Dental Care and Dentists in Taiwan : Discussion

Did anyone see the story in today’s TT about the ten-year old boy who lapsed into a coma during or after a procedure where 14 of his teeth were extracted due to tooth decay?

Here is the story: … /14/194489

Yes, there are from time to time stories about medical mishaps here that boggle my mind… most recently I suppose was the tragic incident involving the erroneous administration of medicine to several newborn babies. Nonetheless, I am always, still shocked when I hear or read these stories.

The story today raises several issues, such as:

Why is it that so many children here have such poor teeth? I had my share of cavities when I was a kid… but never needed any teeth extracted! And 14 teeth! What is going on? My secretary’s kids are healthy and vital… except that their teeth are horribly decayed… and so are the teeth of my sister-in-law’s kid. Now, that’s only three kids, and I realize that there are many kids here and these three are not necessarily representative of most kids here… but these are essentially the only three kids I know in Taiwan, other than my own boy. In the States, our tap water has flouride, which helps to protect teeth. Taiwan does not? But that cannot be the only difference between Taiwan and the US, right??? And there are plenty of dentists in Taiwan, and oral hygien is understood (notwithstanding the denial that binglang is a carcinagen) and toothpastes are marketed in television advertisements… What gives?

[b]The father of the now comatose boy insists that the doctors did not inform him of the risk that the anesthesia presented, and that had he known, he would not have consented to the procedure. The doctor, conversely, insists that he did advise the father of the risks involved. In the States, neither you nor your child can have even blood taken without signing a written authorization and consent, in duplicate. Is this not a practice in Taiwan also?? … apparently not.

What’s going on?

In the States, our tap water has flouride, which helps to protect teeth. Taiwan does not?

Some say it’s easier to brain wash you after that … :smiley:
Sorry, no pun intended but I read some “conspiracy theory” on that and I found it highly amusing.

In the States, neither you nor your child can have even blood taken without signing a written authorization and consent, in duplicate. Is this not a practice in Taiwan also?? …

What’s going on? You Americans are just paranoid. You stick a needle into me and it hurts I am going to sue your for 10 million USD? :unamused:

In Germany such a authorization is not required either for taking blood.
For anesthesia this is different due to the risk involved and of course parents have to sign for minors.

I feel sorry for that little boy but the above has nothing to do with that. Even the dad had signed such an authorization the boy would still be dead.
Saying now he would have never signed might not be true - how would you know!?

Otherwise I think we do not need to question “what’s going on” as we all should be aware that things here are just different. Doesn’t mean it’s good or right, but that’s the way it is and change (if) will take a long time.

Personally I don’t dare to see a dentist here, already the idea of being on display for window shoppers is a big turn off for me.
Last time I went to the Adventist Hospital to get my eyes checked out and passed the reading test with flying colors I was just waiting for the other people to applause …

Here’s what the anaesthesiologist, one Shen Zhengting (沈振庭), had to say:

[quote][url=]More to the story

As the anesthesiologist in Yang Zhiyao’s (楊智堯) case, I would like to request more balanced coverage of this story (“Tang apologizes for boy’s coma,” Feb. 14, page 2)…[/url]

About the flouride thing: The version I head was that fluoride was added to the water as a Communist plot, to turn red-blooded Americans into homosexuals.

But seriously, the process raises important questions. First of all, does the government have the right to manipulate, without consent, something so basic as drinking water? (Remember that during this time, bottled water was not usually available.)

The first experiments were done without the consent of those experimented on. (One town got flourided, the other not.) Is this okay?

And my brother told me that the big reason for it was that sodium flouride was a by-product of some other industry, which they needed to get rid of. Rather than paying money to bury it, they figured out a way to make the government pay to make people eat it!

Worse yet, the kind of flouride that had health benefits was calcium flouride. (The benefits to teeth could have just been from the calcium.) The kind in your water is sodium flouride, which is poisonous BTW.

Floride in water aside…

I think the fact is that dental hygine in children is not seen as a priority. I asked my son’s doctor at what age should he first see a dentist… she replied. 5 or 6.

In the States you start at 3.

Actually, I have heard that lots of Dentists here are not bad… in fact many Japanese come here to get the dental work done… Japanese teeth are a whole nother issue :slight_smile:

The little boy died Sunday morning. He never regained consciousness. :frowning: … /21/202925

I wrote a letter to the paper (one of them) but it was not published (naturally).
The gist was that the parents should be held liable for child abuse for allowing their child to end up in the situation that 14 of his teeth were in such poor condition that they needed to be pulled. That is almost half of the teeth of a normal person. Excuses can follow, but the naked truth is that oral hygiene is the responsibility of the parents in their children.

[quote]And my brother told me that the big reason for it was that sodium flouride was a by-product of some other industry, which they needed to get rid of. Rather than paying money to bury it, they figured out a way to make the government pay to make people eat it!
Worse yet, the kind of flouride that had health benefits was calcium flouride. (The benefits to teeth could have just been from the calcium.) The kind in your water is sodium flouride, which is poisonous BTW.[/quote]

Fluoride is the ionized form of elemental fluorine, as such fluorine is fluorine, it does not matter where it comes froms: sodium floride, calcium fluoride, magnesium fluoride, xenon hexafluoride, etc.

Yes, sodium fluoride and calcium fluoride are common effluents from industrial processes that use hydrofluoric acid, HF, a very nasty acid that will dissolve your bones while your flesh is still intact. However, as with any strong halogen acid, in neutral form it is very benign and very safe. Sodium chloride, or table salt, is a cousin of the salts they add to water to increase fluoride content.

As for a choice of adding either sodium fluoride or calcium fluoride to my water, I would personally choose calcium fluoride for the added benefit of calcium. However, you can’t overdo it otherwise you can end up with kidney stones. :shock:


I really should have looked at this thread BEFORE I went to the chap the wife recomended. It feels like someone’s clipped me on the lower jaw right at the curve. Rootcanal, half my face is swollen. I’m sure it was becasue my git of a dentist was rushing to get back and watch the baseball upstairs where his mates were chowing down.

Dentists, is there anything lower? Mercifully they top themselves at a distinctly higher rate than your average HUMAN.


My personal opinion is that dentists in Taiwan are all a bunch of quacks. By the way, Aprimo, if your uncle is a dentist, why not use him?
Also by the way - at one hospital I had the same dentist look at my teeth on two different occasions. The first time he said I had several cavities, and the second time (the next day) he basically said, ‘Oops, they’re not cavities after all.’

I don’t see my uncle dentist because he’s in Kaohsiung. Anyway, a friend who had receding gums but got them back to normal has given me the contact for his dentist. She apparently will try anything before having to resort to the knife. I hope to see her in the next couple of weeks.

That’ll be the fourth one I will have seen in Taiwan, including my uncle.


Are there any other western-trained dentists in taichung that anyone knows about?
also, there must be something different about the water here, or the sugar content of the food, because four of my teeth have chipped since i’ve been here.

I’m always suspicious when dentist want to do minor surgery in my mouth. If it is not life threatening, I always think it is for them to pay for a german car or something.

Get a second or third opinion. I’ve seen about 5 different dentist about wisdom tooth extraction and got 5 different answers.

If it is not bothering you, don’t do it.

Root Canals should be painless as you are given a local anaesthetic while it is being done :slight_smile: If you can feel something, definately let the dentist know and they will top up the anaesthetic

i had a horrendous experience having a root canal done here by some quack…the “root” of the problem was that the anaesthetic wasn’t enough hence i felt everything (yes even the bit where they put 4 skewers into the canals). the dentist said he had already maxed me to the legal limit. he claimed the limits here are lower because of metabolic differences of the chinese race, oh and us foreigners drink too much so have built in resistance to anaesthetic (whatever). it was without a doubt the most painful experience of my life and i haven’t been back to a dentist since (8 years now)…tooth in question broke on me in deepest laos 5 years ago and i have 2 molars missing lower right side now which gives me a continuous dull ache especially when any sugar gets in there…

but dont let me put anyone off…im sure the foreigner-friendly dentists here know their stuff and i was just unlucky…i just need to find one who does hypnotherapy and will run an opium drip in to my arm… :astonished:

:astonished: that’s an awful experience! what an idiot dentist

You should still see a dentist to have your dull ache problem resolved though… because if you leave it for too long, it’ll only get worse

I’m sure there are some decent dentists in Taiwan who know their stuff, good luck!

[quote=“hinamoo”]One I go to in Tianmu
02 2838 0201

Dr. Victor Lee and his wife are a team. Victor is super friendly guy, non stop talks to you. His wife is sweet and during her root canals I’ve actually FALLEN ASLEEP. They also have […]

Problems: He’s not the cheapest but he’s definitely worth the price, he does a really good job. I don’t think they even take insurance. He’s also really hard to get an appt for because he’s very popular so call ahead of time. But if you’re an emergency case I think they will allot time and go a bit overtime.[/quote]

I recently went to this guy at The Landmark Clinic and can vouch that he’s definitely skilled and does good work.

The downside (and it’s big enough for me to go elsewhere from now on) is that he overbooks and has kept me waiting more than 20 minutes on two different visits.

The second visit began with him saying “I need a rest!” and going off for a break. This, after I’d already been waiting 15 minutes.

The third visit began 30 minutes after our appointment time and when I said “I’ve been waiting 30 minutes” he got all huffy and incredulous that I was complaining.

Obviously, you can’t time things down to the minute but I think delays of more than 10~15 minutes are unacceptable barring unusual circumstances.

Further, this guy seems incapable of saying “sorry”, brags about his own work (he was very smug about his credentials and abilities) throughout the consultations and appointments, rushed me out of his office after the last appointment with “I’m so tired now” and waved off my questions.

So, yeah, he’s talented. But he’s a right ass and has his eyes on the money only if you ask me.

My dentist drugged me so well for root canal treatment, I did not feel a thing, but was a little :rainbow: … a little dizzy. But was fine with me.

But now she removed a crown and connot get the new one back in.
Good it was in the back and not a front tooth.

I just had my first dentis apointment in Taiwan.

He’s the best dentist there is acording to my GF witch she also say about hear hairdreser and docter. :noway:

Off course I had to use hear dentist :unamused:

I stated that I would like to go to a female dentist since my experience is that they are just as good as the male ones, but there fingers are smaler and far more comfertable to have in the moth.
Was this wish granted? NO!!

I went there and we where late, but that did not mather since he was overbocked annyway. Then he checked and could not find anny holes, but I asked to have my visdom removed since my moth is far too smal for soo manny teeth and it only caused the flesh to infect. He give me a antibitotics cure and tell me to get back in one week.
Befour we go I request him to clean up arounf my teeth since I allways have some buildups odd calsium around and he get this out + some blood by using the drill. This have never ben so painfull befour. My dentist’s in Norway allways used to do it manualy.

When I get back the next friday he take a x-ray to check how deep the root is and give me more antibiotics off the same kind and tell me tostart the cure over again on monday or else I wont have enough for all the week :help:

I allways learned the antibitoics are not going to have a brake since it will only cause bacteria to get resistant :frowning: (I feel the taste off infection back there today one week later)

One week later I’m back and he get the tooth out without anny pain involved and I gues it’s he’s abilety to not inflict pain that make him the worlds best dentist in my GF eyes.

Now it’s gone 1 week and I had to seek a dentist in loudong because I feel pain in my teeth and he take a x-ray with a fancy machine and knock my fillings and give me a cleaning and give me some mouthwash.

Today I stil feel painfull and went to the restrom in the office and locked in the mirror and can actualy see the holes myself. I put a nail into one off them and feel instant icing.

Do I have to go home to get a decent treatment? :loco:

Should I tell my GF that hear dentist is one off the worst dentists I ever went to?

I just don’t get it folks… in my 5 years here and after all the recommendations posted on this forum, I have yet to find a dentist who is even remotely as thorough as dentists in the west. One quick lookie-loo into your mouth followed by the conclusion that you have NO cavities, even though they haven’t poked the tops of your teeth to see if the metal point sticks… and you’re on your way. I swear to god i’m going to get home and see a dentist and will need a root canal in each tooth. I don’t have many dental problems… but it seems to me that your tooth needs to be practially rotting out of your mouth before they will determine it’s a cavity. They don’t seem to care about ones that are starting or small ones that should be drilled and filled. A trip to a good dentist at home takes an hour! The dental assitant cleans and flosses your teeth and then the dentist comes along and does a very thorough going over of the tops and sides of your teeth to make sure there are no cavities.

I have seen the Harvard, Northwestern, New York graduates in Taiwan and while i don’t doubt they are highly educated, I think once they get back here that knowledge goes right out the window and is replaced by a typical Taiwanese medical mindset. It gives me a false sense of security…In one day I have gone to 4 dentists. One said I had a cavity, 2 said I didn’t, and the other didn’t say a thing even when asked… in chinese.