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The Mystery Behind the Smile

Fairly recently a company called Thai Smile has started offering teeth whitening services in Koh Phangan. The Facebook page for the company (https://www.facebook.com/thaismile123/) is full of pictures of people holding up rows of teeth and smiling. They all seem very happy with the results of the procedure. And it only cost 4,000 Thai Baht. Koh Phangan needs better medical and dental services, but it also needs some regulation. The more you research online about Thai Smile the more you get suspicious.

The first thing to note is that there is no website for the company. This in itself is not damning but it does create a blank where most people would be looking. Dentists and dental labs in the UK often can’t be bothered with websites because they are too busy making money. However, for a Koh Phangan business it rings alarm bells.

For a start the Twitter Account and the Facebook account provide an email address and mobile telephone number for contact. But not an address. The closest Thai Smile comes to revealing where their operating room is is a message on Facebook that suggests the owner can be found at DNA tattoo in Haad Rin. Does the teeth whitening happen in a tattoo shop?

FB

The thing just gets fishier. On the brochures displayed on the Facebook stream the teeth whitening technician is named as Alan Evans BSc (Hons). Alan Evans is often used as a pseudonym like John Smith. Also people who change their name for one reason or another often keep part of their original name in their new moniker. This seems to be the case here. The Facebook and Twitter accounts for Thai Smile both link to the LinkedIn page for Alan Boyd Avery. It is an impressive CV in management but has no mention of dental qualifications, or explains who Alan Evans is. The LinkedIn profile does mention a change of career to be a dive instructor.

Alan-Evans-BSc

Could it be that Alan came to Koh Phangan to be a dive instructor and ended up setting up a teeth whitening business instead? Could it be that Alan doesn’t have any qualifications to practise the procedure? He does mention in one FB post that he “tested out the new equipment last night”. Is this a maverick buying a laser teeth whitening machine and then trying it on himself to make sure it works?

FB-2

Maybe there is no problem with this? The machine is new and it works so no worries. Maybe all the fuss about regulation is unnecessary. However, fast forward a few months when the machine is not so new; when the salty sea air has had time to get into the procedure room. The machine might go haywire. Unless Alan Evans knows what he is doing he might hurt a patient. A laser can be like a scalpel – a life saver in the right hands and a means for inflicting pain in the wrong hands.

4,000 Thai Baht is cheap to improve your smile. The stigma attached to being vain seems to have disappeared from the young generation. I hope that common sense has not abandoned them.