Going to the Dentist in Ecuador
You might think that dental work would not be a very interesting subject for a Chronicle. But the truth is we get a lot of questions about medical and dental services in Ecuador. Many people are considering having medical work done in countries where it is much less expensive than in the US - Medical tourism is booming. Chronicles that touch on medical subjects are quite popular. So, here we continue where we left off last week - having a dental implant done in Ecuador. If you did not see last week's Chronicle you may want to take a look at this link first:
My dental implant was done by a specialist - Doctor Fernando Zurita. Doctor Zurita's practice is called Dental Implant Center; it is located right across an open lobby area from Doctora Flores' Office.
Dental Implant Center - Entrance
Dental Implant Waiting Room Art / Quotations
Before we started the Doctor explained the process. First he would make the area numb - Doctor Zurita does not use regular novocain. He uses something that is easier on your system and only stays numb for about 20 minutes or so - which is longer than the whole procedure takes. Then he would drill what is in effect a pilot hole in the middle of the gap of the missing tooth. After this the implant is screwed into place. The implant is sort of like a wood screw, but it is hollow with threads on the inside. A small top is screwed onto the implant - now just above gum level. At this point you are done for now. You have to wait for three months so that your bone can grow around the implant.
In about three months you return and the small top is removed. A base for a dental crown is then torqued into the implant. The implant becomes the "root" for the new tooth. You then go to your regular dentist - in this case Doctora Flores - to be fitted for a crown. Now you have a whole new tooth.
Dental Implant Operating Theatre
Doctor Zurita (left) the Patient and the Dental Implant Team
After a Successful Procedure
A Successful Implant - Now We Wait Three Months for a Tooth
For me, everything went well. Doctor Zurita has the training and the technology to make it seem easy. There was no pain. The implant is in place and I am in the three month waiting period. Doctor Zuirta perscribed an antibotic to reduce any chance of infection and also a pain medication - although I had almost no pain. I went back a few days later for the Doctor to check everything out. He even had a sort of small dental camera device that he put in my mouth allowing me to see the implant sticking through my gum on the computer screen next to the dental chair.
The table below shows what I paid in Ecuador for the work I had done versus the cost in the USA. I got the US cost estimates for each procedure by doing a little research on the internet.
|Ecuador || USA|
Implant with Base
I have discussed this pricing several friends and most of them think my US pricing here is low - they have paid considerably more. For me, saving money is good - but when it comes to medical matters the most important is to work with professionals who know what they are doing. I felt confident in my dental team as they did the work - and the result is excellent.
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