Why You Don’t Have to Dread Getting Dental Care in Ecuador
As the number of individuals without dental insurance increases, there is an increased interest in finding quality care that is also affordable. Dental care in Ecuador is providing a viable alternative that is drawing expats from all over.
It is easier than you might imagine finding a dentist whose experiences, education, and certifications are the equal to any of his or her stateside counterparts. State-of-the-art equipment and modern offices can provide additional comfort for those who view the trip to the dentist as a kind of medieval torture session.
Where to Find Dental Care in Ecuador
Top notch dentistry can be found in a variety of locations in Ecuador. As the interest in dental tourism grows, an ever increasing number of specialists including orthodontists and oral surgeons are establishing offices around the country.
Cities like Quito, Ibarra, Cuenca, and Guayaquil have a large number of dentists to choose from. Even smaller towns, such as Cotacachi, have professionals whose standards and qualifications are comparable to those in the U.S.
The best way to find a dentist that can meet your needs is to ask locals who they use. Word of mouth, particularly from other expats, can save a lot of footwork and provide the kind of information that will enable you to be an informed patient.
What Kinds of Dental Procedures are Done in Ecuador
Expats will discover that most of the common procedures done by dentists in their home countries can be taken care of in Ecuador. Examinations, fillings, gum care, and crowns are all offered by skilled and licensed practitioners. This also includes root therapy and root canals as well.
Even more complex matters, such as orthodontic and cosmetic measures (braces, straightening, and whitening), implants, and bridges are part of Ecuadorian dentistry. Alternative dental approaches, such as veneers, inlays, and onlays (as opposed to fillings) can be found here as well.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeries are conducted in modern, state-of-the-art facilities such as the Dental Quito Clinic. In every way, the practice of dentistry in Ecuador is on the same level as that found in the U.S. and other countries.
The Dentists in Ecuador
One concern that many expats have when they have relocated to Ecuador is whether the medical practitioners will be of the same caliber as those at home. This is probably even more of a concern where dentistry and dental-related medicine is involved.
Dentistry in Ecuador is controlled and such items as X-ray machines are inspected and monitored twice a year. If the machine is not calibrated properly or is otherwise faulty, the inspecting body can revoke the dentist’s license to practice.
Many dentists have been educated in the U.S. and are board certified. Additionally, practitioners and their staff frequently will take ongoing training and continuing education courses to stay current with the latest trends.
The Bottom Line – A Price Comparison between Dental Care in Ecuador and the U.S.
Cost is the single most attractive feature for expats considering having dental work in Ecuador. By some estimates, fees charged for dentistry in this Latin American country are only a tenth to a quarter of what the same services would cost in the U.S.
Even if you are fortunate enough to have some type of dental insurance, often the co-pays will still be higher than the total cost in Ecuador. Keep in mind that the cost of the insurance itself is also a factor.
Below is a chart showing a comparison of sample prices for several common dental services in both the U.S. and Ecuador.
|Implant with Base||$1,000||$2,200|
|Complete Set of Dentures||$900||$1,100-$2100|
Even when factoring in the costs of travel, including accommodations and other expenses, it is readily apparent why having dental work done in Ecuador has become so popular. Expats, particularly those who have a fixed income, can take comfort that caring for their teeth and gums will not break the bank and ruin their dream of a tropical escape.
Dental Tourism – A New Approach to Oral Care
Medical tourism has been growing throughout Latin America in recent years. There are even companies that specialize in packages that combine medical treatments with a vacation-like atmosphere. In the last few years, dental tourism has become part of this trend.
Given the increasingly high costs of dental procedures in the U.S., Europe and Canada, the “dental tourist” is usually focused on one thing: inexpensive services that are still high quality in nature. Ecuador’s dentists have placed themselves in the forefront of this surge by offering the same kind of treatment options found in larger countries at a fraction of the price.
Ecuador also attracts the “spontaneous patient”; visitors to places like Quito or Cuenca who decide to have dental work done while they are on vacation. Enjoying the Ecuadorian culture while taking care of your teeth and gums is certainly a great way to maximize your time while lessening the drain on your wallet.
The Future of Dental Care in Ecuador
As word of mouth spreads in the expat community as to the affordability and the quality of the practice of dentistry in Ecuador, the demand for more dental offices will continue to grow. It can be expected that growing expat communities will also become hubs for these new offices and will be a real drawing card for medical tourism as well.
As many of these modern dental centers continue to expand their online presence, being able to research and do price comparison will also become easier. Many of the sites also have forms that you can use to make inquiries and set up appointments.
This growth will also help reduce the language issue that may exist in some smaller locations. You may need to have the help of an interpreter unless you are conversant in Spanish. This is also changing as having access to an English speaker is becoming as important as buying a state-of-the-art piece of equipment to the growing expat clientele in many parts of Ecuador.
Whether you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative for a pricey cosmetic procedure, or just end up needing a root canal on your next trip to South America, there’s no need to dread going to the dentist in Ecuador!