Aug 17 2011

A pain-free trip to the dentist in Siem Reap

Published by at 6:17 am under Health & safety

Gangs of Westerners roam Thailand hunting out affordable plastic surgeons in order to ameliorate, elevate or eradicate various bits and bobs about their person, and the land of smiles is a top destination for cheap dental surgery too. Of course, the idea of seeking out dentistry in Cambodia while actually conscious and in control of one’s destiny is an absurd one — or so you’d think, but things do change.

Smile if you want to go to the dentist!

Smile if you want to go to the dentist!

Reports kept coming back of a dental surgery in Siem Reap where foreigners were braving root canal work and crowns and all kinds of weird, wonderful and terrifying things. No-one had been taken to with a rusty pliars, or had an eye taken out with that horrible pokey, scratchy thing, so it was rumoured. Naturally, the reports were at first greeted with a good deal of skepticism, but finally it had to be tried, and the experience was an utterly horrible one  – just like going to the dentist at home.

The surgery is called Pachem, and it’s on Charles de Gaulle Avenue, on the road that leads towards Angkor Wat. It’s not possible to recommend somewhere based on third party reports alone so I went for a scaling, polish and bleaching and I’ll tell you how much it all cost later. In the meantime, as you would expect at home, the surgery is immaculate, the receptionists speak English and, comfortingly on purpose I’m sure, the first thing you see is a very equipped looking sterilisation room.

The three dentists who work out of the surgery have been trained in Phnom Penh and Malaysia, and the new and modern equipment comes from Japan. I’m only Irish, it should be said, and not American. It wasn’t that long ago in Ireland that all a model needed to make it to the top of her field was a full set of her own teeth, so it’s possible that state-siders might dimly recall the same equipment from their own trips to the dentist in the 70s, but from where I come from it looks modern and up to date.

The service was prompt, polite, efficient and professional — in fact that bit was much better than going to the dentist at home, where service providers tend to look at their customers in the same way most people would regard a rat’s leg in their sandwich. I had a short chat with the dentist, who listened and then professionally carried out the work as requested, without trying to sell me porcelain veneers. He didn’t talk to me about his golfing weekend while I sat there with a gob full of pink paste unable to yawn  either – so that bit was better than the dentist at home too, come to think of it.

The next bit, the scaling, was the same screechy horror it always is. I tried to push myself physically into the comfy leather chair I was reclining on like I always do, and she very patiently kept going, making that awful noise with the sonic scaler, frightening me and my teeth to death. Of course, one of the nice things about Cambodia is that everyone is so much gentler here than at home. So, yes, that bit was slightly better too.

It’s a broad-service surgery, offering dentistry, orthodontics and periodontics. For simple matters like cleaning and bleaching, it’s hard to go wrong, especially when compared to the prices at home. It’s as well to know they’re there for emergencies too so, for example, a temporary crown is only $5.50. More permanent crowns start at $139, a big drop from the costs at home. Root canal work ranges from $35 to $68, and fillings from $8 to $19, though up to $300 for a gold one if you’re feeling trashy.

The decision on whether to go through with these procedures would have to be based on your own determination following a consultation with the dentist.  For the simple procedures above though, a scaling and polishing will only set you back $15, nothing compared to the cost at home, whereas the home bleaching kit was a snap at $99. Now, say “Cheese!”

Pachem Dental Clinic
242 Mondul, Siem Reap District
T: (063) 96 53 33; (013) 83 83 03

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6 responses so far

6 Responses to “A pain-free trip to the dentist in Siem Reap”

  1. Tobyon 28 Sep 2011 at 5:45 am

    In 2007 I had some work done in Phnom Penh by Dr Someth Hong, and the experience was overall very good. He is New Zealand-trained and speaks good English, and his surgery is well-equipped and clean. I had three wisdom teeth removed (a two-hour ordeal that went very smoothly and cost about $250 instead of $2500+), a full gold crown (not so cheap due to the cost of the gold but still value at $450 – ceramic crowns were more like $100-150) and several fillings.

    The fillings didn’t work out so well, in fact I think I’ve had them all replaced since then, but the other work was all to a very high standard. I would recommend him for crowns etc, and he also does implants, which I’m thinking of returning for.

    I did shop around a bit first but was not too impressed with what else was on offer. A local (non-English speaking) dentist I visited took about a thousand x-rays but didn’t seem to understand what I wanted done, and the European Dental Clinic seemed to charge European prices!

  2. Ankon 19 Jun 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Nicky!
    Tell me please;
    Are you recommending now the Pachem Dental Clinic to the people or not?
    I get weird, coz my English is such limited.
    I will be in Siem Reap soon and need a whole mouth dental treatment.
    I would be appreciated if you reply me with your precious suggestion bro.
    Have blessed day.

  3. Nickyon 20 Jun 2012 at 5:37 am

    Hi Ank, I can only say that I have heard good things about Pachem, and another dental clinic in town, and that my own experience was positive. I only had a cleaning however. On the other hand, it is my understanding that while the quality of service might be good, the clinics here don’t always use the best quality materials, and that is where a lot of the savings come in. If you are planning on doing something quite extensive, that you would prefer to not have to do again in a few years’ time, I would recommend one of the bigger clinics in Phnom Penh. They may charge more, but it could well be cheaper in the long run. If, on the other hand, you’re planning on a cleaning and minor repair/treatment work, then Pachem is probably quite adequate. Good luck!

  4. DENTISTS : charliechantourson 13 Aug 2012 at 7:24 pm

    […] can read more about Pachem Dental Siem Reap here… © 2012 charliechantours . All right reserved. Sign In to Edit this […]

  5. Lisa Mooreon 13 Sep 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I attended the Pachem Dental Clinic in Siem Reap in July 2012 with an infected wisdom tooth. I am terriefied of the dentist but knew I had to get it sorted as our next country to visit was going to be Laos where health care is less than great. The staff here were extremely kind and reassuring. I had an initial checkup, scale and polish and a filling with 2 injections for $17. What was particularly nice was that the hygientist didn’t make me feel like a second class citizen for not flossing to quite the required standard and seemed to complete the same standard of job as in the UK but much more gently. I then went back to have the wisdom tooth removed which with 4 injections cost $30 – including the services of 2 nurses whose hands I squeezed throughout the whole process! It was all very straightforward though and I think I was lucky with the particular tooth that needed to be removed as it was out in around 2 minutes. The whole experience was very professional (the place is spotlessly clean and the instruments are all in sterlisedpackets) and restored by faith a bit in the dental profession. Highly recommended.

  6. Martinon 03 Jan 2014 at 7:18 am

    I went there with toothache in Jan 2014 and was very impressed with their service and professionalism. When I declined root canal work they were very gracious – the charge was $5 for the consultation and $3.50 for the X-ray.

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