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Old 08-20-2009, 07:45 PM   #21
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So do you speak Spanish there ... or do you need too?
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:57 PM   #22
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So do you speak Spanish there ... or do you need too?
No, I opted for the "long legged dictionary"!
Truth be told, I have lived here about 6 years and I have a vocabulary of about 500 words and can conjugate verbs, i still can not put a sentence together. Lima is home to just about every World embassy and as everybody has English as a second language it is not a problem. Dentists and Doctors are required to learn English as are most professionals and they enjoy when they get a chance to practice it.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:13 PM   #23
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Laser eye surgery is another popular choice for tourists but I have noticed many Peruvians go to Colombia for Cosmetic surgery, although i do not know why as the cost should be about the same!
For whatever reason, this surgery seems to be popular in Colombia. (I am currently living in Medellin, Colombia). I know two foreigners that had it done and they were happy, the last one from Florida. He got his myopia laser-corrected in both eyes for about US $850. The doctor is very well known and speaks perfect English and uses state of the art equipment. The guy from Florida said he got 4 quotes in the USA and the lowest was about 4x that much. He was unemployed and taking advantage of extended time off, he spoke zero Spanish.

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Old 08-20-2009, 09:21 PM   #24
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No, I opted for the "long legged dictionary"!
Truth be told, I have lived here about 6 years and I have a vocabulary of about 500 words and can conjugate verbs, i still can not put a sentence together. Lima is home to just about every World embassy and as everybody has English as a second language it is not a problem. Dentists and Doctors are required to learn English as are most professionals and they enjoy when they get a chance to practice it.
Hey NYEXPAT, love that dictionary!! I plan to go to the dentist for the first time here in Medellin in about a month for a routine cleaning. I met a dentist at a friends pre-wedding party and he is a professor at the dental school. He also does all the dental work for my friend's family and they recommend him. He is about 40 and dating a hot 23 year old student, another plus! She is nicknamed by his friends as "La Sobrina" (The Niece), ha ha.

Here in Medellin, for almost all services you either need to speak Spanish or have someone with you who does. I have worked hard to become an advanced speaker and so I wouldn't even accept a friend's help for translation if they offered Also, I consider using local medical services as learning about the culture. I also plan to get a blood workup done here, also. I have been so busy with social stuff, Spanish classes, dance classes, working out, etc. I literally have not had the time to get to it yet.

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Old 08-20-2009, 09:37 PM   #25
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I have gone to the dentist 3 times in Chiang Mai, Thailand in the last 1.5 years (2 different dentists). The cost for cleaning has been about $30, $14, and $8. The last 2 were with a cheaper dentist. The last time it was only a 4 month gap between cleanings and my teeth were so clean that they charged me less but only worked on my mouth about 15 minutes or so.

There is a lot of competition for foreigner's business there and virtually all those dentists speak English, many of them speak it quite well.

My philosophy is to ask around and do research, and find the dentist that you would trust to have major work done with. Then go to that dentist regularly, including for cleanings, not the cheap one. I am going back to the more expensive dentist for my next cleaning there. They have state of the art facilities and a team of dentists with different specialties. I mean for the small difference in cost, it pays to go with quality care. The cheaper dentist, who has a sterling reputation and is about 60 years old, is transitioning her practice over to a younger dentist.

When getting work done in a foreign country, you need to do more research. But from the many folks I have talked to, in Thailand at least, the care by the good dental outfits is basically equivalent to what you get in the USA. (in reality, I think USA dental care is probably slightly better)

In fact, please don't take this the wrong way, but after having gone to overseas dentists for the last 2 years, I found many of the fears on this thread somewhat humorous.

In many ways, the research for a foreign dentist in an expat area is easier. There is a popular expat forum for Chiang Mai, for instance, and you can get all kinds of opinions and information about local dentists there from local expats.

After my experiences, I would never really consider getting major dental work done in the USA because the cost difference is too high and the quality difference too low.

One funny cultural difference -- in Thailand when they are working on your teeth, they cover your eyes, too. The dentist does not want to be stared at.

One person mentioned the water? Please. Of course they use clean water at the dentist, not tap water -- even local restaurants do not have a tap water option. The vast majority of people in Thai cities, for instance, drink bottled water only. Here in Medellin, Colombia, the water is completely potable and I drink it everyday (this is an exception in the developing world, however).

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Old 08-21-2009, 12:37 AM   #26
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i spend way too much on my teeth as they are very prone to cavities and so have a mouth full of fillings that need replacing, weaken and need crowns etc...i save money every year, just because of that.

my dad sells insurance for a living and can't afford to get his teeth problems fixed here in the states, so is considering waiting a couple years to have them fixed when he goes to visit his family in korea. he must be in a lot of pain and is literally grinning and bearing it.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:25 AM   #27
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And the fact that some dentists in developing countries are less than adequate doesn't change the fact that there are less than adequate dentists in your own town in the USA. I went to a local "in network" dentist exactly once and figured out they were money grubbing sheisters that recommended unnecessary work because they are on commission. That seems unethical somehow. But that was straight from the mouth of my regular hygienist (at the good dentist's office) that moonlights at the crappy "in network" dentist 1-2x a week for a little spending money. At the crappy dentist, the cleaning was more painful than I had ever experienced, and left my teeth sensitive for days. And the five "cavities" they recommended I needed to have filled turned into 2 cavities when I went to my out of network regular dentist. So paying a little more per filling to fill 2 cavities was still waaay cheaper than having 5 cavities filled (and that ignores the discomfort of having fillings done and the weakening of the natural tooth structure and the inevitable failure of the fillings eventually).
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:20 AM   #28
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Hey NYEXPAT, love that dictionary!! I plan to go to the dentist for the first time here in Medellin in about a month for a routine cleaning. I met a dentist at a friends pre-wedding party and he is a professor at the dental school. He also does all the dental work for my friend's family and they recommend him. He is about 40 and dating a hot 23 year old student, another plus! She is nicknamed by his friends as "La Sobrina" (The Niece), ha ha.

Here in Medellin, for almost all services you either need to speak Spanish or have someone with you who does. I have worked hard to become an advanced speaker and so I wouldn't even accept a friend's help for translation if they offered Also, I consider using local medical services as learning about the culture. I also plan to get a blood workup done here, also. I have been so busy with social stuff, Spanish classes, dance classes, working out, etc. I literally have not had the time to get to it yet.

Kramer
Kramer,
Your a lucky man (if you are single)! I have many friends in MDE and it truly is a beautiful city. I have heard a lot about Chiang Mai as well. (you sure know how to pick them). Do you live in Poblado?

Laser surgery here (I have heard) is a little more ($1,000 for both eyes). I was also laughing at some of the comments (some people have no clue)!

The only downside I have experienced is dentists here do not use (nitrus oxide) I prefer it over lydicane injections, but other than that what I save on a crown will by me whiskey for a year or two!

Is MDE a permanent move or a couple of year thing? Do you have to do 6 mos in country and 6 mos out or did you get residency?
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:46 AM   #29
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The only downside I have experienced is dentists here do not use (nitrus oxide) I prefer it over lydicane injections, but other than that what I save on a crown will by me whiskey for a year or two!
You prefer nitrous INSTEAD of lidocaine? Ouch! At least the lidocaine, properly administered, numbs the pain.
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:13 PM   #30
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You prefer nitrous INSTEAD of lidocaine? Ouch! At least the lidocaine, properly administered, numbs the pain.
Back stateside I had both and found the subsequent "drooling" and then the pain from the injections was annoying. I switched to gas only (for 10 years) and never experienced (or did not care)pain and no after effects! In Peru I was back to the injections and maybe it has to do with the "administration" but I usually leave with only mild "numbness" and no after effects from where they inserted the needles. I still miss my gas though.
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:17 PM   #31
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Back stateside I had both and found the subsequent "drooling" and then the pain from the injections was annoying. I switched to gas only (for 10 years) and never experienced (or did not care)pain and no after effects! In Peru I was back to the injections and maybe it has to do with the "administration" but I usually leave with only mild "numbness" and no after effects from where they inserted the needles. I still miss my gas though.
Maybe it is just my high dollar dentist, but he always applies a topical anesthetic with a q-tip, then pops the lidocaine needle in (more of a machine that administers a controlled dosage through the needle). I imagine the gas could start flowing before all this numbing and shooting occurs to "take the edge off". I don't opt for gas anymore. As long as the tooth is numb, I'm good to go.
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:33 AM   #32
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Kramer,
Your a lucky man (if you are single)! I have many friends in MDE and it truly is a beautiful city. I have heard a lot about Chiang Mai as well. (you sure know how to pick them). Do you live in Poblado?
. . .
Is MDE a permanent move or a couple of year thing? Do you have to do 6 mos in country and 6 mos out or did you get residency?
Hi NYEXPAT, he he, I do like both Medellin and Chiang Mai! The other city I have enjoyed using as a base is Cebu City in the Philippines.

Medellin is not a permanent move for me at this time. I have been traveling around SE Asia and Colombia for the last 2 years, although I have spent the most time (by far) in Thailand, followed by Colombia and then the Philippines. The fourth country I had considered as a FIRE-base is Mexico, which I have hardly explored since retiring in April, 2007.

I briefly looked into the pensionada visa for Colombia. Basically, they require a pension (public or private), something that I don't have, and you have to be in the country at least 6 months per year. For the retirement visa in the Philippines and Thailand, you can show assets without a pension or a mix. You have to be at least 50 for the Thailand retirement visa. In the Philippines, the requirements for a retirement visa are stricter for those under 50, but their tourist visa rules are such that you can easily stay forever by just leaving once a year.

But since I have been happy going between countries, tourist visas have served me fine.

Oh, I don't live in Poblado (for others, this is the most ritzy section of Medellin and where most tourists stay). I live in an area called Conquistadores, between the Exposiciones metro stop and Laureles. I do travel to Poblado each morning (which is not too far) for my Spanish classes.

Kramer
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:36 AM   #33
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I should mention that most big cities in many foreign countries have a few well known English speaking dentists who charge more but get a lot of foreign clientele. For instance, I had forgotten there is a guy like this in Medellin who is recommended on the main expat board here by a lot of people. His English is very good and, if I recall, he did a lot of his training in the USA.

So don't let language be a barrier.

The country of Hungary is also a well known destination for dental tourists . . .

Kramer
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:24 AM   #34
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Hungary is a very popular destination for the Germans and Swiss for dental work.

Here in Estonia, we're the main destination for the Finnish and Swedes. Many Estonian dentists graduate from dental colleges in Finland or Sweden, since Estonia only has one dental college with a limited number of placements each year. Those that graduate locally however still attend post graduate training and continuing dental education seminars in Scandinavia (primarily at the University of Turku, Finland). Our local school is very good though, EU certified and many graduates move on to work in other EU countries. So the quality of dental treatment here is very high, yet very affordable.

In know my dental clinic uses products from the companies Ivoclar Vivadent (German/Lichtenstein) and Dentsply Ceramco (USA) for the in your mouth work and most the big equipment (x-ray machine, sterilization equipment, etc) is all German or Scandinavian.

I also like how dentists here don't try to coerce you into expensive and unnecessary cosmetic work. Like my last dentist in Florida who said while doing a basic cleaning "you'd look much better if I built up and straightened that tooth. Let me put together a price package for you." Me - "is there anything wrong with it medically?" Him - "No, but you'll have a much nicer smile. Let me get you that price."
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Old 08-22-2009, 06:30 PM   #35
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Quality of care can vary greatly across the globe, and even within a country depending on the skill of the provider.

I've seen some great dentistry, and some really lousy dentistry from different parts of the world.

Dentists here in the U.S. have to undergo one of the most rigorous programs of study in the world (4 years undergrad, 4 years dental school, and possibly 1-6 years post graduate training) - so you would expect them to be better trained.

Here in the US, we do have standards of care, quality and procedural levels that we dentists must practice to, which could greatly affect the cost of the procedure. For example, in many countries, Sargenti root canals or something like it is perfectly acceptable- This is where the root canal is not filled with a gutta percha and sealer- the standard of care in the United States- but rather the dentist will use a liquified/paste material to do the root canal. It is much quicker, much more dangerous (one of the ingredients is formaldehyde) and more prone to failure. Any US dentist caught doing one of these would lose a malpractice lawsuit, and insurances will not pay for this if they knew this was the type of root canal done.

In regards to crowns, the quality of the materials can vary greatly. Many overseas crowns (especially China) use inferior metals and some even have lead in them- a big no no. Unfortunately in an effort to cut costs and line their own pockets, some dentists here in the US are using these off shore labs and putting these very same crowns in the mouths of their own state side patients. So be sure to ask for proof of the material in the crown being placed in your mouth- the dentist should be able to furnish a sheet for you from the lab to certify its authenticity.

In regards to tooth cleaning, some overseas dentists don't even bother to look at or address gum disease- so be aware of that.

Finally, it is very important that you ask how instruments are sterilized in the clinic. I had a patient who tried to go to a dentist in China but walked out when she found that they were using boiling water to "sterilize" (it doesn't) rather than an autoclave.
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Old 08-22-2009, 06:57 PM   #36
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And in related news, your friendly health insurance company might even be prodding you to go overseas for dental and other health care:

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Elizabeth Kunz left her dentist's office this spring with a mouth full of problems and no way to pay for them. The South Carolina resident went out of her way, literally, to find a solution, which turned out to be in Central America. Her trip to the tropics is part of a health insurance experiment for trimming medical costs: overseas care.

As Washington searches for ways to tame the country's escalating health care costs, more insurers are offering networks of surgeons and dentists in places like India and Costa Rica, where costs can be as much as 80 percent less than in America.

Until recently, most Americans traveling abroad for cheaper non-emergency medical care were either uninsured or wealthy. But the profile of medical tourists is changing. Now, they are more likely to be people covered by private insurers, which are looking to keep costs from spiraling out of control.
Health insurers test medical tourism waters in search of cheaper care for big-bill procedures -- chicagotribune.com
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:21 PM   #37
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Great article, thanks for posting it. Surprisingly "Vasectomies" is another area I hear guys are going overseas for.
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:48 PM   #38
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The next time i bother to go out of country. I might look at getting my teeth cleaned and my prostate checked for cheaper prices. Otherwise uh yeah.
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:44 PM   #39
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Great article, thanks for posting it. Surprisingly "Vasectomies" is another area I hear guys are going overseas for.
I thought virtually all vasectomies were done abroad?? In talking to my urologist, he said this procedure would involve going "down under", so I take it only the Aussie docs are experts at this delicate procedure??
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:05 PM   #40
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The next time i bother to go out of country. I might look at getting my teeth cleaned and my prostate checked for cheaper prices. Otherwise uh yeah.
The ZOOM method is about $150.00 and most masseuses will throw in the prostrate check along with the happy ending!
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