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Dental Care in Indonesia

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There is a wide range of quality in the dental care services offered in Indonesia. With some research and due diligence, one can obtain high quality dental work, exceptional personal service, and a great value. Even in one’s own home country, it is not unusual to receive poor quality dentistry, indifferent service, unnecessary work, and/or be overcharged. Just as anywhere a second opinion may be worthwhile if a substantial amount of dental work is proposed.

Finding a great dental practice is challenging anywhere. In Indonesia, just like at home, the sources of referral are friends and coworkers, internet data, and one’s own judgment based on the initial consultation.

Just as in the broader medical field, centers of medical/dental excellence in Indonesia tend to be in the larger cities. If you make trips to Jakarta or Surabaya for business or Bali for holidays, you may want to look into getting dental work done while you’re there.

Friends and coworkers that have had good experiences with a particular dentist’s service are often a great starting point. Of course most lay people are limited in their ability to evaluate the quality of some types of dental work. However they can very effectively evaluate the experience in terms of professionalism, service, and comfort. They can also evaluate the esthetic result of procedures like veneers or orthodontics.

Choosing a dentist

Your own impressions when you meet a new dentist are also very valuable. At the initial consultation ask the dentist to give you a thorough examination of your teeth and gums and an organized plan for your treatment. If the work is of a cosmetic nature, ask the the dentist to show you before and after photographs of patients with treatments similar to that being proposed for you. Ask if sterile techniques observed, including the use of gloves and wrapped instruments. Ask if the dentist speaks your native language and get a feel for whether or not he/she is willing to take the time to answer your questions.

Indonesian dental standards

In Indonesia, the standard of dental care for the general population is rather low and is proportionate to the recipient’s financial means. For many poor people dental care just means having a tooth extracted when it gets to the point that it hurts so bad that they can’t stand it. You’ll find that your household help, driver, and much of your office staff may never have been to a dentist in their life.

However there are very well trained, experienced Indonesian dentists with highly professional practices catering to those who appreciate the value of preventive dentistry. Some of these practices even promote the very latest dental technologies in areas such as crowns, veneers, implants, bleaching, and Invisalign. For many procedures, like bridges, crowns or Invisalign, the laboratory work may be done in Europe or America. As an example, all Invisalign orthodontic aligners are made by Align Technology USA regardless of where the dental practice is. However, the fee charged by a dentist in Indonesia would on average be much less than in the US.

Another factor to consider in choosing a dentist in Indonesia is that dentists that provide advanced services, such as Invisalign, generally have high quality practices.

The benefits of getting dental care in Indonesia

There are benefits of seeking dental care while in Indonesia. If you live in Indonesia, putting off dental care until your next home leave may not be an option. If you are in pain, you want relief now! If you or your children need orthodontics, the monthly maintenance and adjustments will need to be done where you live the majority of the year.

If you are visiting Indonesia on a holiday, you may have some spare time and want to take advantage of the lower prices. Dental work at home can be time consuming and people often neglect routine and preventative dental care for lack of time.  In some countries it is not easy to get dental appointments within a reasonable time period and especially not easy to get appointments at convenient times. In Indonesia you will find practices cater more to the patient’s schedule.

Another factor to consider is that in most developed countries dentistry is very expensive. In Indonesia, the same work may be less than half the cost. Of course, it is only a value if the quality of the work is good. One option is to get an overall treatment plan in one’s home country and then get some, or all, of the work done in Indonesia.

Remember, the most important part of your family’s dental health is preventive care and your everyday home care. A great way to get to know a dentist and his or her practice is to have a dental check up and cleaning. Compare their services to the dental services you are used to receiving at home. It would be unwise to neglect routine preventive maintenance because of being away from one’s home country.

If you have medical-related questions about living in Indonesia to ask of medical professionals, see Ask the Experts.

We trust this information will assist you in making correct choices regarding your health and welfare. However, it is not intended to be a substitute for personalized advice from your medical adviser.

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Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

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