Many Americans are finding themselves without dental insurance, and so when they need an expensive dental procedure, they want to find high-‐quality care that is affordable, as out-‐of-‐pocket costs in the US are quite high. Dental care in Ecuador is attracting many people because of its high quality and low cost.
It’s easy to find dentists in Ecuador who have the same education, certifications, and experience as dentists in the States. Offices also are equipped with modern state-‐of-‐the-‐art dental equipment, and the whole experience is often designed to be relaxing, helping out those who have a fear of the dentist.
Whether you’re living in Ecuador or just visiting for some dental work, you can be assured that you’ll be able to get great dental care at a fraction of the cost of the same procedures in the United States.
Finding Dental Care in Ecuador
There are several locations in Ecuador where you can find top-‐notch dentistry services. Dental tourism is a growing interest, and so more specialists, such as oral surgeons and orthodontists, are establishing themselves in this area, with offices around the country.
You can find high-‐quality dental clinics in Cuenca, Quito, and Guayaquil, those being Ecuador’s major cities, and plus in some smaller towns as well in the country.
Word of mouth is a great way to find a good dentist. Local expats often know who’s best, and you can save a lot of work searching by asking them who they use. It’s important to be well informed before you make your first dental appointment in Ecuador, so finding out who locals have liked visiting for their dental care is a good place to start.
Dental Procedures in Ecuador
Most common procedures done in the US or other countries are easily available in Ecuador. Root canals and root therapy are available, as well as general exams, fillings, crowns, and gum care. Even complex procedures like orthodontics, bridges, and implants can be done by skilled, licensed practitioners in Ecuador. You’ll also find the alternative approaches you may be considering: veneers, onlays and inlays are all available in Ecuador as well.
All of these procedures are done in modern offices with top of the line dental equipment. Even oral surgery and maxillofacial surgery is done by professionals with the same level of credentials as dentists in the United States. Whatever your needs, you’ll be able to have them met with Ecuadorian dentistry services, and all for much less than you’d pay in the states.
Dentists in Ecuador
The quality of medical practitioners is one of the major concerns that people have when they visit or relocate to Ecuador. Dentists are no exception. Fortunately, Ecuador has a very high standard of care in both the medical and dental fields.
In Ecuador, dentistry is controlled and monitored. Dentists must be properly licensed and their facilities and machines are inspected twice a year. The inspecting body is able to revoke a dentist’s license if their machines do not pass this inspection. Many dentists went to school for dentistry in the United States. They are often US Board Certified, and they and their staff often undergo training in order to stay up on all the latest developments in the field.
Price Comparison between Dental Care in Ecuador and the United States
The biggest appeal of dental work in Ecuador is the low cost. Some procedures cost only a tenth of what they do in the states (i.e. up to a 90% discount). Ecuador’s low prices are not compromised by poor work, either, so the affordability of dental care in Ecuador is really astonishing. Expats often choose Ecuador because of the low cost of living, and medical and dental care are no exception to this.
Even with good dental insurance in the United States, co-‐pays can be quite high, often higher than the full cost of getting the entire dental procedure done in Ecuador instead. Here are some sample prices for common procedures in the United States and in Ecuador.
|Implant with Base||$2,200||$1,000|
|Complete Set of Dentures||$1,100-‐$2100||$700-‐1000|
When you factor in travel expenses if you’re visiting Ecuador specifically for dental work, naturally these costs increase a little bit, but even so, the savings are still quite apparent and preserved in comparison to the United States, especially because you have the opportunity to experience an enjoyable South American vacation along with your dental work.
For those already living in the country, especially on a fixed income, these low costs are often a lifesaver. Expats don’t have to worry about a dental emergency ruining their budget. Their relaxed equatorial lifestyle can continue uninterrupted by financial troubles.
Medical tourism and dental tourism have both been on the rise in Latin America. Medical tourism has even become its own industry, with companies specializing in vacation packages that include medical treatments along with the usual tourism activities. Dental tourism is following this trend.
As costs in the United States rise for dental procedures and fewer people have insurance, dental tourism is becoming more popular as people seek out high-‐quality, inexpensive services. Ecuadorian dentists are well positioned to provide these services, with all the same levels of education and credentials as dentists in the US. They offer the same treatment options that are found in larger, wealthier countries, yet at a fraction of the cost.
Visitors to Ecuador also occasionally become “spontaneous patients” when they decide to have some dental work done during their vacation. Cuenca and Quito attract many visitors, and the opportunity to get some inexpensive dental care is often tempting. There’s so much to do in Ecuador that a quick visit to the dentist isn’t a big deal, and then you’re right on to your next attraction.
There’s a lot to see in this country, and it’s relatively easy to get around. There are many beautiful National Parks that offer the chance to partake in outdoor activities, such as mountain biking, hiking, and kayaking. There are also many historical buildings and monuments to visit, as well as great nightlife in the cities, especially in Cuenca and Quito. All of these things make Ecuador a great choice for any vacation, and if dental work is on the agenda, you can’t beat Ecuador’s quality and prices.
The Future of Dental Care in Ecuador
Word of the great quality of dental care available in Ecuador is quickly spreading through the expat community, and increasing the demand for dental offices in the country. Many of these will be in locations with thriving expat communities, and these clinics will also attract dental and medical tourists, accordingly.
Many dental centers are modernizing and expanding their online presence, since their clientele is increasingly coming from overseas. As this trend increases, it will be easier to research clinics and do price comparisons. Finding the right dental office for your needs will become easier and you can even make appointments online.
All of this growth also means that the use of English will grow, increasing the options for people who don’t speak any Spanish. Smaller cities and towns will begin to have an English speaker available in order to cater to the growing expat and tourist demand for dentistry work. English is becoming more important in many areas, and it’s not difficult to find English speakers in the bigger cities, especially in industries that cater to tourists, or in places with larger expat populations.
If you’re considering a cosmetic procedure that’s very expensive at home, or if you just happen to need dental care while you’re on vacation, rest assured that you’ll be quite pleased per your experience with Ecuadorian dentistry!
Adam Elliot Altholtz serves as Administrator & Patient Coordinator of the “Find Health in Ecuador Dental Clinic” in Cuenca, Ecuador, and for purposes of discussing your Dental needs or questions, is available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, via US phone number of 1-(941)-227-0114 or on the Clinic’s Ecuador phone number of 07-410-8745.