Ever since I left Shanghai and my regular dentist a couple years ago, I’ve been desperate for an excellent dentist. Not just a standard business as usual doc but someone who would take the time really get in there and deep clean. I also had a bit of pain that couldn’t be explained and wanted to know exactly what it was and how to deal with it.
So many doctors are run of the mill and don’t really put their best effort in when giving care and I have no desire to put my mouth in such care.
In Japan, I asked tons of friends in Japan and no one seemed to have a dentist who really stood out. Same in Los Angeles. I was recommended just to Google or Yelp it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist (ok, a full on perfectionist) and this can be a burden but in the case of medical care, it’s always served me very well.
As I’m now in Bangkok, I tried gave it another try posting on my Facebook page and several Bangkok Expat groups. I also asked Thai friends and everyone that took the time to reply said the same name. Dr. Asavanant in Thong Lo.
I booked an appointment and crossed my fingers. Upon arrival at the clinic, I was whisked to Dr Asavanant’s office, quickly x-rayed and (sorry I don’t know the name of the machine but it’s like an MRI)’d.
A minute later I’m back in Dr Asavanant’s office looking at each of my teeth up on the huge monitor in front of me. It is strange to see each of my teeth blown up to almost a foot high in HD but was very enlightening too.
He pointed out a brown spot and said I had a small cavity that was probably the cause of my slight pain. He showed me in excruciating detail exactly what it looked like. I could see that it needed fixing. It was immensely reassuring to both see and hear what was going on with my mouth. Until today I always had to take it for granted that a had a cavity or needed cleaning. On the big screen, it’s very obvious.
So off I go to the next room and the doctor and her assistant (name?) explained that on top teeth, each can be numbed individually but on bottom teeth (due to the bone being larger on jaw) the only way was to number half my mouth. Then she said that we could try without novocaine.
It never occurred to me to have a cavity fixed without numbing it but, as my care was excellent to this point, I decided to go with her instinct. Drill with no novocaine.
To my surprise, no pain. No pain at all. She happily drilled away and then started filling the cavity in. All painless. she proceeded to clean like a madwoman and polish my teeth. I asked Dr. Asavanant if I should whiten my teeth (which I always hate to do as I know it is not really good for them) and he told me. I don’t. You can if you want.
This kind of honest, common sense dentistry is so rare. I always feel obligated to get shots, numb everything, add everything, do everything but Dr. Asavanant’s office was a totally different experience. Honest, clean, straightforward, transparent and fair.
They have me a nice tour of the office and I was not surprised to see that above Dr Asavanant’s office is his international dental training facility in cooperation with 3-M. Doctors fly in from all over to train at his facilities.
Everything is done in house which is fantastic for people popping into Thailand for dental care. He does literally everything in house: Implants, you name it.
When I got the bill, I was bowled over. 4,500 baht or about $125 USD! After I settled the bill, curious to how this experience was so much better than any dentist I ever went to, I got talking to Alisa Sotthidata, Dr Asavanant’s manager.
It turns out that she is a long time family friend and knew the whole history of his clinic. Dr. Asavanant’s family is in the gold business from way back. Here you can see a picture of Alisa and myself in front of the Asavanant families gold shop. So if you’re wondering why the best clinic in Bangkok, and perhaps Asia, shares office frontage with a gold shop, you can let it rest.
Dr Asavanant’s family was dead set on him going into the family gold business and all his brothers and sisters went to top schools but ended up in the family business: Except for Dr. Asavanant. He really really wanted to be a dentist with the best, latest equipment so he could give the best possible medical care.
No doubt his family’s wealth helped him get started but, as everyone I asked told me, Dr Asavanant’s clinic is the finest. The prices are more than fair and I highly recommend you stop by and check it out. 5 stars