It was the summer of 2003 when I knocked out two front teeth. Numbers 9 and 10 I would soon learn were worth more than a good used SUV at around $US12,000. Ouch! As a nomadic toothless kayaker that desired to have a full smile I soon began asking about international dental pricing. The discoveries were perspective changing.
Here are a few international dental practices that many kayakers may not know.
- IMPLANTS – are one of the worst to experience and expensive dental eprocedures you never want to have. I was more scared getting my second one than my first.
- “I’ve got dental insurance. I’m covered.” WRONG. I discovered, “Implants are a cosmetic surgery under the same category as a face lift, boob job, tummy tuck…” WHAT? I was toothless and not covered.
- Practically, every country in the world has cheaper dental services than the US. But is the quality as good? Please. Don’t ask a Chilean that.My US dentist let me in on a little secret and shared some Chile dental websites.
- Simple dental improvements and applications like whitening, crowns, and cavity services are a fraction of the cost of US services.
- US implant services come with a menu of ways you can get your implant. Basically, you have 3 pain options ranging in menu of price points: laughing gas, local anesthetic, and “don’t be stupid… we’re drilling into your face.”
- Chile does not offer laughing gas but does naturally include local anesthetic. Which is all you need. “Is this real life?”
Dental Services Price Comparison – Chile v. USA
With 20 +PLUS years of leading international kayak trips just in Chile I’ve seen a few broken teeth get crown work, cavities filled, caps replaced, teeth whitening and a personal implant based on demand. I’ve personally been impressed with how quickly Chilean dentists will open their offices and complete work. Here are a few price comparisons based on my experience and according to https://memberbenefits.com/dental-costs-with-and-without-insurance/.
Service Chile USA
Fillings $50 – $75 $50 – $250
Implants Less than half US Rate My first implant was $6,000+
Whitening $100 – $250 $650*
*According to www.yourdentistryguide.com.
Take Away Points
- Are you covered? Check to make certain big cost procedures like implants are not categorized as “cosmetic surgery.”
- What health care procedures could you save your budget and put back into your kayaking trip?
- Even if you are covered you may want to research purchasing a traveler’s insurance plan for your kayaking trips.
- In Pucon we recommend our local resident dentist kayaker Anita Diaz seen in photo.
Recommended Chile Kayaking Trips
Teacups +PLUS, For (IV & IV+) Kayakers / November Trips Available
Pucon Classics, For (II, III, III+ and IV) Kayakers / January to February
Vacation Certification +PLUS Kayaking (All Skills) AWFA, SRT 3, & ACA Kayak Instructor Certs +PLUS daily kayaking.