I don’t know about you but I drink a lot of coffee! Not only that but I’m no stranger to red wine, tea, chocolate and all the other delicious things that discolour your teeth. I have been wanting to get my teeth whitened for the past 10 years but it has always been way out of my budget. Matt and I promised ourselves if we ever went to Phuket, we’d give our fangs an overhaul! So, when the opportunity arose, we pounced on it and had our teeth whitened at a dental clinic in Phuket. I did a lot of research before we went and documented the whole experience to share with you. I’m hoping this guide will help you decide if having your teeth whitened in Phuket is right for you and give you all the information you need to get it done. Here’s what you need to know about teeth whitening in Phuket…
How do you choose a good place to have your teeth whitened in Phuket?
Uh, yeah, this was my first concern too! I mean, the last thing I need is to have my teeth melted out of my head by a ‘laser.’ Right?! I knew immediately I wanted to have it done through a reputable dental clinic and strongly recommend you do the same. I wouldn’t ever have mine done by a small, backdoor clinic or by someone who isn’t a dentist. When you’re looking for the right place to visit you want to go with a well-known, reputable dentist surgery where you will be seen by a proper dentist who knows what they’re doing. Look for great reviews and photos of the clinic too – you want to make sure it’s modern, clean and professional.
Where did you go to have yours done?
After a lot of research online I decided we would go with Sea Smile Dental Clinic. I had read loads of great reviews online and found the blog post of another person who had gone there. I really liked the recount of her experience, it just sounded like everything was really well done, professional and clean. I spent some time on their website reading the testimonials and checking out their credentials and really liked that they are the only JCI Accredited dental clinic in Phuket. I looked into it and, basically, it means they have gone through a rigorous process ensuring their standards of care and quality are tip top! This is an optional thing and it costs the clinic time and money to be accredited, so it gave me a lot of confidence knowing they had gone through the process of their own free will – it shows they care about what they do.
What was the booking process like?
I reached out to Sea Smile via email just so I could get a better feel for the clinic before I booked. I also wanted to make sure there wouldn’t be a language barrier with me not being able to speak Thai (and result in me getting a full set of veneers by accident). The team got back to me really quickly, within about 24 hours, I think. They communicated really clearly, understood my questions and were easy to contact.
I completed the booking form and an online profile kind of thing, where they ask you loads of questions about your medical history and current health. Again, that’s the kind of thing that’s really important! Matt is allergic to certain medicines and while I would’ve told them, it was very reassuring to have them ask all these questions upfront. Once my booking was sorted, they sent me through a confirmation and clear instructions with a map and directions/address in English AND Thai! This came in really handy when it came time to catch a Tuk Tuk to our appointment.
Tell me about the clinic…
We arrived at the clinic and, as soon as I saw it, I was totally relaxed. The clinic was modern, extremely clean and exactly like any great dentist’s surgery should be. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by the lovely staff who made us feel welcome. They checked us in and had us fill out a whole bunch of paperwork. Again, the attention to detail and professionalism here were great! They talked us through each form, explained what it meant, told us what to expect from the treatment and asked us follow-up questions about things we’d written on our health forms.
What was the teeth whitening treatment like?
Just before we headed in for our teeth whitening treatment, we were taken to another room where a nurse checked our blood pressure and temperatures. This really showed the clinic’s attention to detail and professional again as they wouldn’t have proceeded had Matt or I shown the slightest sign of being ill. They ran over Matt’s medicinal allergies once more, to confirm, then we were taken upstairs to the treatment rooms.
I was greeted by two dental nurses and my dentist. The treatment started with a thorough clean then moulds of my teeth were taken for my at-home whitening kit. I’m a big scaredy-cat when it comes to the dentist and was so relieved by how gentle and careful my dentist was. After the clean and moulds were done, the dentist popped this big, rubber, mouth-opening device in my mouth and it was a little painful because it stretches your lips and mouth wide open in order to fit but once it was in, it was fine. Then, the dentist stuffed all these cotton things in my mouth to stop the teeth whitening gel getting into my throat, on my tongue or anywhere else. Next, she used a special gel (thing?) to line my gums to make sure the whitening gel didn’t get on my gums.
Finally, it was time for the whitening! She coated my teeth with the whitening gel and put the special laser-light thing on my teeth. The first round went really quickly and it felt like nothing at all. Then, a timer went off and the gel was smooshed around and the light put back on. Toward the end of the second round, I started to notice a bit of sensitivity in my teeth. The timer went off again and the gel was smooshed around one last time. By the end of the third round, I won’t lie, I was feeling really sensitive! My teeth were zapping – it felt like little electric currents snapping through my teeth and they were so sensitive when the dentist touched them.
The dentist cleaned off all the whitening gel, took all the pads and other stuff out of my mouth and let me rinse my mouth out. Her first question was how my teeth were feeling and I told her about the zaps of pain. She described exactly how they felt, that they were normal and reassured me they would go away. I was immediately relieved because it was clear she wasn’t just guessing, she knew how the pain felt because she had experienced it and could confidently tell me it would go away! I’ll go into more detail about the after-effects in a moment but I just want to say that yes, it was painful toward the end but that it was worth it and I would do it again.
How were the results of your teeth whitening?
Before we started, the dentist did a shade comparison on a little tooth chart thing she had. At the end, she did another comparison and showed me just how much my teeth had whitened. I asked her how many shades I had gone up and she told me around 10 or 12! My teeth looked so white I kind of freaked out for a second. I wasn’t used to seeing them that white and it felt weird at first. But, after a day or two, I got used to it and I guess they kind of settle in a little bit. I am really happy with the results! My teeth look so white and healthy, they just look amazing and I no longer feel self-conscious about the colour of my teeth.
Just to be clear, everyone will experience different results. The dentist was very clear about this and I think it’s important to manage expectations. From what I understand, your individual results will vary depending on what state your teeth are in now, whether you’ve had them whitened before and a few other factors. So, I would recommend going in with reasonable expectations.
Here are my results, with the before photo on the left and the after photo on the right…
What were the after-effects?
The pain I mentioned earlier intensified after I left the dental clinic! My teeth felt like they were being zapped by these pangs of electricity and, I can’t lie, they were really painful. At one point, I slapped myself in the face, much to Matt’s joy. To manage the pain, the clinic staff give you some special desensitizing gel and you can take paracetamol. I was a bit nervous that maybe I’d made a mistake and all my teeth-melting-laser-fears had come to life. But, I went to sleep that night and when I woke up the pain was gone and my teeth looked incredible! The staff at the dental clinic reassured me that the pain I was feeling was normal and that it would go away – they were right. Despite the pain, I would definitely do it again because my teeth look amazing and it has given me more self-confidence. The pain was temporary but my teeth will look fantastic for a long time now!
What treatment did you actually have done?
The Sea Smile website listed two different treatments – Teeth Whitening with Laser Technology and ZOOM! Whitespeed® Technology. The ZOOM! is more expensive and Matt and I went back and forth trying to work out if we should go for it or if it was just a gimmick. In the end, I thought it best to go with the well-known brand so we booked in for the ZOOM! The clinic also recommended we get a clean beforehand, for the best results possible, as we hadn’t had one in over six months. Lastly, we opted for the at-home teeth whitening kits, just so we could top up.
How much did your teeth whitening cost?
At the time of our visit, the cost of ZOOM! Whitespeed® was THB9,000 per person, the take-home kit was THB3,500 and the clean was THB1,500. Teeth whitening here in Brisbane can cost up to AU$1,000 per person so AU$333 per person for the whitening was a huge price difference. It saved us a lot of money and, based on the standard of care we received, it was very much worth it.
When I first started looking into having my teeth whitened in Phuket I was carefree about the whole thing but the more I began to think about, the more I became nervous about choosing the wrong place and totally screwing up my teeth. I took the time to do a lot of research, found a great place and ended up having a really good experience. Sea Smile was very professional, they communicated with us really well, reassured us when we needed it and delivered a very high standard of care and service. The whole experience was easy, trustworthy and very affordable. We were both very happy with the clinic, the procedure and the results! I think having your teeth whitened in Phuket is a great idea as long as you do thorough research and find a reliable dental clinic to have it done. If you are looking for a recommendation, we really liked Sea Smile and I actually ended up telling my mum about them as one of my sisters needs some major dental work done and it’s set to cost an arm and a leg in Australia!
Phoebe is a travel writer and photographer with a love for storytelling and making people laugh. Matt is a videographer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and big adventures. Together we inspire big adventures through our guides, videos, vlogs and photographs. Find out more about us here.