Dr Sam Wong tells us about his recent visit to Thailand to learn more about dentistry there.
I had an invitation from the president of the largest private dental hospital in Thailand “Dentalland” in Hat Yai to visit her hospital and to observe and exchange knowledge. It was an honour to have special access to her facilities and behind the scenes explanation of their management. Hat Yai’s population is around 158,000 and Dentalland has taken care of more than 20,000 patients since it opened its doors 10 years ago.
Dr Chidchanok, the visionary entrepreneur who started the hospital, set it up from scratch, designed and built it as a purpose built dental hospital. The hospital is on three floors with 18 surgeries spreading over ground, first and second floors. The aim of the hospital is to provide excellence in dentistry and in patient care through specialist departments. The environment is also fun and inviting for the patients.
The Hospital is divided into different dentistry zones with their characteristic designs. Departments are: Children, Orthodontic, Conservation and Endodontic; each department has its own theme. All of the specialist dentists have higher degrees and some graduated from the USA or the UK. Dr Chidchanok herself is an orthodontist with post doctorate degree at Institute of Health NIH, USA. The main receptions area on the ground floor is where the patient files are kept. They are still using paper notes but it has a digital booking system. There is a small cafeteria for refreshments and waiting area for the patients.
Dr Chidchanok is very keen on prevention dentistry. She prioritises special areas for children and adult to learn how to have good oral hygiene. She believes that dentists should not be working in a darkened room all day so she made sure each surgery has a view of plants and daylight. She designed a light shaft in the middle of the building decorated with tree, shrub and hanging plants there so every surgery around the light shaft can enjoy the view.
There is a central X-ray and central sterilisation area. Each endodontic room is supplied with a microscope. There is an endodontic cupboard which contains every system available in the market and would be the envy of any endodontist. There is a room for a patient co-ordinator to discuss treatment options and treatment plans. There is a small laboratory for casting models and simple appliance. They even have a laundry room to clean the uniforms for dentist and nurses.
The next project that Dr Chidchanok is planning forward is to have a dental surgery equipped with multimedia with massive projection of 3D treatment plans for her orthodontic patients. I am really impressed with the administration, patient care and progressive planning of Dr Chidchanok’s Dentalland and wish her all the very best in all her work.