Want to find the Best Dentist? Read this first.

A few months ago I went into Grace Dental here in Chiang Mai for a checkup and x-ray.  It's been a while since I've been to a dentist so even though I didn't have any tooth pain, I figured it was preventative medicine.  They are located right off Nimmanhaemin which is where my co-share office and they had great reviews online so I went with them first.

They saw me the same day and it was very affordable even without insurance.  But there are pros and cons and I don't know if I trust them.

I don't trust any dentist in Thailand, and after speaking to a U.S. dentist I don't trust any of them either.  

Grace Dental in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The facilities were good, the Dentist has good english and it all seemed very professional.  I got my x-rays and the dentist said I had a small cavity on tooth #25 that needed to be filled.  In the middle of filling it, he mentioned that I needed a root canal.

The Root Canal Scare

I was shocked, scared and disappointed that I needed one.  I also didn't realize how expensive it would be (even in Thailand) and that it would be a 3 day ordeal.  It was a big deal, but the Dentist didn't give me another other options.  I felt pressured to make a root canal appointment for the very next day, but thankfully decided to wait, do some research and get a second opinion first.

I started looking for more information and did some reading up on my own.

Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel

I read a book which is based off of Dr. Western Price's studies, and had a foreword written by another Dentist, Timothy Gallagher D.D.S.  I suggest everyone read the book, especially if you plan on having kids and don't want them to have cavities or need expensive dental care all their lives.  Reading it really opened my eyes and pissed me off at the same time.  I wish someone would have told me years ago that having cavities wasn't normal, and that it was a sign that you need to change your diet right away.

As a kid, it was super normal to have one or two cavities every single year and the dentists were happy to take your money and do some work.  I recently hung out with a dentist over drinks and she was telling me how dentists in the U.S. just don't have time to do their jobs properly so they often rush their work to keep profitable.   She also advised me to go to a different dentist to have my problem tooth, #25 checked out and see if the filling the guy at Grace Dental put in was permeant or if he had rushed it because he thought he could push me to get a root canal.

Old photo for Dental Land Chiang Mai

I just got back from Dental Land here in Chiang Mai, also near Nimmanheim.  I asked the dentist to check the filling on tooth #25 and to take x-rays.  It took her about two seconds to tell me that I didn't need x-rays because she could already see the cavity.  The only thing I didn't like was after back to my office, I thought, "crap, they didn't even ask me what type of filling I wanted."  I called them to make sure it wasn't a metal filling.  I wouldn't go as far as removing old mercury fillings but I definitely don't want to be adding new ones.

Edit: Yay they are Composite Resin, we're good to go.

The other good news is the new dentist didn't mention anything about needing a root canal.  I specifically asked her about the tooth and she said it was fine and that it just needed a filling to be put in.  I'm so happy that I don't need a root canal, and that I went to a second dentist before it was too late. I'm kind of pissed at Grace Dental but at the same time, I doubt any dentist would have been better.  It's the entire industry that is messed up.  

My advice to everyone is to first read that Cure Tooth Decay book, change your diet so you don't get cavities in the first place, and if you do get them filled asap with a non-metal filling.  If your dentist recommends you need a root canal, always, always go get a second opinion before investing your time, money and putting yourself under dental surgery.

Also listen to this episode of the Travel Like a Boss Podcast where I sit down with US trained dentist Alyssa Marshall and discuss the secrets behind why dentists are quick to operate instead of prevent.

Warm Regards,


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  1. Dude, I hate the dentist. Last time I went they told me I needed "deep cleaning', which sounds legit, but the way they presented it to me was high-pressure and they wanted me to schedule a follow up immediately or even do the procedure that day.

    I probably could have gotten tricked into it just because the idea of your teeth being in jeopardy is a scary and personal experience, but I was doing sales at the time, so I was wise to their tactics.

    When I got on yelp after I left, I saw the negative reviews, and when I dug deeper, there is a whole scam around the "deep cleaning" thing (yes, it is a valid procedure, but it's extremely over-prescribed).

    I do need to get to the dentist soon though, but I'm having trouble finding one I trust in LA.

    -Adam J

  2. In a one hour appointment, without Novocain, Stanley M. Smyka crafted a new resin filling that is so much better looking. He spent a lot of time ensuring that it was just right. And the cost, after insurance, is a pittance Stanley Smyka DDS Traverse City. He's very personable highly recommend!!!


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