Hey there. I’m Kelly Jacobs; I’m a Kiwi originally although I’ve spent considerably more time in Australia than Enzud, and I consider myself more of a Kwozi now. I’m closer to 50 than 40 and I’ve have lived in Brisbane since 1996. I recently graduated from Griffith University with a Bachelor of Arts and am still figuring out what to do with it. I’m also one of the numerous people in Australia (both male and female) who have elected to undergo a combined cosmetic surgery/holiday experience abroad.
I travelled to Thailand in 2012 and again in 2016 to get some dental work done at Bangkok Hospital in Phuket. Like most of my life trajectory, my path toward booking a cosmetic-tourism holiday was rather arbitrary. It wasn’t until my late thirties that I decided I didn’t like my teeth. My Mum had always told me I had lovely teeth (bless her), but my two front teeth were by then noticeably chipped and my teeth as a whole no longer exhibited the pearly white sheen of my youth – too much coffee, chocolate and coke maybe?
But what bugged me the most was my two crooked, bottom-front teeth. They had never bothered me before, but now I found myself constantly probing the offending incisors with my tongue, front and back … frowningly pondering their incongruence. What could be done? I ventured into the Google maze but was discouraged by the costs associated with cosmetic dentistry domestically. I remembered a girl on my Facebook, Claire Licciardo, ran a cosmetic surgery/holiday venture. Disgruntlement with my gnarly gnashers aside, I also needed a holiday. Three months later and I was touching down at Phuket’s international airport courtesy of a cosmetic-holiday package booked through Claire. My decision to venture abroad to undergo a cosmetic procedure was by no means anomalous. A large international study, the Sun, Sea, Sand, Silicone Project, estimated that Australians spend $300m a year on cosmetic surgery tourism, with an estimated 15,000 Australians heading offshore each year to go under the knife.
Even if I had been aware of the reassuring statistical commonality at the time, I would still have had some niggling reservations relative to Claire’s assurances regarding the quality of the Thai dental work on account of my inherent (albeit waning) cynicism. I told myself I was just being paranoid …. I was.
On both excursions to Phuket I was treated by Bangkok Hospital’s Dr Supachai Kerdsap. During my first trip, I had veneers placed over my two top central incisors (two front teeth) as well as having my two bottom central incisors removed and replaced by a three-tooth bridge. In order to complement the structural work, I also underwent the Brite Smile teeth-whitening procedure. When I returned in 2016, I had two more veneers placed over the tooth on either side of each top central incisor.
The procedures required only a general anesthetic and I can honestly say it was pain free unless you count the mildly uncomfortable sensation of the general anesthetic being injected into my gums. I despise needles and the thought of the cold steel cruelly lancing my gum’s tender tissue struggled mightily to hijack my consciousness … but I was worrying for nothing. It wasn’t that bad. Here is my experience on YouTube!
The experience of having two of my bottom teeth removed under anesthetic was quaintly surreal while the adhesion of the bridge to the sides of my bottom lateral incisors and the whitening process was completely drama free. The veneers were such a non-event discomfort wise, on both trips, I can’t recall much about either procedure. The only moderate pain (and moderate is pushing it) I endured worth mentioning occurred post-op and was related to the teeth removal, but the Endone I was provided took care of that.
The cumulative cost for the veneers, extraction, bridge and whitening I underwent in 2012 amounted to $3062 (AUD). By comparison, pricing for cosmetic-dental procedures in Australia was (and is) markedly higher. The average cost of a single porcelain veneer in Australia in 2012 was $1087 (AUD) according to the Australian Dental Association (ADA). The obvious question raised by the difference in pricing relative to Australia is whether the quality of the surgery decreases relative to the cost? The answer to this reasonable enquiry is a resounding no.
Any stigma attached to the Thailand cosmetic surgery industry has long since disappeared, buried under the avalanche of satisfied tourists departing Thailand after undergoing a cosmetic procedure; consequently, Thailand’s reputation for quality is now firmly established and easily verifiable by the amount of JCI accredited hospitals operating within the country.
JCI accreditation is the benchmark standard for quality healthcare globally and for facilities to be awarded accreditation, they must prove they can consistently meet or exceed the required level of care. JCI accreditation benefits patients holistically because accredited facilities are highly regarded by other providers, businesses, government ministries, and insurance companies. Thailand’s reputation notwithstanding, it has been my experiences on a personal level have assured me more than any other factor that the work I had done was legit.
I don’t smile as much as I should, haha, but I’m often complimented on my teeth when I do, and my dental work has been remarked on favourably by Ozzie dentists performing my annual checkup. The most impressive litmus test, though, occurred over two years after my first visit to Phuket.
I was working security in licensed venues at the time and one evening, the weekend before Christmas 2014, I was punched forcibly in the mouth, the blow directly impacting the bridge. The next morning my bottom lip had inflated to twice its usual proportions but the bridge was as resiliently attached as ever … and still is to this day.
Thailand’s cosmetic holiday’s industry is currently traversing the same covid tightrope as the rest of the globe. The future bodes well though. Thailand’s covid-recovery plan includes reopening Phuket July 1 with Phuket Sandbox, so depending on when Australian borders reopen sometime in mid 2022 NipTuck are already taking bookings. If you’re interested in upgrading your ivories or undergoing an alternate augmentation or reduction then I recommend you consider Thailand as an option.
Nip Tuck Holidays offers comprehensive cosmetic dental options including some ongoing promotions to consider through Smile, Sea Smile and the MALO clinic in Bangkok if you’re champing at the bit to ameliorate your cosmetic holiday itch … and they are not going anywhere if you’re in no hurry ! The other factor just as appealing about a Thai cosmetic holiday package is the holiday itself. Thailand is a happening and adaptable holiday destination. Whether you want to party nonstop or enjoy a relaxed family-friendly environment … Thailand can accommodate you.
On both trips to Phuket I stayed in Patong Beach – at the Marriot in 2012 and the Patong, Sun, Sea Sand in 2016. I couldn’t fault either establishment. Both were complete with clean, well-kept rooms with modern amenities and efficient, friendly staff.
Cosmetic surgery & holiday packages include great deals on accommodation through hotel/resort affiliations that can be tailored to your budget and preferences. Options abound relative to location if one would prefer a less hectic base than Patong. NipTuck Holidays partnership with the DoubleTree by Hilton Phuket Banthai Resort and the Four Points by Sheraton Phuket Patong Beach Resort offer amazing prices with discounts 20% less than the price online and booking.com, starting at just $50 per night! You will opportunity to benefit from the accommodation packages offered for both luxury resorts in Phuket right in the heart of Patong.
Wherever you chose to stay in Phuket, the hospitality factor will shine through as the concept of hospitality and Thailand seems intrinsically permeating. My first day staying at Patong Beach affirmed without a doubt that Thailand was indeed aptly titled the land of smiles.
My curiosity inspired wanderings along the beach and random tangential excursions down beckoning side streets resulted in numerous encounters with the locals, who inevitably tried to relieve me of some of my recently-transferred baht by way of their enthusiastic sales pitch. I was always greeted with the proverbial Thai smile, which usually remained in place whether I made a purchase or not. I was also immediately struck by the level of care shown to the stray dogs and cats. They were generally clean and obviously well fed judging from their usually prosperous profiles. I have a soft spot for animals, and witnessing the encompassing Thai kindness and respect extended to also include Phuket’s four-legged residents was heartwarming.
Speaking of well-fed, I did develop a weakness for the pancakes complete with sliced banana and Nutella so commonly peddled throughout Patong. Any criticism directed at me for a lack of adventurous spirit relative to sampling traditional Thai food is unjustified, haha. I devoured more than my fair share of tasty Thai cuisine from the roadside vendors or the street and hotel restaurants. Thai is my favourite dish, so I took to the task with relish although I did draw the line at the crispy, crackly crickets proffered by one elderly street vendor. Her crinkly, wholesome visage and ardent assurances proved unequal to overcoming my inherent squeamishness. Her persistence paid dividends elsewhere though. The crispy, crackly description provided referring to the sound emanating from the masticating jaws of the doughty German tourist who proved far braver than I when it came to accepting that opportunity to broaden his culinary horizons.
I participated in numerous touristy activities during my time in Phuket including hiking, elephant treks, white-water rafting, attending Mua Thai events and visiting sites of interest such as the Big Buddha. I also spent numerous memorable evenings partying with the locals and my fellow tourists while checking out the Patong nightlife.
Phuket Town on the Eastern side of the island offers the opportunity to immerse oneself in a more traditional Thai environment. If you appreciate architecture then I recommend taking the time to wander the streets of Phuket Town and peruse the homes constructed in the early 1900s displaying the hybrid Sino-Portuguese structuring popular at the time. Phuket’s variety/predictability dynamic is its salient quality. From the chaotically-stimulating environment of Bangla Road to the traditionally refined atmosphere of Phuket Town, the Island’s vibe remained constant; I was always made to feel welcome and appreciated.
Phuket remains one of my favourite holiday destinations. The Island’s populace emanates efficiency and warmth on every level from the hotel staff to the street vendors and the myriad of activities available to experience relative to the minimal costs involved certainly won me over. I’m eagerly anticipating my next Thailand adventure. Maybe I will try somewhere different this time round. Koh Samui? Chiang Mai? Bangkok? Momentum for the resumption of international travel is gathering as the measures implemented to tackle the covid crisis take effect. Thailand’s tourism industry is confident Thailand’s borders will be reopen on July 1 in Phuket. If you are considering cosmetic surgery and really need a holiday, then Nip Tuck Holidays website is a great place to start your enquiries.
Thailand awaits ….