Do you have doubts about prices 50 to 75% cheaper in Colombia for dental care compared to costs in USA or Canada?
Do you believe low prices mean poor quality?
In fact, you are not alone in doubting, because I believed it, until the day when I experienced the installation of 7 dental crowns in Cartagena, Colombia.
How is it possible that the costs for dental care in Colombia are so affordable?
Here are several factors that explain this situation.
1. Free education
In Canada or in USA, the average dentist finishes his studies in dentistry with a debt of more than 250,000 dollars. As education is free in Colombia, dentists often graduate without any debt. Often, others are trained abroad by having received scholarships allowing them to return to Colombia without accumulating debts. This keeps prices low.
2. Excellent management of operating expenses
When the dentist begins his profession in Canada and in USA, he imitates all the other dentists by wanting to open a dental office located on a busy road which can cost more than 400,000 dollars. Coupled with the high price of materials, dental equipment and the exorbitant cost of insurance, most dentists start with a large debt before having a first client. Many dentists in Colombia understand that it is more important to prioritize the customer first, who is the source of their income, rather than debts. Thus, they open their practice taking care to reduce their operating expenses to a minimum, as this directly influences the costs to clients.
3. Greater awareness of the reality of clients
In Canada and USA, dentists are far from understanding the reality. There are too few dentists to meet the huge demand of the population and a large number of people who do not have dental insurance and those who have it, have coverage of $ 1500 per year. The opposite is true in Colombia. There are literally thousands of excellent dentists and dental surgeons. There are more dentists in this country than you need. So the price of dental care is very low in order to be competitive and people are covered by public insurance for basic care. These low prices encourage foreigners to take advantage of the savings made.
4. The dentist does all the work
In almost all cases, dentists in France and USA do not do cleaning, maintenance, office work, accounting, calls, marketing, etc. and leave it all to other specialists. However, they studied this at school. As a result, there are many specialists to perform specific tasks and these employees are only assigned to do their job description and being paid very dearly. This situation only increases spending. In Colombia, many dentists do all the chores or just have a minimum wage employee. So they are more autonomous, more responsible and more aware of the added value to customers. They are also closer to their customers.
5. Lower cost of living
In general, the cost of living and labor in Colombia are significantly cheaper than in Canada and USA. The minimum wage in 2019 is US $ 75 per week. This directly influences the cost of housing, food, transport and other necessities of life. When a Colombian dentist puts a price on his dental implants or crowns, he must take into account this cost of living and adjust his rates accordingly.
6. Cheaper prices for laboratory materials
Most Canadians and Americans are surprised to find that the prices of medecines, surgery and many other products and services are really low in Colombia. Purchasing renowned brand implants and dental materials costs less, which allows patients to charge less. Very often, laboratories are next to dental offices or in the same building.
7. A reasonable profit margin
Often a visit to the dentist in Canada or USA lasts an hour, but being with the dentist 15 minutes. Dentists can spend 3 to 4 patients per hour. There are laws obliging mechanics to post their fees per hour in full view so as not to abuse clients with unpleasant surprises and also for the sake of honesty, transparency and trust, but these laws do not apply. not apply to dentists. Why ? Quite simply that their profit margin is excessive, even dishonest. In Colombia, the dentist spends all his time with the patient and sometimes invites him to the restaurant. Prices are posted on their website, in their office and basic care is controlled by the health system in Colombia named EPS.
This is why the costs of dental care in Colombia are 50 to 75% cheaper while having comparable quality and even more.