanika where we talked about what would happen next @ 1:30pm

Well, there was good news and bad news. Of course.

The good news was that I would not have to have gum and bone surgery. Dr Chanika had gotten two other opinions about my situation. There was certainly a lot of "hoorays" at this point.

It was not that I was against having surgery, if it was really necessary, then I would do it. I felt safe there. The problem was that it would take at least another 3 months before my left side of my mouth was healed. By that time, I plan to be in Cambodia!

Back to the appointment, so now that surgery wasn't required, tooth #26, left hand side, top tooth second from the back, would need a root canal. There would be no room to put a veneer on the top so a composite filling would have to do. That is fine.

Then we looked at the rest of my teeth. Yes, I have bad teeth. A mixture of bad teeth genetics, poor dental hygiene when I was young and stupid, and the fact that I grind my teeth really badly in my slep.

Tooth #36 - Bottom left side, first from the back also requires a root canal with crown.

Tooth #21 - Front tooth crown replacement - Going with a Lava Crown - meant to be the best in the business. (Getting nervous about replacing my front tooth now).

Out to reception where they gave me business cards filled with dentist appointments.

16/02/2012 - Tanya - Root Canal Treatment of tooth #26 with Dr Preeyanuch @ 1:30pm

We were late today, I got confused with what time I was meant to be at the surgery. No matter. the clinic called us and were happy when I arrived at 2:00pm.

Calmative medicine was walked over to me. Thank you receptionist!

Tooth #26's root canal was not fun in the slightest. There was four roots to clear out. It really wasn't fun. I think I had about 6 little xrays during the time. Dr Preeyanuch was making sure she did the job properly.

I would have been in the chair for over 70 minutes getting this root canal done. It wasn't fun at all, my jaw was starting to hurt, the calmative medicine was nice but not making me calm enough.

We were meant to start Tooth #36's root canal straight after, but decided to postpone that till the next day.

My handsome nurse, Andrew, picked me up from the dentist, took me home and made me rest on our hard bed. Nice. Hours later, we went for a burger, I was able to eat by then. It was ok.

Only five appointments left apparently.

17/02/2012 - Tanya - Root Canal Treatment of tooth #36 with Dr Preeyanuch @ 1:30pm

NO calmative today. I want my calmative! Todays root canal treatment was not a fun experience. It seems the anaesthetic needle hit a nerve and muscle when it was being put in. Gosh, it hurt. It really really hurt. Finally my left side of my mouth went numb after a few more goes with the anaesthetic.

Today, was not a good day. That is all I can say about it. I got through the root canal treatment while crying in the chair. My jaw really hurt.

Andrew looked after me really well. I couldn't open my mouth very far that night. I was in a lot of pain. Not from the root canal but from the needle going into the nerve / muscle.

Feeling over it all and very sore half way through my dental work

20/02/2012 - Tanya - Finishing of Root Canal Treatment of tooth #26 with Dr Preeyanuch @ 4pm

I got a call at 1pm seeing if we could come in right then instead of at 4pm. Luckily we only live a 10 minute motorcycle ride from the dentist surgery.

With trepidation, I went into Dr Preyanuch's surgery room. I really didn't want to be there. I was still in a bit of pain in my jaw and I was certainly still not feeling very well from all the anaesthetic they had pumped into me. Yes, I was vary wary about sitting back in that chair.

Explaining to Dr Preeyanuch how I was feeling made me feel a lot better. Dr Chanika came in as well. We discussed how the needle had hit a nerve or muscle that was why I was feeling so rough. They advised I should be having nurofen not asprin to help with the pain.

So, finishing of the root canal in Tooth #26... Yay! I was a good patient today. I am now able to meditate in the chair to the point where I am nearly asleep. Numerous cleaning pins and x-rays later, my root canal was completed. Thank goodness for that.

21/02/2012 - Tanya - Finishing of Root Canal Treatment of tooth #36 with Dr Preeyanuch @ 1pm

Tooth #36 - Time to get finished. This appointment started with both Dr Preeyanuch and Dr Chanika talking with me. They wanted to check how I was going, if I was still in pain, what I was taking etc. They also spent a lot of time reassuring me that everything was going well in my mouth. That was nice to hear.

I nearly fell asleep in the chair today. All these dentist appointments are really wearing me out. I didn't have any anaesthetic yesterday or today and my tummy is certianly feeling better for it. That has made a big difference.

Numerous xrays later with the root canal cleaning, it was done. Both Dr Preeyanuch and her sidekick were happy to see me on my way. I had spent a lot of time in that room with them.

23/02/12 - Tanya - Crowns for Teeth #24 and #36 with Dr Chanika - 2.5 hours @ 1pm

Two and a half hours! Today's appointment was all about getting two crowns made up for Teeth #24 and #36. These two teeth were ground down into litlle pegs and then a mold was taken of both my top and bottom teeth. That was pretty fun actually.

Temporary crowns were placed on teeth #24 and #36 and off I went. Only after I made yet another two appointments at the surgery - this time for my night guard as I grind my teeth in my sleep. My new night guard is going to be snazzy!

Is that ten or eleven Dentist appointments I have been to now?

29/02/12 - Tanya - New front tooth with Dr Chanika - 2 hours @ 1pm

Today was the day I got my new front tooth. I had been singing "All I want for Christmas is a new front tooth!" for over 16 years and today was the day. I was so nervous. I needn't worry though. Dr Chanika sat me down and explained the process again. I was to have my temporary crown removed, and new fandangled strong crown put on and then hand painted to match my real right front tooth.

Dr Chanika was very careful and thorough with the painting. She ended up painting it, putting it into the "oven" to dry twice. She was being that particular.

During this time, I had my other two crowns fitted - the ones on teeth #24 and #36. After spending a good half hour on each of these crowns she decided that she was not happy with them. So, I was to come back the next day. Dr Chanika organised to have the two crowns made again at no extra cost to me.

Then the new crown was put on. Oh my! I looked gorgeous! Yes, seriously! I was so pleased with the results, I had a little cry and bounced out of the dentist chair to show Andrew. So pleased!

The photo below is what I took as soon as I left the surgery, to email and put up on Facebook to show my family and friends. They had been waiting for this day for a long time too!

I could not stop smiling!

The after shot of my toothypegs

30/02/12 - Tanya - Permanent Crowns for Teeth #24 and #36 Dr Chanika - 1 hour @ 2pm

Ok, we got the timing wrong, thought my appointment was at 1pm, so we ended up sitting in the waiting room using the free wifi and doing work on magictravelblog and programing work. It is nice to have free wifi wherever you go.

Today, I had the two permanent crowns put on #24 and #36. What a perfect fit. I think I was in the chair for a whole of 20 minutes before I was back out to Andrew smiling hard. I loved my smile!

Looking at my teeth now, with a straight front tooth, I can see that I once had braces. My top teeth are lovely. Perhaps I should get my bottom teeth sorted out next. Perhaps not.

Four appointments left - one for a follow up with Dr Chanika, and three for my night guard.

Running total: I have lost count of how many appointments I have been to. There was a couple of days where I had two separate appointments on the same day.

06/03/2012 - Tanya - Getting fitted for my new sleep guard with Dr Somshee - 30 minutes @ 3pm

Oooh a new night guard! I was pretty excited about this. I had been using a night guard that resembled a football players mouth guard. So attractive. At least it was clear and not glow in the dark yellow.

Andrew came with me for this appointment. We walked into the room with Dr Somshee, hadn't seen her before. She sat me down in the chair and asked me a few questions and explained what was going to happen.

I laid back in the chair and had my top teeth moulded. Then I had my bottom teeth moulded. That was it. I think I was in there for a whole of 20 minutes. Cool.

08/03/2012 - Tanya - Follow up with Dr Chanika - 30 minutes @ 11:30am

This was a very quick appointment. We discussed the root canals, the crowns, my front tooth, Andrew's teeth whitening, and when I may need more work done.

Dr Chanika had another quick look in my mouth and was very pleased with the results. She could see that my mouth was getting better and better every day. She reminded me to floss and use mouthwash daily...

I was very happy with this appointment!

08/03/2012 - Tanya - Sleep Mouth Guard fitting with Dr Somshee - 45 minutes @ 6:00pm

Had to come back to the dental surgery today. I was getting fitted for my nightguard.

The sleep mouth guard was tiny. So much smaller than the one I had been using for the past 4 months. I couldn't wait to try it on.

It was very tight to go on. Dr Somshee shaved some of the plastic off, put it back on my teeth and then used her force to make me chomp down hard and fast on a piece of dye paper that marks your teeth for height. This was not enjoyable. I was uncomfortable. I even felt a little bruised afterwards. Strange.

Anyways, after shaving off some more plastic. and more heavy handed forced chomping, my mouth guard was complete. I couldn't wait to go home and try it on for the night.

16/03/2012 - Tanya - Follow up on the Sleep Guard with Dr Somshee - 30 minutes @ 3pm

This was a much nicer appointment. We started off talking about how I was feeling sleeping with it. It was still a little too tight, but bearable. I had slept every night with it in since I got it seven nights ago.

Dr Somshee shaved off a little more of the plastic for me, this made it more comfortable. There wasn't any more hard handed forced chomping either. Not sure what was with that the week before.

I was happier.

I then asked the reception to work out how many appointments I had been to over the past 5 weeks. I had been to TWENTY! Oh my goodness! TWENTY APPOINTMENTS!

Finally I was finished! I felt better, healthier and happier.

No more dentist appointments!

Finally it is over

Wow, that was an ordeal. Good, bad, horrible, and awesome. In total:
Twenty appointments in five and a half weeks.

Tanya's Dental Work:
Zirconia Crown - LAVA - 16000 Baht
Root Canal Treatment (Protapper) Premolar - 7000 Baht
Root Canal Treatment (Protapper) Molar - - 18000 Baht (2 x 9000 Baht each)
Porcelain fused to non-precious metal crown - 9000 Baht
Composite Core Build Up - 2000 Baht (2 x 1000 Baht each)
Fiber reinforced post with composite core build up single post - 3000 Baht (3 x 1000 Baht each)
Heat Cured Acrylic Michigan Night Guard - 4500 Baht
Total Price - 59500 Baht (approx AUD $2000)

Andrew's Dental Work:
Scaling Full Mouth and Teeth Polish by General Dentist - 1000 Baht
Laser Teeth Whitening - 12000 Baht
Total Price - 13000 Baht (approx AUD $450)

Totally worth every cent and every minute!

Grace Dental Clinic Details

Address: 45 Soi 11 Nimmanhemin Rd. T.Suthep A.Muang Chiangmai 50200
Phone: +66 53 894 568
Hours: Mon - Sat 9.00 A.M. - 8.30 P.M. , Sun 9.00 A.M. - 5.00 P.M.
Website in English: http://www.gracedentalclinic.com/#
Treatment Fee Idea: http://www.gracedentalclinic.com/pricelist-eng.html

Grace Dental Clinic in Chiang Mai

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11 comments

    • Tanya 25 April, 2012 at 10:21 Reply

      Hi Dan, Not sure about five times more, but I am certainly pleased with the results in my mouth and in my bank account! Thanks for reading and commenting ๐Ÿ™‚ Tanya (and Andrew)

  1. Liz Horvath 16 January, 2013 at 22:07 Reply

    Hello Tanya !! Thank you for writing your teeth diary !! Got a few questions if you dont mind answering I am actually planning on some dental work in chiang Mai in July ! We had stayed at The empress in chiang Mai .. Was wondering if your hotel was close to the dental clinic and if you recommend a stay there ! And also .. The composite build up you had done ? Is that permenant or will only last a couple years? As I have the same issue of not enough tooth to put a crown on . Thanks so much and congrats on your beautiful teeth !!

    • Tanya 17 January, 2013 at 11:12 Reply

      Hi Liz,

      The hotel we stayed at was still a little far from the dentist, but, we love the area and we had rented a motorbike, so it wasn’t too bad.
      If you are looking at going to Grace Dental clinic, there are many hotels / guesthouses nearby. You will just need to do some research, I can help you with that, if you want further help.

      If you are going to have a lot of work done, you will be spending a LOT of time at the dentist, so being close is paramount. I think I went 22 times in 4 and a bit weeks. Nearly every day, Monday to Friday!

      The composite build up is lasting quite well. I am very careful about chewing anything on the left side of my mouth. This is where I had most of my work done. I am very pleased with the results and I can’t wait to head back to CM to have a check-up!

      Ask away ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Tanya 4 September, 2013 at 13:31 Reply

      Good question. I remember my mouth hurting for quite a few days but it could have been from all the dentist work I had going on in general.

  2. Debra Furlow 15 May, 2014 at 10:38 Reply

    I will be moving to Chiang Mai June 6. Dental is high on my list. I will use your dentist giving the glowing report. Do any of the dentists use nitrous oxide? (Laughing gas). Next on my list is a arthritis Dr. Anyone have recommendations?

  3. Leo Marlowe 28 June, 2014 at 11:32 Reply

    Thank you so much for your personal experience. I am studying in China in the fall and am looking to get some work done before heading there for the start of my semester as my local dentist has quoted me over five thousand for a root canal and extraction. I was wondering what you did to receive an estimate before your arrival and how you were able to determine a timeframe to spend in Chiang Mai. Also, were you having any pain or discomfort associated with your root canals before your arrival?

    • Andrew 1 August, 2014 at 21:34 Reply

      Hi. We didn’t get an estimate before our arrival. I’m not entirely sure how that would work as it would be tough for them to estimate without seeing your or at least seeing your records.

      We have the luxury of great flexibility in our travels so we also didn’t really have to determine a time frame in any great detail. We set aside a month or so, went and saw the dentist when arrived, the price seemed fair so we went ahead.

      And yes, Tanya definitely had some discomfort before we arrived. She had ongoing problems that caused her quite a bit of pain. Her teeth are much better now.

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