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Foreign dentists are attracted to practising in Vietnam due to its embrace of the latest dental technology in addition to the low-stress lifestyle and warm climate. This, of course, is good for expatriates because not only are you likely to find a dentist who speaks your native language, but the service will be much cheaper than you would ever pay in your native country.


These prices can range anywhere from 30-50% below those in Europe, Australia or North America.  Services at clinics around city include filling cavities, implants, surgery and orthodontics (mostly well done by international standards) for both children and adults. Full-mouth reconstruction is possible. Due to the wide range of capabilities and state-of-the-art technologies already available, though in limited supply, dental tourism is on the rise in Vietnam.

Below is a typical range of prices for dental treatments in HCMC:

Type of CareVietnamese Chain ClinicStarlight Dental ClinicSmile Dental ClinicDental Arts of Saigon
Teeth cleaningFrom VND300,000-700,000From VND600,000-VND1.4MFrom VND950,000-VND2.3MFrom VND900,000-VND12M
Teeth whiteningVND4M at clinic, VND1.5M-2M for home whitening productsFrom VND4M-6M (home bleaching, office bleaching or combine)VND2.2M-3.3MAround VND6.5M at clinic
FillingFrom VND350,000-800,000From VND700,000-VND2.5MFrom VND800,000-VND2MFrom VND2.1M-5.5M
Teeth whiteningVND4M at clinic, VND1.5M-2M for home whitening productsFrom VND4M-6M (home bleaching, office bleaching or combine)VND2.2M-3.3MAround VND6.5M at clinic
Ceramic crown (price depends on material)From VND4.5M-5MFrom VND6.5M-13.5MFrom VND7.7M-13.2MFrom VND13M-VND19M
ImplantFrom VND20M-30MOver VND50MN/AFrom VND34M-43M
BracesFrom VND38M-VND65MFrom VND40M-80MFrom VND25M-80MFrom VND32M (Orthodontic treatment, painless without braces) adv


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It’s a familiar sight in Vietnam: an elderly person chatting and smiling, with a few noticeable holes where tooth decay has taken its toll. If you don’t have any problems with your teeth, thank your lucky stars. You might not think about oral health often, but in many ways it’s a major key to your quality of life. Where would you be if you couldn’t eat your food properly? If your jaws hurt and ached with every chew? If you had to endure a smile with empty gaps, marking the places a molar or a canine has fallen out?

Over the age of 60, these concerns often turn into a reality—especially in Vietnam. A survey in 2010 showed that the average 20-year-old in Vietnam has lost one tooth, and citizens over the age of 80 endure life without an average of eight teeth. Even more tragic? There’s no reason to expect bad teeth as we grow older: with a few precautionary measures, it’s entirely possible to retain all of your teeth into the winter of your life.

Why Do People Lose Teeth?

One of the common misconceptions is that tooth decay is a natural process of ageing. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, tooth loss and periodontal disease stem from a combination of causes—in particular, lazy hygiene (brush your teeth and floss!), lifestyle factors (smoking is a chief cause) and, more often than not, delaying regular checkups.


So, if you don’t go to the dentist often, chances are your teeth will decay. But here’s the interesting part: if you stay vigilant and get a dental check-up every six months after you turn 60, you’ll actually need the doctor less!


Regular check-ups with a dental consultant who understands good oral health will nip potential infections in the bud and give you on-the-spot treatment for any issues that arise. The trick is, you need to find a dentist well-versed in geriatric treatments, who won’t charge an arm and a leg.


Good Health Means Good Options

Dr. Lam from Elite Dental, a celebrated professional in his field with a PhD earned in France, has made himself the foremost expert in geriatric dentistry in Ho Chi Minh City, taking particular passion in patients without teeth. Last year, he researched 20 cases of complete edentulous (total tooth loss), and has made ground-breaking research in an effort to fight it: Pro Arch, a four-part implant that literally gives patients a second chance at oral health.


The professionals at Elite Dental don’t have just one way to restore an individual’s teeth to their former glory. Depending on each case, and each person’s budget, we might recommend a dental bridge to restore missing teeth or a dental implant to restore complete tooth function. Each unique case deserves the attention and professionalism on which we pride ourselves.


Dental implants are a last resort once all other options have failed. Preventative measures are by far the better option, and by far the easiest and least expensive. There’s only one step to this process: book a dental check-up every six months!


Our Tips for Life-Long Healthy Teeth

1. Quit smoking

Smoking isn’t just bad for your lungs—it also introduces harmful chemicals into your mouth. These increase bacteria levels, as well as your chance for periodontal disease.


2. Keep up with your hygiene regimen

A bit of a no-brainer, but worth mentioning nonetheless. If you leave food hiding in your teeth, chances are it’ll lead to tooth decay.


3. If something doesn’t feel right, get it checked out

If you think a sore mouth is just a sign of ageing, think again. Nobody has to suffer with bad teeth, so nip the infection in the bud!


4. If you do experience tooth loss, don’t panic

If you lose a tooth despite your best efforts, we know what to do. From tooth implants to dental bridges, we’ll make sure your smile is whole again.


5. Get regular check-ups

The top reason for bad tooth health is neglect, so this one can’t be overstated. If you’re over 60, we recommend seeing a dentist every six months.


Location 1: 51A Tu Xuong, D3, HCMC, Vietnam

Location 2: 75 Huỳnh Tịnh Của, Phường 8, D3, HCMC Vietnam

Phone: +84 28 7306 3838 | Website:

Email: adv


One-hundred-thousand foreign dental tourists, nearly US$150 million of revenue per year – and rising. There’s no denying it: dental tourism is what you would have to call a trend in Vietnam. However, considering the 10 million international visitors the country welcomed in 2016, and the much more impressive numbers of its world-leading neighbour Thailand earning a staggering US$5 billion from medical tourism each year, one thing is for sure: there’s room to grow.

Especially knowing that Vietnam has strong arguments for travellers to choose the country over its competitors: skilled doctors, the latest technology and, most importantly, as Dr. Quynh Nhu Do from Elite Dental Group states, “the cost for dental treatments is about 20 to 30 percent cheaper than in Thailand.”

Not to mention Western countries… Hence the massive influx from nearby nations such as Australia and New Zealand, Dr. Nhu explains. You catch a direct flight, get your teeth done, save more than half of the typical cost, “and with the rest of the money you travel around Vietnam.”

One might wonder how dentistry manages to be so cheap here. For once, lagging behind is actually an asset. Thailand got dental tourism going decades ago. Its main attraction back then? The low cost. Soon the customers came, whole clinics decided to cater to foreigners and the prices saw a strong rise. In Vietnam this hasn’t happened yet. “That helps us to be competitive,” Dr. Nhu adds.

Critical Voices

However, not everybody embraces this development. Notably, foreign dentists warn their patients against going to “low-cost countries” for their dental treatment. It goes without saying: this judgment is biased.

Dr Adrian Sinanan from Starlight Dental has worked in the UK and Australia. He knows those prejudices all too well. “When it comes to healthcare, negative feelings go around like a wildfire. If a country gets a bad reputation, it’s all over.”

Hence what a dental tourism destination needs is an impeccable reputation as a centre of excellence. “That’s what Thailand made its name on. Malaysia has it for medical procedures. And that’s what Vietnam needs to consolidate,” Dr Sinanan says. Collaboration is the way to go, not competition: making sure clinics in Vietnam reach the highest standards across the board and work together with dentists abroad to ensure efficient aftercare. Credibility is key.

Getting Vietnam Google-Ready

In this spirit, more and more clinics are pushing to create an association in a joint effort to set common standards and promote Vietnam as a dental tourism destination. In Dr Sinanan’s eyes, one major goal is: “When people search for ‘Dental Tourism Asia’ online, Vietnam should come first in the Google listing.” Simply put, when people think dental tourism, Vietnam should be the first country to come to mind.


But regardless of all efforts to spread the word, he points out what it really comes down to: “At the end of the day, all you want is provide the best possible service to domestic and international patients and if people happen to come to your clinic from far, that is great news. Whether it’s called dental tourism – or just good dentistry.” adv



We sat down with Dr. Philippe and Chau Guettier, two well-known dentists who have run the Starlight Dental Clinic for over 20 years, in order to find out more about dental care in HCMC and Vietnam.


In your opinion, is the Vietnam dental industry currently developed in HCMC?

Philippe: During the last 15 years it has developed a lot. Especially in terms of quality, it has improved much in the past three to four years. At the university level, the education of the dentists is getting better and better. There is much more training done by foreign universities – namely French universities. Now young dentists who graduate receive much better education for their practice.


Is developing the dental industry and pushing dental care a concern for the Ministry of Health?

Philippe: The Ministry has a good control over the quality of the clinic. In France, once you graduate and open your clinic, you will never get any check-ins from the government on a yearly basis to see if everything is taken care of. In Vietnam, each clinic gets a check-in from the Ministry of Health every year. This is good for maintaining the quality of clinics here.


In terms of equipment, are there concerns or issues based on the different levels of clinics? Or is there a general standard?

Philippe: Basically, what the government will control are x-rays, sterilisation, and product lifespan. After, they will not check if the tools or the products you are using to treat the patient are good quality or not. Unfortunately in Vietnam you have many products made in China – machines, or products you put into the patient’s mouth. The instruments used to treat and restore a patient’s teeth will not be of the same quality. There is quite a big discrepancy from one clinic to another.

Do the majority of locals value the importance of having healthy teeth?

Philippe: You have a growing middle class. Once you go outside Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, there’s still a big gap. You have to look at the ratio of how many dentists there are for the population. In France, it’s 1 dentist for 1,500 people. In Vietnam, it’s 1 dentist for nearly 10,000 people.


We’ve seen more obesity in children in Vietnam in the past 10 years. Is this also affecting dental care?

Chau: I think the main reason for cavities is how you brush and take care of your teeth. Even if they eat a lot, if they brush their teeth afterwards they will not have problems. Now, people have more education on how to keep their teeth clean.

Philippe: We go to a lot of schools and have a program for this. We teach the children what are cavities, how to brush your teeth, and we give them a toothbrush. But to answer your question, I think we have more cavities than before for the kids. The quality of food (with fast food and soft drinks) has decreased. Even if you have kids in international schools with wealthy families, you’d still be surprised by the number of cavities that can be found.


Will there be an expanding future market for orthodontics?

Philippe: By definition, everybody knows Vietnam is a young country [laughs] with a lot of kids, so sure there is a market for orthodontics. Now, you have parents who want their children to have great teeth for the future, so they bring them in for orthodontics. But you also have a lot of young Vietnamese adults who get orthodontics, because as kids they didn’t have this. As opposed to France, where mostly children get orthodontics, in Vietnam we have many more adults patients.


If you had to give a price difference between the majority of treatments, how much less expensive would it be here than Australia, including the cost of travel and board?

Philippe: Australia would be three to four times as expensive, at least.

Chau: But it depends on the treatment. To give an example, I had a quotation from a patient in Australia for one impacted wisdom tooth removal for $1,200. At our clinic in HCMC the cost is $120.