I’ve lived in Taiwan for 2 years and every dentist I go to just seems to use the water drill thing on my teeth for 5 minutes and then they’re done. No one seems to use the metal picks to clean around each teeth carefully like they do in the states, polish and floss your teeth at the end. A proper teeth cleaning is supposed to take 30-45 minutes. This is my experience at a few large hospitals and clinic I went to. Once I even got two cleanings in two days because I thought the first dentist did a bad job. I asked my Taiwanese friend and he says this is how teeth cleanings are done here. I gave up and only do my teeth cleanings back in the states now because I don’t want tooth decay or other issues with my teeth later on in life.
However I’m sure there are normal dentists around, maybe I’m just not looking in the right place. Any recommendations for proper western style dentists? I don’t mind paying more for those, I only do it twice a year anyways.
Normal dentists? The ones you’re going to are normal dentists.
Unless you really don’t brush and clean your teeth, you probably don’t need an hour of cleaning. It might surprise you to know that there is very little evidence to the benefits of professional cleaning.
There’s very little incentive to make it seem like they’re doing a lot and even charge you for things you don’t need when it’s on NHI. They clean what actually needs to be cleaned. I doubt they do it in 5min, most dentists I go to finish in 15-20 min. If this was a problem people would all have rotting teeth in Taiwan.
I go to Taipei Adventist hospital at bade and dunhua road. The last time I went for a cleaning, the scraping to remove calculus was thorough. They did the check measuring around each tooth. They didn’t do the flouride polish at the end and when I asked he said I can schedule/pay 2k for it. Since my teeth aren’t that bad, he went ahead and did the polish for free that time. I drink gallons of coffee so I really like the polish to remove the stains.
In my 20 years here I have not found a dentists to consistently provide a more thorough cleaning. Of course, this is mostly due to medical payment system. I disagree that local method is good enough. If the dentists took more time to clean and poke around they would prevent more decay and catch problems earlier.
I described my experience in American to my Taiwanese wife but she never had such type of cleaning so she really cannot comment on if she would prefer dentists to do more.
I live in the US but visit Taiwan fairly often. Getting dental and vision care is more convenient and cheaper than the US even without having NHI. I found a dentist that does a thorough job and speaks excellent English. Dr. Chen at the following clinic.
They’re more thorough than the other dentists I went to and they measured depth of each tooth like they do in the states. The whole appointment was about 45 minutes.
They recommended deep cleaning, which I suspected to be needed (but my previous two local clinics didn’t recommend), however the price is 70k for a 2 hour appointment so I need to give it more thought.
Interesting - I like the idea of going to a non-NHI. You’ll probably get more care in a non rushed environment, and competing against much cheaper dentists means their service must be excellent quality (or they wouldn’t survive).
That said, 70k is alot. What exactly do you get for that? Seems like the price they’d charge to customers who don’t care about money (ultra-rich or paid by work)
It’s a 2 hour deep cleaning with anesthetic for some deeper pockets at the back of my mouth. Maybe time to look for private dental insurance in Taiwan if that exists. The same thing in the US costs about $1k off insurance, and free with insurance.
I’m curious: do you happen to know whether that stuff is necessary? I had that done in the states before coming to Taiwan…for good reason because I wasn’t flossing properly and there was build up under the gum. They also told me I needed some follow up stuff but since I’ve been here, the dentist just said my teeth look good(almost perfect) and requested I quit brushing so hard.
Also in regards to the topic of western style dentists: make sure you guys check the type of car your dentist has to confirm it’s truly a western style dentist. If it’s not a Ferrari or at least a Porsche, get out of there.
My dentist does that every time (6 months), he uses his ‘supersonic’ drill bit to get under my gums, I don’t like the feeling and bleeding. Checks all fillings and cleans between the teeth. It’s free, or 150 NT$, forgot. And I guess I should call him to make an appointment, they sent a message last week it’s time to get a clean.
I asked my dentist for a price for an implant after he did a root canal as I was worried about losing the whole tooth. He said he’ll fix the tooth as good as he could, no guarantees. Five years later he refilled the tooth. Looking at my age I’m happy to get the filling done every 5 years or so instead of coughing up 80K NT$ for an implant.