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    > Finding a Pediatric Dentist in Bangkok

    Finding a Pediatric Dentist in Bangkok

    Twisted balloon animals are all the craze in pediatric dentist practices in Bangkok. You get one (or two or four) regardless of good or bad behavior just for showing up. However, the quality of the balloon twisting does not correlate with the quality of patient care. Here’s our quest to find a reliable pediatric dentist in Bangkok.

    Five days ago, my 2.6 year old took a hard fall in Singapore on the marble floor of the Grand Hyatt Hotel lobby. She scored pretty high on the scale of tooth injuries: one chipped tooth, one fractured tooth (up to the pulp), both shaky and the fractured tooth pushed upwards in the gum. There. I just couldn’t leave it at that.

    We saw a dentist as soon as possible in Singapore. Mt Elizabeth Medical Center has a pediatric dentistry practice and Dr. Elizabeth Tan was one of the nicest dentists for children I’ve seen. She knew exactly how to communicate with my little girl, how to get her to keep her mouth open, how to stand still during the x-ray. Plus, the room where we were was full of toys and objects screaming for attention.

    The advice Dr. Tan gave was to wait a few days for the swelling to disappear, then reconstruct the tooth with a filling with maybe a baby root canal. That night, we flew to Bangkok.

    Bangkok is great but as far as western medicine goes, Singapore is better equipped. Nobody I knew had heard of pediatric dentists in Bangkok. Wondering where to turn, I sent a call for help on the listserv of the Golden Gate Mothers Group, the mothers group that I belong to in San Francisco. The response was incredibly helpful. San Francisco moms called my dentist’s office in San Francisco, two dentist moms searched for contacts in Thailand, one called her dad in Germany who called a friend in Thailand, two called friends in Bangkok and Singapore and last but definitely not least, a GGMG mom who is a pediatric dentist (Dr. Nancy Hsieh) sent me a long distance consultation after I sent her an X-ray by email. Isn’t that amazing?

    Apart from smaller dental practices, the options for foreigners in Bangkok are limited: Bangkok Nursing Home, Samitivej Hospital, Bangkok Hospital or Bumrungrad Hospital. They all provide western-standards health care. I booked an appointment at Bumrungrad because I’d been there last year and it was nice. However I ruled out limiting my research to its Dental Practice after my visit. Although the dentist was nice, the facilities were basic, he didn’t know how to speak to my two-year old and assessed the damages without looking at an X-ray.
    I didn’t feel comfortable, so I booked an appointment at DC-One, a dental clinic three doors down from where I used to live as a teenager on Yen Akard. It came recommended by the wife of a UN employee whose four children attend the International School of Bangkok. Well I was happy I did that because this time, it felt like the dentist knew what she was talking about and she was very thorough. It may look more like an internet cafe than a dental clinic, but it’s got all the equipment including (in the kids room) a tri-dimensional ceiling mural repreenting spationauts and stars.
    Now the verdict is to wait for the broken tooth to come down “out” of the gum, to wait for the swelling to subside, and then eventually do a baby root canal and a filling. Phew. I’ll never step in my daughter’s shoes again.

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