A couple months ago, while I was in Antigua, Guatemala, I was having some tooth pain, so I decided that it was time to visit the dentist. It’s actually quite easy to find a good dentist when you’re traveling – a quick Google search and a couple reviews later, and I found Soldent.com. The website was professional and had English and Spanish versions, so I reached out and heard back from Dr. Victoria Recinos straight away.
Victoria is a dentist, originally from Barcelona, Spain, who specializes in pediatric dentistry, but Soldent is actually a group of 5 dentists with different specialties who work together to provide excellent dental care, mostly to expats living in and around Antigua, as well as people coming from all over the world for what’s called Dental Tourism.
Dental tourism is the idea that because dental work can be so much cheaper in countries like Guatemala, it’s actually cheaper to fly from America, spend a week or two on vacation, and get your dental work done. I’ve actually dabbled in dental tourism myself. A few years ago, I had a toothache, and went to my dentist in California. He told me it would cast me $2,500 to have a root canal and a crown done on one of my molars. For a broke traveler like myself, this was an impossible price. Instead, I did a little research, found a reputable dentist in Tijuana, Mexico, and made the trek from San Francisco, down to visit some friends in San Diego, where I could easily cross the border and get my dental work done on the cheap. I was a little nervous about the whole thing, but the dentist was nice, professional, and the work he did was just fine! Oh, and the price tag? $500 for the dental work – that’s $2,000 less than my dentist in the states. And I’m going to be honest: my dentist in the states is good, but he’s kind of an asshole. My dentist in Mexico was much friendlier, and just as professional.
And in Antigua? Dr. Victoria Recinos from Soldent.com, was also kind, professional, highly skilled, and honest. I went in with a toothache, expecting to need another root canal, but she took x-rays, did a cleaning, and told me that I didn’t need a root canal at all. She filed down a bit of an old filling that she said might have been affecting my bite and causing pain. The point is, she could have easily said, “yup, looks like you need a root canal!” And got a couple hundred bucks out of me. But she was honest about it and just gave me the care I needed. I think this is a common reason why people shy away from getting dental work done overseas – they’re afraid to be ripped off. But I can certainly testify that Dr. Recinos will treat you well, and you’ll get the care you need and not be overcharged or talked into anything you don’t need. I think the technology they have at the Soldent office is actually more advanced than my dentist in California – I don’t know much about it, but the water-jet cleaning thing she used was new to me, and seemed to really get the job done!
So, dental tourism (or getting dental work done while traveling in Guatemala, in my case) is totally worth it. It’s significantly cheaper, just as professional, many of the dentists who are used to dealing with foreigners speak perfect English, and as long as you choose the right dentist, it’s totally safe.
If you’re in Antigua, or thinking about coming down to get some work done, you can get all the details about Dr. Victoria Recinos and her team at Soldent.com.