Quality, Affordable Dental Care Outside the U.S.
Dental Insurance Facts
Tired of the high costs of dental care in the U.S? You are not alone! Nationwide, 126.7 million Americans lack dental coverage, nearly three times the number of medically uninsured, according to the National Association of Dental Plans. Those with dental coverage often find it doesn't cover everything. Hate to think about losing a tooth because of the high cost to save it? If you do have insurance, it may cover half a crown! Who ever heard of placing a half a crown on a tooth? Only joking, but you get the picture, not pleasant!
There is good news though! I am a Registered Dental Hygienist, living abroad. I am going to give tips to find good, quality Dental care at affordable prices outside the U.S. You are going to save in the range of 30-70% off U.S. Dental prices! That's more than enough saved to pay for a vacation and come home smiling!
Where should you go? Let's look at some choices! I can't list all of them, but this will get you thinking ! After you pick your destination, we will get to specifics!
Where Are You Going For Your Next Dental Visit?
Where Should I Go?
Argentina- enjoys a high standard of living and medical care in many areas. The Capital City of Buenos Aires would be a great place to begin a search. Many dentists boast they are above set International Standards and ISO Certified.
Brazil- There are more dentists in Brazil, than in the United States! Practicing good oral hygiene and going to the dentist on a regular basis is one of many things Brazilians are proud of. There is Board Certification standards for Dentists in this country.
China- Shangai is a popular city for International Dentists. Many of the practices are large, with a variety of specialists working in one office. Some state they follow ADA (American Dental Association) recommendations as well as CSA (Chinese Stomatological Association) standards. I love the fact they use Dental Hygienists! This is practically unheard of in Central and South America!
Costa Rica- this country boasts about their medical tourism and became organized to promote it further. Costa Rica is rated higher by the World Health Organization than the U.S!
Ecuador- Extremely affordable Dentistry. Offices will not be fancy, but don't let that scare you! Dentists in Quito often cater to tourists and are members of the ADA. Dentists in Ecuador order their materials from the United States or Germany.
Honduras- Good medical and dental facilities may be found in or near the communities where expatriates live. This is the key to finding good quality care because medical care is lacking in rural areas. On Roatan Island, just 30 minutes off the main land, finding a Dentist who trained and practiced in the United States is easy.
Hungary- Hungary is smaller than the State of Indiana yet has over 6,000 licensed Dentists! Budapest, is the Dental Capital of Europe! All Hungarian dentists are licensed to practice anywhere in the EU.
India- is actively seeking medical tourists! Dentists in the city areas have often trained in the U.S.A. They boast International Standards, and often site on their web pages where their various products (implants, crowns, materials) are purchased.
Romania- Dental Tourism in Romania is being advertised more with their joining of the European Union. This country offers European quality at Romanian prices.
Thailand- The best way to choose a good dentist here is to use a consulting company for International Medical Tourism. A search on the Web will list several. Many Thailand Dentists are ISO certified. There are good dentists in this welcoming country, but research!
Uruguay- This scenic second world country, with many first world attributes is home to many high quality dentists. Montevideo is the Capital and boasts an award winning airport. Fantastic public transportation. They are rising on the Dental tourism scene and for good reason!
Dental Lab in Budapest, Hungary
You Chose a Destination, How Do You Find a Dentist?
- Trip Advisor Forums- someone will have mentioned dentists
- Facebook- search for an expat community at your destination. Example, Roatan Expats. If it's a closed group, send off a message. Most expat's share information willingly!
- www.expatexchange.com Go on your country of choice, check out the forum.
- Contact a local dentist in your own community that has done volunteer work. Local papers share this information! They may offer helpful suggestions.
- If you know someone from your target country, ask him or her for a recommendation!
- If the U.S. has an embassy at your destination, what dentists do their diplomats use? A quick email should get you this information.
- Use a consulting company for International Medical Tourism.
- Search the Web.
Terms You Need to Know
Terms to be familiar with as you search!
- ADA-American Dental Association
- CSA- Chinese Stomatological Association similar to U.S. ADA
ISO International Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. Dental offices voluntarily agree to be examined by an Independent Company for ISO approval.
Dental Office in Argentina
Questions to Ask the Dentist
- Is the Dentist office water purified? I would not want ordinary tap water in a 3rd world country going into my mouth! Trust me on this, I live in a 3rd world country!
- Where did the Dentist train? Is he/she licensed? Have they practiced in any other countries? How long has the Dentist been in practice?
- Did they get specialty training? if so, where and for how long?
- What metals do they use in their crowns or bridge work? Where is their lab?
- What materials do they use for fillings? Where is the material manufactured?
- How do they sterilize their instruments? I want to hear they have an autoclave! Dentists that practiced in the U.S., should be familiar with OSHA. (Occupational Safety Health Association)
- Do they wear gloves? I sure hope so in today's world! Every Dental Professional should!
- Is there a hospital nearby if you have a medical emergency?
- Is the office mercury free? Optional question if this concerns you.
- Implants? Be sure you are comparing apples to apples! A note here, implants are not a 1 day procedure. I would advise an evaluation in the U.S. first. Not everyone is a good candidate. Please research implants and questions to ask your Dentist regarding them.
As a Registered Dental Hygienist for over 20 years, I have seen my share of good and bad dentistry. Both can happen in and outside of the United States. I have also seen people not get the dentistry they deserve because of expense! You deserve to smile, you deserve a healthy mouth! I have given you my best advice to help you smile with confidence!
Get your Carry On Bag ready! Pack those Medical and Dental Records, Any Medicine you may need, Grab your passport and Go!