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Another day in Montevideo

Posted by urufish on June 13, 2007


Today began early for me.   In this new life, I dont usually get out of bed until just before nine.. But today my daughter and I had an appointment with the dentist at 10am..  That meant an 8am shower for me, and pleading and begging and finally, a more than gentle nudge to get my 19 year old functioning. 

During breakfast, our cleaning lady came in (Mon-Wed-Fri), and then a friend called my wife to say they spoke with the Maldonado driver’s license office and we could go to there tomorrow to get our drivers licenses.  I hope to get mine too.   Here’s what an official translation of a driver’s license looks like. 

 drivers-license-xlation-medium.jpg drivers-license-photocopy-medium.jpg

Notice the stamp at the bottom.  Without that stamp, the document is not official and no government agency will accept it.  Cost for each document was just over $700, plus the stamp $70, plus IVA 23%.    I’m not sure if that was an opportunistic fee because we needed it done right away.  Perhaps that’s the fee for ‘urgent’ transcripts.  Total fees, just under $2000

The dentist checked out the two of us and sent me for x-rays because I was a new patient.  A full set of dental x-rays cost $500.   The dentist doesn’t charge for the first, exploratory visit.  While at the radiologist, people were talking about the ‘cyclone’ coming on Friday.  Read all about this at http://uruguaydreaming.com/2007/06/13/wind-and-rain/.    Our house sits on top of San Antonio in Piriapolis, in Maldonado which is supposed to get the worst of it.  Tomorrow, on our way to the driver license office, we’ll stop by the house and batten the hatches.  There was some terrible destruction in Piriapolis last time we had a freak windstorm.  No one is looking forward to a repeat performance. 

Looks like tomorrow will be an over-budget day too. 


Posted in Dental, Driving | 4 Comments »


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. 

Posted in Dental | 7 Comments »