Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Are oversseas dentists good value?

I need dental work... and I know people who have had work done overseas. Apparently medical tourism is a growth industry. Where did those people go? Thailand [ the biggie ] India or the Philippines

I am having a working week off in Penang, Malaysia - their growing industry - Dental for tourists. So, I got a quote in Australia for what I thought I needed and spent a few hours yesterday visit two dentists here in Penang to see what their practices were like and what they would recommend.

Australian quote: minimum of $AUD 18,000

Full top teeth implant

Dentist 1: Wow what an operation. Clinically clean reception area, two mature clerical workers behind the front desk, check efficient and professional.

Come appointed time... Dentist welcomes me, takes me to his "room" where he has 5 assistants and screen everywhere which he later used to give me a very graphic example of the work he does.

I brought xrays from Australia which he looked at but said he had the latest 3D equipment on site which allowed a much better examination of my teeth and jaw.

After about 40 minutes I was left with three options:

Preferred option: Partial denture and implants, over 3 visits to Penang a 1 week, a 3 week and a 2 day visit, RM35,000 about $AUD 12,000 plus 3 trips and accommodation.

Option 2: Full extraction, full denture, still three visits RM25,000 which is $AUD 8,000

Option 3: Top jaw of implants - Hollywood perfect teeth MR77,000 which is $AUD 22,000 and of course the visits but I would need 4 to allow healing and adjustments.

Australia was looking OK a this stage and I knew how he could afford 5 assistants in his room, the latest gear and a amazing set up - he said people who wanted perfect teeth pay the most but are the most demanding where as I represented a good option for him as we wanted good teeth but pefection wasn't demanded but was appreciated.

Dentist 2: New modern but reception was part of the assistants duties so I need to be buzzed in to an unattended reception area, The forms and other stuff was handled efficiently not with flourish.

The dentist was a young female professional, and immediately had a more caring nature. All her equipment was new but not over the top. After a brief examination, she asked me some questions like, you have two crowns do you want to keep them and we make your top jaw function with 3 implants... and do extension preservation work on your bottom jaw.

You will need three visits - one to have bone implants to rebuild your jaw - we use a professor from KL university who visits monthly and is the best - "He teaches others the latest techniques " He maybe be able to insert the implant posts in that operation but won't be able to tell until the operation is in progress - this won't change the price but is about healing. If they can't be done then you will need a longer visit on one of the subsequent trips to Penang.

She said... I think altogether maybe MR15,000 and 3 visits.

And here is where the healing kicked in. "Would you like me to do a cleaning and descale now?" I said yes, we discussed how much what she was doing would be in Australia - she had friends thee in Dentistry, and then proceed to clean my teeth. The bill for the examination, and clean RM 140 about $AUD 45

Now I would choose her if I proceed in Penang but the Australian options are looking attractive because of the added need to visit Penang 3 or 4 times for a total of a month to allow healing etc.

It is not going to be an easy decision.

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