A couple months into wearing partial dentures, does it really suck?

Roughly a month into wearing my dentures I sort of got used to them. Even the tediousness of cleaning them. No matter how tired or drunk I am, if I’m still conscious I’d take ’em out and clean them. I know, I know I’m not supposed to sleep with them on but sometimes I just can’t help it, haha. However, I found myself biting harder, gone was the gentle, feeling out the dentures kinda of bite. This is when I started getting a sore spot on the roof of my mouth.

If you want to read about how I got up to this point HERE‘s the post. If you wanna read where I went previously to get the majority of my dental work done, HERE‘s that post.

My theory is that because I was biting things harder, especially foods that break up into hard, smaller bits, like chips, I developed a sore spot on the roof of my mouth where the back edge of the denture’s metal touched the roof of my mouth and the jagged bits sometimes get caught there. Why only there? I have no idea. Anyways, that sore spot soon turned out to be this pimple looking thing. I tried to pop it with a toothpick but it felt hard and didn’t puncture. Great! Luckily, I was heading back to Bangkok to spend Xmas and New Year. In the meantime, I stopped wearing the dentures for a few days to stop the discomfort. Once I couldn’t feel the irritation I put the denture back in and the irritation came back. Maybe I should stop eating Doritos so much, it’s always most irritating when eating those, haha.

I made my appointment (at Bangkok Dental Care) for the first Monday we were there, to coincide with when my dentist would be in and I explained my discomfort to her. She looked puzzled so I showed the her the picture and she said, “ok.” and took the dentures out of my mouth and started sanding/grinding something while telling me that the spot is gone and it doesn’t look injured. Just a bit “more red”, “everything is fine.” After she was finished with the grinding of the metal section of the dentures she assured me that everything would fine and that white spot was just an abscess and shouldn’t happen again. Huh…ok? I guess?! Well that would explain why I only got sore at that one spot.

Well, I have to say, almost a month after her adjustments, nothing weird or uncomfortable has yet to happen and I’ve continued to feast on Doritos! Oh, I almost forgot, I wasn’t charged for services this visit, bonus!

Now to answer the question…Does it suck? For me, wearing them and eating with them on, I’d have to say, “No”, they don’t. Taking care of them, however, I find it tedious and yeah it sucks, lol. I suppose I could use those dissolvable denture cleaner tablet things but that just costs more money, haha.

So the point of this post is to highlight the importance of planning enough time for adjustments after actually using the dentures under a variety of conditions. I guess I lucked out by living close enough to Thailand where dental vacations are still financially feasible even after factoring in airfare and accommodations.

As always, thanks for viewing and best wishes!

All the photos (unless otherwise noted in the post) were taken by me and are available for sale. If you’re interested in buying an image or three, 😃 please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details.

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The Signature Hotel @ Thapae Review

Signage at the entrance of The Signature Hotel @Thapae

The Signature hotel @ Thapae (in Chiang Mai, Thailand) was the perfect hotel for me because it was only a 3 minute walk from the dental clinic that I had chosen to have my treatment done at. Check out my dental vacation post for more info on why I chose to have my teeth fixed in Chiang Mai, Thailand. My online search for accommodations was actually really frustrating as I was juggling the cost of a 16 night stay with proximity to the clinic balanced with cost as well as safety/security and cleanliness. There are a lot of accommodations around Chiang Mai’s Old City ranging from hostels to 3 star hotels. The four and five star hotels are further out from the Old City. After having walked around and seen much of the area, I consider myself very fortunate to have chosen The Signature Hotel @Thapae.

I basically skipped over the hostels, even if they offered private rooms. These hostel are really inexpensive. I’ve never tried staying in one but considered it at one point until I realized I needed somewhere safe to store my camera gear while I was at the dental clinic. So I started looking into 3 star hotels because the lower starred ones, I think, were also the hourly ones but don’t quote me on that.  Plus a lot of the reviews on cleanliness wasn’t flattering at all for many of them. There were quite a few 3 star hotels in the area around the Tha Phae Gate, where the dental clinic I went to, Dental4U is located (just a hop, skip and a jump away).  I had a difficult time choosing one but I finally settled on The Signature Hotel @Thapae because it had the least amount of negative reviews (well, negative in terms of what I wouldn’t tolerate). What I mean by that is the complaints of neighbors being too loud is something I chalk up to as “normal” and things like “room was too small” don’t really bother me because I only use a hotel room to sleep and I don’t need much room for that. The reviews that do bother me are the cleanliness ones and safety/security ones. Another major consideration for me was vicinity to food. With my many food allergies I wanted to know where some major fast food outlets and their distances to the hotel. There was one that I was seriously looking into because there is a 24hr McDonald’s on the premises but the cost is significantly higher per night than the Signature Hotel plus I got a really good discount booking it via Expedia. The great thing about booking through Expedia is that you pay the hotel via Expedia so there’s less opportunities for checkout shenanigans like what happened to me at the Datong Hotel in China. Oh, the fast food joints are within 10 minutes walking from The Signature Hotel @Thapae.

When the taxi driver dropped me off in front of the hotel I was like, “what the heck? Where is it?” The driver pointed down this lane looking walkway and I thought, “aw **** what did I did I book this time….” Once out of the taxi I had to cross the road, although it was a one way street it was pretty busy and in between the vehicles there were mopeds, scooters and motorcycles zipping and weaving about. Walking down the path was pretty nice actually. It was mid afternoon and an employee was spraying water on the plants on either side of the walkway and wetting the pavement in an effort to cool the area down. Once seeing the hotel at the end of the path, I was relieved, it looks good, clean and well maintained as opposed to some of the ones I’ve seen on the way there in the taxi. I walked through the door and was greeted cordially by the front desk employee who was checking in other guests at the time. When it was my turn to check in, he apologized for the delay and proceeded to get me checked in but couldn’t match the name on my passport to the name I used to book. When I told him to look under ‘Ray’ he exclaimed “OH! It’s you…we upgraded your room, for free of course, because the room you booked is too small to stay in for 16 days!” All I could say was, “awesome!” After getting my room key and a printout map highlighting where the local areas of interest were as well as “good” restaurants he remarked that 16 days was a long stay and that I must really like Chiang Mai, I chuckled and told him this is my first time here and that the dental clinic that I was here for needed 14 days to complete my treatment he looked surprised/shocked and wished me well and pointed to a stack of binders with tour info in them that I could peruse if I wanted. I thanked him and went up to my room. It’s worth mentioning that everyone I’ve come across in the hotel could converse with me in English and every single one was polite and courteous…every single time I saw them. It was quite refreshing especially the days when my mouth was sore/sensitive and those time when I was hangry (angry when hungry) because I couldn’t eat yet. Be sure to have some cash when you check in, as there is a $1000 TBH deposit fee refundable upon presentation of the receipt at check out.

Narrow driveway leading to the entrance of The Signature Hotel @Thapae in the morning.

Narrow driveway leading to the entrance of The Signature Hotel @Thapae at night

Below are some photos of the room. As you can see, the room is quite nice! Well, I’m impressed, I’ve been in worse and certainly not expecting this nice a room for the price I was paying. So awesome! There’s a bathroom, a closet, a full length mirror on the wall, a safe, a mini fridge, a night stand and a desk and a huge bed with a cushioned step (I have no idea what that’s for. I used it to put my phone on). Also plenty of outlets for me to plug my devices in. The only thing fixed so that you can secure your laptop on with a laptop cable lock is the metal bar to hang your clothes on in the closet. Not really a problem for me as my laptop (more like a netbook) will fit in the safe. I do use a laptop cable lock to secure my rolling suitcase for when I have to leave some camera gear in the room. Basically I loop the cable through the closet’s metal rod and the tumbler section of the lock goes into my suitcase and I use the built in zippers TSA lock mechanism to lock the zippers. The space between the zippers has just enough room for the cable to fit through. The room had no odor, the toilet was clean, as was the shower stall (I read a review that the shower stall was really dirty, so I brought slippers and never used them) and a large sink. The sliding closet door also doubles as the bathroom door, meaning when you close the closet, the bathroom is open and when you open the closet, the bathroom is closed. No biggie, only me in the room so I never have to close the door while in the bathroom. House keeping comes everyday and replenishes/changes what you’ve used, like the soap, shampoo, sanitary pads…at one point I had like 8 of them because I kept putting them on the shelf under the sink along with the other stuff I don’t use. Anyways, they finally noticed and stopped giving them to me. On the days, I was too tired/sore/lazy to get up and requested not to have my room cleaned, they’d tie a plastic bag on my door handle with two bottles of water. I’m not a big water drinker but there in Chiang Mai OMG it feels like I’m in a desert and along with those 2 free bottles of water a day, I consume 2 bottles of Gatorade and at least one more bottle of water! It’s SOOOOO HOT THERE (late April to mid May)!

Room 202 at the Signature Hotel @Thapae in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Room 202 at the Signature Hotel @Thapae in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Room 202 at the Signature Hotel @Thapae in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Room 202 at the Signature Hotel @Thapae in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Room 202 at the Signature Hotel @Thapae in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Room 202 at the Signature Hotel @Thapae in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The only thing that I wished were better at the Signature Hotel @Thapae is the food. Why? Because there isn’t any. The restaurant was “permanently closed” but the seating is still there. No vending machines either. Not that big a deal I guess, as there are street vendors, restaurants and a 7-11 within a minute’s walk. Speaking of restaurants, there is one called Ratana’s Kitchen a few shops down from The Signature Hotel, the food there is good and the prices are lower than any of the restaurants up and down the street though not tourist prices they are higher than the mom and pop shops. What else is up and down the street? Of course there are massage shops, as far as I can tell, the legit ones, as there aren’t any curtains or barriers so any “extras” will be seen by all. There are quite a few jewelry stores (silver), some art shops, tour agencies and a coin op laundry mat which was well lit and very clean! A packet of detergent costs $10 TBD as does a packet of softener. The washers and dryers are a bit small and costs $40 TBD each. Takes about 2 hours to get a load washed and dried. I had to do laundry twice because everyday my outfit will be sweat soaked! The hotel did have laundry service but I figured it was more expensive, plus it was a great way to use up the $10 TBD coins that were getting pretty heavy.

NOTE: when I went to checkout with my luggage, I took the elevator down and noticed that there was a sign indicating that some snacks and drinks were available for purchase at the front desk, don’t know how I missed it but I did (you can’t see any drinks or snacks at the front desk either).

Some final notes on the Signature Hotel: It’s very close, as in walking distance, to many of the touristy stuff as well as the night life. I didn’t see any real parking areas on the premises, just enough space around the entrance to fit 2 vehicles or one vehicle and maybe 5 or 6 mopeds/scooters/motorcycles so if you’re planning on renting something, keep that in mind. Also note the width of the path, it’s just barely wide enough to fit an SUV. Oh, a few more hangers would have been nice too, I only had three.

I’m really impressed with this hotel, some of the fixtures and things look pretty new, especially the elevator which uses touch buttons like on your smart phone, I found it kinda annoying because my fingers sometimes aren’t able to ‘activate’ the sensor (on my phone too) and so I have to press/touch repeatedly to get things to work, I ended up just using the stairs as I was only 1 flight up. The aircon unit the room is the split type and the outside section is right outside the window so if you’re not used to hearing aircon noise or you’re a light sleeper, it may disturb you. I only really noticed the aircon when I first get back to the room and turn it on then it quickly just fades from my mind.

Elevator touch panels inside

Elevator touch panels outside

My overall impression of the Signature Hotel @Thapae is that it is more than adequate for a family vacation hotel. The price was great for the quality of room and the service/staff was awesome too. When I go back to Chiang Mai, I will definitely be staying there again.

I will be posting more about my shenanigans in Chiang Mai. Consider following me for updates on this Chiang Mai trip or to find not only my toys and collectibles posts but also my travel bloopers, blunders and shenanigans posts, photography related news/reviews posts and the occasional contest entry.

All the photos (unless otherwise noted in the post) were taken by me and are available for sale. If you’re interested in buying an image or three, 😃 please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details. Thanks in advance!

Comments & Critiques are always welcome, as are upvotes and resteems.

Thanks for viewing and best wishes!

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Dental Holiday in Chiang Mai. Wait what? SERIOUSLY?!?!

Yes, Yes I am. I knew there was such a thing as medical tourism but I never thought it applied to dentistry too. Well it does. Before we get into it, I’m not a dentist nor expert on these things so my vocabulary/explanations won’t be “official sounding.” I’m just recounting what I’ve experienced in hopes that it will be useful to someone and so it’s only accurate for me because everyone will have different size fillings or difficulty level of extractions etc., which will affect pricing apparently (you’ll see later on). Here’s a little back story, if you’re interested. If not scroll until you see CHIANG MAI.

I haven’t been to the dentist in about 20 years. The last time I went I had 4 wisdom teeth pulled out, even with insurance I remember it was very expensive but can’t recall the exact amount, just that it was so, in my opinion, exorbitant that I never wanted to see another dentist again plus the guy was, well condescending and brutish. So as the years go by, my molars start breaking little by little until only little pointy shards were left, I can feel them when I run my tongue over those areas. I can still eat, so I’m good or so I thought. Now up until the beginning of the year there wasn’t any pain, then my jaw started hurting on the top and bottom just above where my tooth started turning black. Took some Tylenol whenever it really hurt and I’d be ok, everything was near the back, can’t really see so out of sight out of mind. Until the top corners of some of my front teeth started turning black and the previous pain areas were more frequent. Please for your sake, don’t be like me! Here’s the before and after shots of my teeth.


Last month (April 2019), my brother from a different mother, came to visit me (I was in Singapore and he was on vacation from Seattle in Thailand) and advised that I should go see the dentist for some x-rays and check up, then send him the info and x-rays and he’ll advise (he’s a dentist with his own practice in Seattle). I was somewhat reluctant but the discomfort was getting to be daily so off I went. The dentist I saw at a general clinic looked inside my mouth, poked here, tapped there and did a panoramic x-ray. I was in and out of there in about 20 minutes (not including the waiting). His diagnosis was that I needed 2 root canals, 3 fillings and 5 extractions (all those leftover bits of teeth I mentioned). The two teeth that needed root canals also needed crowns. The price tag on that was, on the low side, a tentative $5,000 SGD because further evaluation and quote from the root canal specialist was needed. Well then! I’m not happy, especially since my bro came back and confirmed I needed at least all that was quoted and that it’s way cheaper than what a dentist in the U.S. would charge. He also doesn’t do root canals and told me the US has high crown prices so it probably won’t be cost effective to fly over to have him fix me up. An example of the cost difference between Singapore and the US, the quote for my 5 extractions would be what ONE extraction would cost in Washington. In addition to the cost, the Singapore treatment plan would span over 6 months!!! Don’t ask me why but apparently the rule is I can only do one procedure per appointment and it takes about a month to make an appointment (this is for partial gov’t subsidized treatments). Had I chose to do my dental work in Singapore under a partial subsidy, my first appointment would be in July. The two other estimated quotes I got in Singapore had slightly higher price tags, avg about $1000 SGD, but treatment duration was an estimated 2 months. This is a nightmare! Ya, my fault, I know.

My bro suggested I look into Dentists in Thailand and he can check them out via his in-laws/friends etc. Since he’s familiar with the standards there, I remember him looking into dentist stuff both in Thailand and Singapore previously. Although he told me to look in the Bangkok area because that’s where his network is, I looked into Chiang Mai as well since it’s the second largest city in Thailand. After much emails and estimates to various places I picked the one that I could afford and that the facilities/building/office looked good to me also taking into account any reviews that I could find. Since my bro couldn’t assist, I had to wing it from here on in. Within a week I was on a flight to….

CHIANG MAI, Thailand has a dental clinic named Dental4U. Why did I chose this clinic amongst the many, many dental clinics in this city? Well, I hadn’t come across any negative reviews (up until that point) other than it was more expensive than some of the “local” dentists and even my bro confirmed that the clinic looked like it catered to foreigners, meaning more expensive. Ok, fine, but it’s still cheaper than Singapore and Bangkok. The good reviews were pretty darn convincing. I even found 2 YouTube videos, one was a lady getting something done and the next was her bringing her friend to get something done, you get to see them doing stuff to him too. I think that says it all. You just don’t recommend your friend to something crappy, right? For me, seeing the venue in a video blog post validates the marketing/advertisement imagery I’ve been seeing. The quote they gave me for the Singaporean treatment plan, with notations that they will perform their own diagnosis as well, was less than $3,000 SGD on the highest quotation values! That’s about 1/2 price of what I would have to pay in Singapore! The best part is they said they can do it all in 2 weeks, INCLUDING the time to make the crowns! So I booked my flight (about $100 SGD) and hotel for 16 days (about $800 SGD) it still comes out cheaper by $1000 SGD AND I get to “work” (I’m a photographer, remember). So with my “vacation” all booked I arrived on a Saturday and had my first appointment the next day. Dental4U opens 7 days a week 9am to 8pm. You might want to consider cost of living expenses but I didn’t much care because the cost of living in Thailand is way lower than Singapore, so I’m getting a discount even eating only in restaurants and only those whose food menu I’m familiar with ie Chinese food, Italian food, franchise fast food etc. and those establishments are way more expensive than the local mom and pop shops or street food (there’s A LOT of those all over the place, it’s pretty cool)! I have too many food allergies to be an adventurous eater, especially since one of my allergies is to peanuts and Thai food is known to use peanut products regularly.

Dental4u in the afternoon

Dental4u at night

Back to Dental4U. After their initial exam including more precise x-rays of the teeth requiring the root canals, the treatment plan now includes: a teeth cleaning session, 3 more fillings AND this one shocked me, 2 crown lengthenings. What the **** is that?! I had to Google it and wait patiently for my bro’s response to this new development (I had asked them to email me the treatment plan and x-rays so I can research and decide). So basically crown lengthening is cutting away some gum to expose more bone so there’s more teeth to glue the crown on (there was too little of my tooth left to secure the new crown). If not the new crown + tooth structure will likely not be able to handle the rigors of chewing. They had booked me a slot on Monday and I figured if they were yanking my chain, I just won’t go then I’d go find a new dentist. So I had to pay $400 THB for the 2 x-rays which comes out to less than $18 SGD, the x-ray I had done in Singapore cost me around $45 SGD. Dental4U emailed me the x-rays even before I finished paying and I sent them over to my bro who confirmed later that I should get it done. Anyways, if I have to get it done then I have to regardless of where I go to get it done and if the prices at one place is higher then everything else will be too, right? Well, that’s my reasoning. So it all comes down to this. With all the new treatments added, the quote on the high side comes out to $79,3000 TBH which is roughly $3400 SGD which is STILL CHEAPER than the original Singaporean quote! So all my treatments were completed May 8, 2019 and my last session wass follow up to check the healing progress of the gum surgery which is on the 10th exactly 14 days! I budgeted a couple days extra, cuz you never right?

Dental4U side view

Dental4u early in the morning

With the costs out of the way, I’ll describe my experience. According to my bro, this was quite a lot of work to fit into 2 weeks coming from a patient comfortability standpoint. With all honesty, I didn’t find it all that bad (despite how I look in the photo below, haha), I do have a pretty high tolerance to pain though. There was only once where it hurt so bad I squirmed and grunted, that was during the follow up root canal procedure on my molar. The only other painful times were the injections into the back cheek area behind the molars and the more painful ones are the injections to the roof of your mouth. I don’t know if it was just me or they were using less numbing gel but it seemed to hurt more each session. By the last session it was more than just a “**** I stubbed my toe!” kinda pain to a more “***!!!*@&#^$% that HURTS” kinda pain. I honestly think it’s me because they’re pretty liberal with the painkillers. I have a whole bunch left over. If you read the reviews there are A LOT of other people who go to Thailand for their dental work and I’ve read many who have had more stuff done or harder stuff done than what I had done, so whatever your case may be, it’s worth the research I think.

My turn next Lotsa Meds

Dental4U has a website that you can checkout at www.chiangmaidental4you.com it looks a bit dated and some links don’t work but it has a comprehensive price list. You can see the head honcho there got one of his degrees from UCLA. On the walls of the clinic are plaques and conference photos of him being a speaker. To me, that looks legit. During my 2 weeks of going in and out for treatments, I’ve seen 4 receptionists, around 6 dental assistants and I’ve had 4 dentists work on me. Dr. Muttaruk (the head honcho) did the crown lengthening, Dr. Kwan did the root canals, Dr. Ice and Dr. Yumi did all the rest (Dr. Yumi did the crown stuff). Anyways, I bring this up because there are photos on the website of all the dentists. The only one I saw/recognized is Dr. Muttaruk. Everyone else I don’t recall seeing, again their website seems dated and most of the time everyone is wearing a surgical style masks making it hard to recognize faces. I have found their pictures in a dental registry/consolidation websites (listed near end of post) though so they are legit dentists. Note: there are a lot of certificates hanging on the walls but I didn’t go and read them to see which is who’s. All I know is my mouth and teeth feel great, better than I can remember! I never once felt mistreated/manhandled. They were all very, very courteous constantly asking if I was ok, do I need a break etc. I bit an assistant pretty hard during one of the x-rays, I heard bite when in actuality she said don’t bite. I felt so bad because I didn’t know until I opened my eyes (had to close them for the x-ray) and saw pain in her eyes and she was shaking her hand. I apologized profusely and she was okay about it and didn’t exact revenge, lol. Then I bit Dr. Yumi when she was fitting the crown. This time I was told to bite but I reacted so fast she didn’t get her finger out of the way in time, I guess. She laughed and apologized for telling me to bite! Everyone is so nice, courteous, friendly and speaks English fluently. The clientele there, I’ve noticed, is predominately non Thai (I’m basing this on skin color and my experience in differentiating Asian races) but I have seen Thai people in the waiting area. Since my hotel was literally a 3 minute walk away I pass the clinic a lot on my photo walkabouts, food runs etc. and I have to say I almost always see someone waiting in the reception area so they are relatively busy which makes me appreciate more the effort they made to accommodate my last minute booking.

The equipment looked new and well maintained as did the interior of the clinic. From what I saw, there was the main dental area which had 3 dental chairs separated by dividers so not much privacy but nobody is gonna be looking around cuz they’re having work done too and nobody can really see your face when they’re walking by as there’s too many hands and faces around your face. Anyways, there is a small x-ray room with an lcd panel in the hallway to facilitate the viewing of the x-ray that was just taken. Across the hallway is a separate room with a 4th dental chair but that one looked different, more stuff around it and to me looked more fancy. I suppose I could have taken some selfies in there but really wasn’t in the mood to but I do regret not taking selfies with any of the Dr.’s though. I’ll be sure to get ’em next time.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend anyone who needs dental work to check out Dental4U in Chiang Mai. As for me, well, I will be going back since there’s more work to be done. Since it’s not urgent and I was told my estimated recovery time is 2 months, I have time to decide what treatment plan I should take…implants or dentures. Something to note, they have a minimum credit card transaction amount which was $500 TBH so if you’re getting some less costly stuff done, bring cash.

Aside from a google search of dentists in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Here are some resources I used when doing my research, two dental consolidation sites: Dentaldepartures.com and medigo.com. If I had chosen to get treatment in Bangkok, it was a toss up between Bangkok Smile Malo Clinic and Truth Dental, but I was leaning more to Truth Dental. Something to note, if you get any x-rays, be sure to ask them to email you a copy of the x-ray as opposed to a printout so you can forward to other clinics for quotes and if you chose another clinic it may save you some costs as they can use that x-ray, if its current.

*** UPDATE: It’s been a week and my teeth feel great, no more tenderness in the gums. I have switched to an electic toothbrush too, I think it helps me a lot.

I will be posting more info on Chiang Mai including the hotel I chose as well as travel guides to the places I’ve managed to check out. Consider following me for updates on this Chiang Mai trip or to find not only my toys and collectibles posts but also my travel bloopers, blunders and shenanigans posts, photography related news/reviews posts and the occasional contest entry.

All the photos (unless otherwise noted in the post) were taken by me and are available for sale. If you’re interested in buying an image or three, 😃 please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details. Thanks in advance!

Comments & Critiques are always welcome, as are upvotes and resteems.

Thanks for viewing and best wishes!

PS. If you want to check out my other ‘works’, you can find them here:

Fine Art