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Old May 17, 15, 12:31 pm
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: OZ Diamond, Jiffypark Manhattan Gold
Posts: 4,222
I wanted to just chime in after reading through this...I'm gonna go a bit OMNI but i'll stay on topic.

1) Everyone wants the best care possible. That's never in question, but I think the way some of us define that is out of whack. Equally, poor people everywhere may have terrible teeth for many reasons, the last of which is local quality and abilities.

2) Perception is often associated with quality. A fancy dentist office with a Porsche sitting out front seems to suggest he/she runs a great practice and must be a great dentist/doctor/whatever. In Colombia I've seen multiple practices of different kinds run out of what appear to be/have been, apartments. Now as a Canadian that TOTALLY throws me off. I mean, who would run a dentist office in an old apartment? They would. Keeps real estate costs down. The doctor doesn't live there, but it offers private rooms and a decent sized waiting area, so what's the problem?

3) There's good doctors everywhere. People from Medellin don't flood to Miami to get dental work done. They feel they get good care there and why arbitrarily up their costs? That's where it works in our favor. I've seen plenty of beautifully manicured smiles in Medellin and worldwide, clearly there's qualified dentists everywhere.

4) Get referrals, of course. I don't think I could ever do a medical tourism thing, but if I were, I'd damn sure be asking every person I know to recommend someone.

5) As a Canadian, I still don't really understand fully how the American medical/dental system works, but am I the only one who thinks those prices you guys were quoting are highway robbery? I paid $52 out of pocket last week for a cleaning, I have to go back and get some minor work done that'll probably cost me like $150 or something. I get no insurance from my work anymore and the insurance I pay for outside of work is $50 a month (which I think is outrageous). No one should be FORCED into this kind of decision. I've checked into cleanings etc in Colombia because sometimes I just don't have time to see my Canadian dentist and I thought it might be cheaper. But not because I had to.

6) If you really are going to do it and are still nervous after checking into the place as much as possible, maybe do something small. I got a teeth whitening done, on a bit of a whim from a place I'd walked by multiple times over the course of a few years. I didn't really even think twice about it other than asking them repeated questions about what they used and what I can/can't eat/drink etc etc. This was a small dentist office out of one of those apartments, the only thing that defines it as an apartment though is the style of building/entrance and perhaps the layout. In any other way it's a normal office. I asked my dentist to check me out when I got back as I was already getting a cleaning. Naturally he warned me about stuff like that "we don't know what they're using" etc etc and beyond that he said I looked fine. I thought to myself...I went to a place that has lots of clients, why would I be any different and what do they stand to gain by using something that'll ruin my teeth? Maybe I'm a bit too trusting but once he said I was fine I basically brushed off his other comment as 1st world fear mongering to a certain extent. Now, would I go in there for a root canal? Not without asking around first, but would I go back there for another whitening? Already planning on it.

Just remember what gives you confidence in your own doctor/dentist. You assume they know what they're doing and you've dealt with them for years. If you moved to a different city in the US would you do thorough research on finding a new doctor/dentist? I'd guess probably not, if the practice looked ok, you'd probably just head in.
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