Learning Uruguay

Every day brings ????


Posted by urufish on May 2, 2007

Yesterday, someone on the Southron forum asked about getting dental work done in Uruguay.    I had to drive my wife to the dentist today so I thought I’d do some research at the same time. 

By way of background, over the past 20 years we’ve holidayed here, my wife saw a dentist only one or twice, for an emergency.  Me – never.  A few years ago, she had a problem with a root canal done at home gone bad and she needed a bridge.  We had a good dental plan at home so she asked our family dentist.  He said he wouldn’t do it, because the bridge was too big.  He suggested an implant.  She sought a second opinion when she was in Uruguay for the winter.  One of our friends is in the medical business here and referred her to one of the professors of dentistry who he knew did this kind of work. 

He examined her out and said it could be done, but he warned her that there was a chance it wouldn’t hold up over time and she might have to have it redone in a few years.   This year, it came loose and she’s in the process of having it redone now, plus an implant for another tooth.  

His house is in Carrasco and he has an office in it, from way back.  Everything in it is old.  But it all works and he’s superb at what he does.  One of the things you’ll notice about Montevideo is that a lot of things are really old and in need of maintenance. But I’ve found an inverse relationship here between the quality of work and the aesthetics of the workplace.  The older and more rundown a workshop (or doctor’s office is), the more skilled the workman/doctor.  Professionals and tradespeople here aren’t given to fixing up their place to impress clients the way we’re used to up north.   It takes some getting used to for a northerner, but if you’re looking for the best people, that’s the way it is. 

So let’s get to the most interesting part.  The costs in pesos unless marked otherwise.  To get USD, divide by 23, (as of 1/5/07). 

  • A ceramic cap (crown) is $8000
  • Root canal for molar is $3800
  • Root canal for premolares $2200
  • Root canal for anteriores $1800
  • Implant U$S 500
  • Reconstruction U$S 500
  • Bridge work varies with the kind of bridge so it’s impossible to quote a price.  In my wife’s case, it was a very unusual bridge, that took… ready for this..  over 20 hours in the chair to get it right.. plus xrays.. plus manufacture of the bridge.  Price was U$S 1500. 
  • No idea what a cavity costs to fill but assume around $1000 (U$S40 mas or menos)

You can assuredly find better prices from a younger, more inexperienced dentist without the qualifications of the professor we use.  But we feel they’re reasonable and for the quality of the work, the best value. 

Also keep in mind that these prices are not marked up.  The dental clinics that specialize in working with foreigners will most likely be considerably higher.  These are the same prices you pay if you’re a local. 


7 Responses to “Dentists”

  1. gaberoo said

    A friend of mine is a dentist down there and, not infrequently, he sees foreign patients as well. I don’t think, from knowing him,that he charges a different rate if the patient is a local versus a foreigner. I guess some do; just know that not all dentists/professionals make this distinction.

  2. urufish said

    The clinics I referred to are the ones setup, usually by an expat from Uruguay, specializing in lower prices than the country’s dentists where the expat lives. There are two reasons for the higher prices. The expat has to make money using northern standards and the clinic has to look modern enough to make northern patients happy.

    BTW, today I went through the beginning of the implant process. Guess I’m going to be paying USD$500 (see above).

  3. gaberoo said

    I just wanted others that may be reading this forum that there are several capable dentists out there that also see foreign patients and will not charge extra for the sole fact that they are perceived to have extra income.
    I envy the prices you get; here an implant costs 3,000 USD and up. Good luck with the implant (don’t smile too hard while thinking of how much we pay for them here…schadenfreude shouldn’t be overdone!).

  4. I much appreciated the info . I’m planning to come to Uruguay with the idea of living there . I do need some dental work . You mentioned implants .Is that the complete job tooth and all ?. In Mexico ,I got one price when I called at one dentist $275 A Mexican friend called another and got a price of $100 .Even tho I’m a gringo ,he stuck by that price . Would that happen in Uruguay ? I’m interested in cost of living . I’ve found that a really good indicater is the price of a beer over the bar . Could you tell me that ? Also .is the electricity 110 or 220 . I’m also VERY interested in spiritul healing .which is actually the main .reason I’m coming there . Any info you can send me would be GREATLY appreciated .Reagards Andrew Stricker white owl888@hotmail.com

  5. urufish said

    I copied the prices from a piece of paper he gave to me when I asked him to list his prices. Just so happens my wife’s seeing him on Monday so I’ll ask if anything’s changed since last year.
    The dentist we see is old school. His clientele is 100% Uruguayan. Found him through my wife’s cousin. I’m the only gringo he knows 🙂 He’s not into how much money he can make from someone. He’s into being a dentist.

    My wife’s the beer drinker and I never look at the restaurant bill unless it ‘seems’ unreasonably more than my mental estimate. So far, I’ve never had one higher than the estimate. I’ll ask some friends. I think it’s around $2 for a bottle in a restaurant.
    I do buy beer all the time in the grocery store. It’s around a buck seventy a liter. Just about the same price as 1.5 liters of Coke or Pepsi.

    Electricity EVERYWHERE in South America is 220v. 50 cycle.

    Spiritual hearing is big here. Uruguayans really believe in it. I have a friend who came here from Mexico to stay in our place in Piriapolis to see if he can ‘feel’ the energy that Piriapolis is noted for. On the way to our place, he ran into a Brazilian girl who was on her way to Piria for the same reason. You’ll be in good company here.

  6. Rodriguez said

    can you provide the name and address of the dentist you used in Carrasco?


  7. Shiver said

    Thank you so much for this post. Can you please give me the name, address, and phone number of the dentist you use in Uruguay. We will be moving just north of Montevideo in June, I need to have dental work (root canal, etc) and I was planning on spending a fortune to have it completed prior to leaving the US for fear of the quality of dental care in Uruguay. Now I am seriously considering waiting and having it done once we move.

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