Connect with us


Visionary dentist bridges gap in Phuket dental market

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Medical tourism and the hordes of foreign customers it brings to Thailand and Phuket’s shores is on a steady rise, with the Tourism Authority of Thailand reporting more than 2.5 million international patients travelling to the Kingdom for treatments in 2012 and predicting an increase of 13% per annum.

One dental clinic conglomerate, Dental Corporation Co Ltd, started filling the market cavities years ago, and its business-savvy CEO recently sat down with the Phuket Gazette to talk about the changing tides of medical tourism and what his company has in store for Thailand and Phuket’s tourists and local residents.

Dr Pornsak Tantapakul, DDS, who graduated with an orthodontic certificate degree from New York University before moving on to earn a degree in lingual orthodontic technique from Eastman Dental Institute at the University College in London, told the Gazette he saw a significant increase in the number of overseas patients visit his clinic soon after his return to Thailand.

“I started with a humble one shophouse dental clinic along Phahonyothin Road [in Bangkok] about 12 years ago,” Dr Pornsak says.”Perhaps because I had trained abroad and applied those techniques, standards and technological innovations to my work here, my clinic saw a significant number of overseas patients.

“Looking at the opportunities at that time and with the incoming medical tourism market, I knew I needed a larger dental center that could effectively provide a one-stop dental service center to both the international community and local residents near the city center of Bangkok.”

Thus, in 2005, the Bangkok International Dental Center (BIDC) was established. BIDC is the company’s seven-storey flagship dental center, with more than 30 treatment rooms providing professional hospital-grade treatments and standards. The one-stop shop has on-site 3D CT scans, digitalized x-ray machines, an on-site lab and a mini boutique hotel.

In 2012, BIDC became the first outpatient dental care center in Thailand to achieve the American quality and patient safety Joint Commission International (JCI) certification.

But the company didn’t stop there. With quality and customer service in mind, says Dr Pornsak, more dental clinics were established following the same principles and standards of professionalism.

The company now has two premium Dental Signature clinics, one at Siam Paragon shopping mall in Bangkok and the other in Patong next to Jungceylon shopping mall, as well as a chain of Smile Signature clinics, with five locations scattered around Bangkok.

“We even have three more confirmed locations expected to be opened by the end of 2015, which includes one on the beachfront road in Patong. Dental Corporation Co Ltd will have an expected 11 total clinics in Thailand by the fourth quarter of this year,” Dr Pornsak notes.

Dr Pornsak credits the expansions in part to a rising number of dental tourists visiting Thailand – even in spite of recent political turmoil.

“Though there has not been a reported benchmark by which to measure Thailand’s dental tourism industry growth, our dental group has seen an increased overall number and an annual increase in foreign patients at BIDC and in Phuket over the past few years, despite the domestic political issues and economic downturn in some of our main patients’ countries,” he said.

Dr Pornsak noted that these foreign patients make up about 97% of customers that walk through the doors at Phuket Dental Signature in Patong, compared with the 60% foreign customer base seen at BIDC.

“With the natural, beautiful islands and beaches on and surrounding Phuket, this percentage rate comes as no surprise to me. Tourists are combining medical and dental treatments with their holidays,” Dr Pornsak says. “With Phuket’s vast potential, the dental group has plans for a second clinic in Patong by mid-year which will be situated in front of the beach.

“Visitors can relax and enjoy the beach view from the second floor of the clinic.”

— Mauri Grant


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 mins ago

More Pattaya people arrested drinking alcohol, violating Covid measures

Best of38 mins ago

5 of the most appealing Phang Nga hotels

Phuket2 hours ago

“Phuket Sandbox” still on, provincial restrictions set after uptick in Covid-19

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand2 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Boss indictment, Pattaya arrests, bubble burst | July 27

Best of2 hours ago

Top 5 bars in Pattaya

Thailand2 hours ago

UPDATE: Dying Samut Prakan mother tells daughters to go to orphanage

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Best of3 hours ago

Top 5 Thai restaurants in Krabi

Drugs3 hours ago

Hong Kong officials seize 61 kilograms of heroin shipped from Bangkok

Best of3 hours ago

Koh Pha Ngan’s 5 best resorts

North East4 hours ago

Couple “drops off” Covid infected 80 year old father at Korat temple, drive off

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Phuket officials add new layers of restrictions, Central closed for 7 days

Thailand4 hours ago

Korat construction camp closed following Covid outbreak

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 14,150 new cases; provincial totals

Crime6 hours ago

Attorney General still plans to indict Red Bull Heir, cites new ‘evidence’

Best of6 hours ago

5 of the best spa hotels in Hua Hin for a relaxing getaway

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8