Emergency Dental Work in Cambodia

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in Asia, Cambodia

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While we were in Cambodia, Milo lost his two front teeth. He was 2.5 years at the time and it was a bit traumatic (for me, not him) however I am pleased to say that overall this is a pretty positive story.

On the way to Europe we stopped in Siem Reap, Cambodia for a week to see Ankor Wat. We had a wonderful time and Milo (2.5yrs) and Tom (5 nearly 6) spent all their days running around the Temples of Angkor. They had a ball amongst all the old ruins and forests. I often called out to tell them to slow down as I was concerned about all the uneven paving, massive roots coming out of the ground, temple ruins and whatever else came across their path.  I was worried about one of them chipping their teeth or breaking a bone.

Milo also appeared to have skipped the fear gene and would often climb up as high as he could before we could catch him or worse yet …. just run as fast as he could in the opposite direction.

One night we were getting ready for bed and the boys were playing on our big king sized bed in the hotel. It was all very tame and light and then there was a little (very little) bump. Tom had bumped Milo’s mouth with his head. Initially we didn’t even notice (as they didn’t complain) until we looked down and there was blood all over the white bed spread.

We looked at Milos mouth and his two front teeth had been pushed up into his gum. One tooth had then started to fall out and was in a slightly sideways position and the other was still in place. Amazingly enough Milo wasn’t too upset. He cried over the blood but settled pretty quickly. We had lots of help from the hotel and within about 20 seconds, buckets of ice turned up to make an icepack. Half an hour later we decided that he was calm enough to sleep and we would go to the dentist first thing in the morning. It was nearly 10pm, Milo was calm and the boys were exhausted.

The next morning one tooth was still sideways and the other was starting to turn brown/black. We asked the hotel for the best dentist in town and off we went.

The first thing I noticed was the pristine, white building. It was very impressive and very clean (unlike most of Siem Reap). We walked in (with no appointment, although I vaguely remember the hotel may have called and let them know we were coming) and the place smelt like a dentist, which was very relieving and comforting in an odd way. Unfortunately no one spoke very much English, however we still managed to communicate what had happened and we were told to fill in forms and wait.

Whilst waiting, my husband Scott and I were trying to work out which credit card to put the bill on and whether we should call our travel insurance company before we went in, or after. As it turned out, we only had a 2 minute wait and didn’t get time to make the call!

We went into an incredibly professional and immaculate dental surgery where we met a dentist who spoke some English. He took one look at Milo’s teeth and went and got a Dental Surgeon as he thought they needed to be removed. He was right and as he spoke the most English out of the 5 Dental staff in the room he stayed to translate. We also had 3 dental nurses, although I suspected 2 of them were there to gush over Milo’s blonde ringlets. The surgeon was available for a consult straight away! We thought this was slightly amusing, considering it can take a month to get an appointment to get your teeth cleaned in Australia.

The sideways tooth had already died and was just hanging there. The surgeon pulled it out with his fingers, Milo didn’t even notice (I may have squealed). Their advice was that we should remove the second tooth as it was turning black and was “dying”. If we didn’t, or we waited until we got to London three days later, there would be a high chance of infection.

We decided to remove it right there (seeing as we were already there and they seemed to know what they were doing). I lay in the dental chair with Milo on my chest so I could cuddle him during the procedure. Scott held up the IPad to try and distract him and 2 of the dental nurses appeared with numerous Toys and activities to also try and keep him occupied.

It was all over in about 3 minutes and I am pretty sure I cried more than Milo did! He was happily playing in reception about 5 minutes later trying to work out how to use the water machine.

The dentists were friendly and professional and we were extremely happy with the service. We spent nearly an hour with them, most of their time was spent answering all out questions about our options and making us feel better. At no point did they try to rush us and they took their time explaining things so that we could full understand our choices.

When it was time for the bill, Scott got his credit card out and as it turned out, he needn’t have worried. The TOTAL came to just under 30USD. We didn’t even bother claiming!


We were extremely impressed and relieved that this service was available to us in Cambodia. As Australian’s we are used to last minute dental treatment being extremely expensive. This procedure might have taken days, if not weeks to schedule and could have potentially been a couple of thousand dollars.

Milo a week later, playing in Hyde Park in London

Milo a week later, playing in Hyde Park in London

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