Adding some bling to your grin.
Last Updated: November 21.2014
- Gold teeth are rare and somewhat unpopular in HCMC, but some dental offices offer them nonetheless
- They are much more common among the ethnic people in the northern highland regions
- The image of ethnic girls with gold teeth has long been used in literary works to symbolise the mysterious northern highlands
- Dental clinics at HCMC offer gold teeth for around VND8-10M per crown, and gold fillings are also available
Long presumed the exclusive domain of the mysterious Roma people and rich, aesthetically-challenged Eastern Europeans (as the cliché goes), gold teeth have never really been a thing in the Western world. The same holds true for Vietnam and HCMC, even though it is possible to get your dental work done with a bit of bling if that’s what you’re really after.
First of all, a crucial distinction: a gold tooth is a fitted crown which permanently covers the original tooth that is decayed, damaged, or cracked. It’s not a piece of dental jewellery used to temporarily cover the teeth – as seen in hip-hop videos from the 80’s onwards and more recently worn by mainstream stars like Madonna, Rihanna, and Miley Cyrus. Fortunately, this particular trend has not reached the shores of Vietnam… yet.
Even though HCMC is called home by more than 10 million people, it’s still an extremely rare sight to see anyone sporting a bit of gold in their smile. However, in the mountainous regions of northern Vietnam there are some ethnic minority groups that still consider gold teeth to be a symbol of beauty. Some even go as far as replacing all their natural teeth with gold ones, amounting to a sparkling smile that you can sometimes catch a glimpse of at the bazaars of the highland regions. For them, a gold tooth is an expression of wealth, and some view it as a kind of charm or talisman that may bring luck. This is a long-standing tradition, especially among the female population, and many Vietnamese authors have used the image of ethnic girls with gold teeth to conjure up the mysterious, surreal sense of the northern highlands.
Although rare and somewhat unpopular in HCMC, you can still get gold teeth here. Some dentists offer the service at the cost of around VND8-10m per unit, although the Saigonese overwhelmingly prefer natural-looking porcelain crowns. Aside from that, gold fillings are also sometimes available. Here are some reputable dental clinics that offer these services:
- Bao Nha Dental Clinic | 232, Ba Thang Hai, Ward 12, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | 84 8 38800576 / 3880 0578 | email
- Nha Khoa 2000
- Ba Lan 126 | 126, Nguyen Cu Trinh, Nguyen Cu Trinh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | 84 8 38389660 / 3920 9902 | email
- Viet Giao Dental Clinic | 71, Pham Ngoc Thach, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | 84 8 38204103 | email