In my nine years of teaching at international schools, I have never worked at a school that has provided dental insurance! The reason that they always say that you can find high-quality local dentists that charge so much less than dentists in the US that you don’t need insurance.
I posted before about going to the dentist in Venezuela, and I did get very high-quality care. I never tested out the dentist in Mexico, but I have read stories of many people who go to Mexico just for dental care. In China, it never even occurred to me to look there, but I’m sure you can find a decent dentist. So while I have only tested out the dentist in one other country, I have to say that my experience at the dentist here in Surabaya, Indonesia has beat out every dentist that I’ve been to in the US (and Venezuela too).
The dentist that I’m talking about is called Ezmo Dental. They are right around the corner from my school here in Surabaya, so it is easy to go there on a prep period or just leave a few minutes early at the end of the day.
So far I have visited them four times and I keep finding more reasons to love the dentist here!
They know their stuff AND they have cool gadgets: The first time I visited Ezmo Dental for straightforward cleaning. Dr. Edward takes pictures of your teeth using a camera while you are lying down in the normal dental chair. I think the dentist continues using the camera as they are cleaning your teeth so that they can see your teeth from different angles. After they are done cleaning they take an after photo so you can compare. So cool!
It is affordable: At the cleaning Dr. Edward told me that a cavity I had filled as a kid needed fixing so, I went a second time for that. This was the only time that I questioned the dental care because at first, they weren’t going to numb my mouth at all! The dentist said that many people don’t want to pay extra for the Novocain so they make it optional. I advised them to mention this option to any future expat clients because they might freak out like I did if they feel the drill on their tooth before getting Novocain. I want to say that it was about $60 USD without the Novocain and $80 with- worth it!
Kind doctors with fantastic English: I took my son for his first time at 18 months- not really a thing here… but they humored me. Parents in Portland are advised to bring their kids to the dentist as soon as they have one tooth, let alone 12, so I was determined. Dr. Olivia had him sit on my lap in the chair, poked around in his mouth, gave me some basic advice about brushing regularly, and said to come back when he had all of his teeth. She even gave him a toy car to take home.
They are fast: Most recently Dr. Sharon fixed the permanent retainer that popped off of my teeth halfway AND cleaned my teeth quickly. I was able to walk there during my school prep time, get the work done, and get back to school in about 75 minutes!
I plan on taking my son for another try at cleaning now that he has all of his baby teeth in!
Please share your thoughts! Have you ever visited a dentist outside of your home country? Where have you had work done? Have you tried other “medical tourism/dental tourism” options?