How to Find a Dentist in Lago Atitlan Guatemala?
The average cost to have your teeth cleaned outside the USA or Europe is 8-10 U.S. Dollars. Foreigners living in Lago Atitlan Guatemala normally do not have Dental insurance for small things like dental work. Why? Because it is so cheap they do not need insurance, they are self-insured.
Planning to have Dental work done in Lago Atitlan Guatemala?
1. Make a list of all the work you need done.
2. Find the price in the USA or Europe, etc.
3. Talk to a dentist in in the USA or Europe etc and have the dentist explain to you in your own language what is the best options, or methods to have the work done.
How to find a dentist in Lago Atitlan Guatemala?
1. Translate all the dental work words from English or your native language into the local language.
2. Hire a taxi to take you to all the Dentists near your Hotel or Apartment in Location and make a list with then name and locations. (Taking a photo is an easy way to take notes.)
3. Walk in to the Dentist office and ask the prices; this can be very difficult to do if you do now speak the language. Do not assume there are set price, and the dentist is fare.
4. Find 3-8 foreigners or ex-pats who have lived in Lago Atitlan Guatemala for over five years and ask their advice.
You will learn a few things, many of them have never had any dental work, Most will only know the office of one dentist. Generally, they will recommend the one that speaks English, and not the ones that cannot. Do not assume they made good choice, try to find the savvy person.
5. If you do not speak the local language, find a friend that is a foreigner to help you. Do not have a local help you unless the person is rich, or does not want to help. If he or she truly wants to assist, they may be trying to get a commission. Please try to understand, the local is a good person to ask, they probably know the cheapest, but generally the local person living in Lago Atitlan Guatemala has never paid for expensive dental work and is clueless to help you.
It takes a savvy person to have dental work done abroad.
6. Start out slow by having your teeth cleaned, do not just walk in an have the whole job done. Maybe have your teeth cleaned at the three best, paying 10 Dollars three times is a good interview of the dentist.
How to get a good price for a dentist abroad?
1. Dentists located in the middle of the tourist zone cost more than ones outside.
2. Dentists located where no foreigners live are cheaper.
3. If the dentist speaks English, he or she is normally going to cost three times more than one that does not.
4. Try find out where the rich locals go to have their work done.
5. Try to find out where the poor locals go for dental work in Lago Atitlan Guatemala.
6. Avoid the cousins of locals, relatives of locals, that is not a good way to evaluate a dentist.
7. A good dentist will have the prices posted on the wall.
8. A good dentist will answer this question fast.
"How much to have my teeth cleaned?"
A bad dentist will stall, look at you, and try to figure out the most he can get you to pay.
9. If the dentist has a website in English, he or she is normally trying to charge about 2-5 times what is normal. They know the foreigners are easy targets, and do not know what they are doing, they will take advantage.
10. Assume the dentist is lying to you about prices, and never sit down and have work done until you are 100 percent sure of the total price. Get the dentist to write it down. If you get cheated, the locals are not going to help you, there is no recourse, cheating rich people on planet earth is considered good business, and clever, it is not looked down on, or discouraged.
11. You must negotiate the price, dentist are the smarter people you will meet abroad, and they the can make a weeks worth of income in two hours if they lie.
12. The cost of work done by dentist should be 10 times cheaper than in the USA or Europe.
Example: If you pay 100 USD for your teeth to be cleaned in the USA, than you need to pay about 10-20 in a poorer country.
13. The average person in location makes 5-25 dollars PER DAY, not per hour. A professional will make double that, so between 20-50 U.S. Dollar per day. Try to ask, now long it will take, then calculate how much you need to pay.
14. Ask other foreigners what they paid, then cut that in half, you can assume they are paying too much.
15. Your local boyfriend or girlfriend will normally take you to the most expensive dentist. He or she wants to show off their friends that you are rich, and he or she is high status.
Take care, go slow, and you can have excellent work done overseas. However, there are many horror stories told by foreigners about the work done.
Do not be foolish, do not think that you can trust the local dentist in Lago Atitlan Guatemala or the foreigners to give you good advice. Alway has a foreigner, how much did you pay? What is the dentist name? Where? The person giving a recommendation needs to be very specific. Especially with the price, or maybe they are just trying to appear smart.
Andy Lee Graham
Founder of the Hobo Network of 100 Great Cities to live or hangout abroad.
Wow! That is some great info Andy and I appreciate it because I will be running that gauntlet myself this winter. I dont have dental insurance and the VA does not cover dental unless you retired after 20 years or more or if you had a service related dental problem.
I just quit smoking 5 months ago and need a good deep cleaning. So I will be getting that taken care of as soon as I get there. As far as I know I dont have any other dental needs. I just had a tooth pulled and it cost me $270.00! Man did you get a deal!
BTW FYI What a great video! And your tripod is working out great for you!