Not just to eat and shop, Singaporeans are also going to JB for dental care

No compromise on quality

Choosing a trustworthy dentist was important to Ms Lim because her unpleasant dental encounters at school left her with a “trauma and phobia of going to the dentist”.

Dr Shim's diagnosis was the same as the one she consulted with the dentist in Singapore, but the Singaporean dentist quoted her about US$5,000, and she had two root canals in Johor Bahru for half the price, which also involved two crowns.

While Ms Lim admitted that “we saved a lot due to currency exchange”, she reiterated that “the most important thing is the quality, experience and skill of the dentist”.

“If the dentist is not skilled, I will not continue the treatment and will go back to Singapore to see a dentist,” she said.

Dr. Shim, who founded his clinic in July 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, has noticed an increase in patient traffic over the past few months, with clients now booking weekend slots two weeks in advance.

Since 2022, most of his patients from Singapore – a number he estimates to be 60% of his total clients – have been seeking him out.

He says technology has helped him meet the need for one-day trips to the clinic under a tight schedule, with equipment such as intraoral scanners and 3D printers available to record patients’ dental impressions and facilitate same-day retainer placement. It noted that patients from Singapore receive the same treatment and charges as other patients.

Clinics in Johor Bahru can also offer patients a change of pace compared to the experience of a dentist in Singapore.

Dr. Chris Tan, who runs Family Dental in Setia Tropika with his wife, said: “Some patients have reported to us that it is difficult to get an appointment at the Singapore clinic. Their teeth cleaning treatment is always completed within 15 minutes, while mine takes longer. time, and in more detail.

It is important to Dr. Lai that her clients make informed, informed decisions about their course of treatment.

“Some people may have different pain tolerance than others,” said Dr. Lai, who has been practicing medicine for 14 years. “A lot of people feel judged when they go to the dentist. So when they come in, we make them feel like they can say they're afraid of us, make a joke, let them talk and share their concerns.

For every 10 clients she sees, six to seven are from Singapore, but she points out that given the diaspora of Malaysians working in Singapore, not all of them are “real” Singaporeans. There are also expatriates from Singapore who travel to Johor Bahru for dental care.

One of her favorite questions to ask is “How did you find us?” Her clients tell her that in addition to Google reviews and many word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and past patients, Pink and White Dental also appears on several websites targeting expat wives in Singapore in the Facebook group.

A personal touch helps. For example, Dr Lai sometimes drives some of her Singaporean patients to the checkpoint, which is about 5 kilometers from her clinic.

It's not always about money. She also advises some of them to use their Singapore Medisave funds for procedures such as wisdom teeth surgery or dental implants if possible, as the prices are likely to be about the same.

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