The Complete Guide to Dentists in Colombia

Dentists are not the first thing people think of when they think about Colombia.

Instead, the days of Pablo Escobar, FARC guerrillas, and narcotics are Colombia’s first impression to the world.

Nowadays, Colombia is a hidden gem. Safety and security since the 1990’s has improved dramatically.

Colombia has changed its image. It is now the home of Miss Universe winners, international sensations like Shakira and Maluma, and Olympic-gold winning athletes.

Colombia has distinct regional cultures, each of which is worth exploring. Medellin is a cosmopolitan city with a happening nightlife and hundreds of opportunities for travelers. Cartagena offers world-class hotels and dining in a beachfront city where Spanish colonial architecture meets modern skyscrapers. The capital city of Bogota is home to the country’s most important historic and cultural institutions.

Historic Center of Cartagena, Colombia.
A view of Cartagena, Colombia’s historic center.

Why Should I Visit a Dentist in Colombia?

It is estimated that more than 20,000 travelers come to Colombia every year for medical treatment. This should come as no surprise since dental care in the United States and Canada has become more more expensive every year. Meanwhile, dentists in Colombia have jumped on the opportunity to offer high quality, affordable care to foreign patients. here are 4 reasons to make the trip:

1. Highly Trained Dentists

Colombia is home to over 21 dental schools. Dentists in Colombia must complete a 5 year curriculum and perform 1 year of public service to earn their Doctorate of Dental Surgery. Colombian Universities are some of the best in Latin America.

2. Affordable, Transparent Prices

Travelers typically save 50-70% off of what they were quoted back home when they visit the dentist in Colombia. Lower labor cost, a lower cost of living, and dramatically lower student loan debt contribute significantly to the ability of dentists in Colombia to offer high quality, affordable dental care.

In addition, the Colombian peso has fallen relative to the US dollar over the last couple of years, so you can stretch your money much further!

3. English Speaking Providers

English courses are a standard part of education for dentists in Colombia. In order to attract international patients, dental clinics have hired English speaking dentists and administrators.

4. Travel is Easy and Affordable

Colombia has regular direct flights from airports across the United States and Canada. Once you get to Colombia, cities are easy to get around using Taxis, InDriver, and Uber.

Colombia Locator Map
Colombia Locator Map

How Good Is the Quality of Dental Care in Colombia?

Dental tourism in Colombia has expanded rapidly over the last ten years because the standard of care is high and the prices are affordable. Clinics in Colombia compete for international patients, pushing dentists to attend training on the latest techniques and to invest in modern technology.

Just like back home, clinics vary in quality. By taking the time to do your research, you can find a provider that offers outstanding care at an affordable price.

How Do I Find a Great Dental Clinic in Colombia?

It is important to do your research and choose a clinic that you are comfortable with. Below are some methods we use to find outstanding providers:

First, we evaluate a clinic’s online reviews across platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Once we find a clinic that appears to have a great online reputation, we do a site visit.

During the site visit we assess sanitation based on the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention’s (OSAP) Traveler’s Guide to Safe Dental Care. We also document the technology a clinic is using and note if providers are continuing their education. We have a bias towards clinics with in-house dental labs to ensure a smooth and timely outcome.

Finally, we verify the credentials of dentists against the records of local accreditation bodies  and keep a close touch on patient experiences over time. We want to ensure that a restoration that was good on day 1 is holding up on day 365 and beyond.

Patient with a Colombian Dentist in Cartagena, Colombia
A happy patient with Dr. Jairo Montoya in Cartagena Colombia

How Do I Find a Great Dentist in Colombia?

Traveling for medical care means you have the luxury of choice. Here is how to find the best dentist for your particular case:

Look For Experienced Dentists From Top Schools

According to the QS World University Rankings, the top 3 Colombian dental schools are:

  1. The National University of Colombia
  2. Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
  3. The University of Antioquia

Pay special attention to dentists in Colombia with these schools under their belt!

Dr. German Ariza, Professor at Javeriana University
Dr. German Ariza is a practicing dentist in our network who is also a professor at Javeriana University in Bogota.

Check Online Reviews

You can get a general idea about the reputation of a dentist by checking out their online reviews on sites like Facebook and Google.

Request Referrals, View Testimonials, and View Portfolios

Great dentists are proud of their work, and their patients are happy to share their results! Check out testimonials and before and after photos to get an idea about the quality of a clinic.

The good news is that you can easily compare dentists in Colombia on our site! We’ve done the leg work, and all of the relevant information is at your fingertips.

How Much Can I Save By Going to a Dentist in Colombia?

Travelers who get their dental care in Colombia as opposed to the United States or Canada save 50-70% on their care.

While prices vary by location, we’ve included a cost breakdown for our 5 most commonly performed procedures below:

Crowns
Average Price in the US: $1,500 USD
Average Price in Colombia: $450 USD
Savings: 70% Off – $1,050 in Savings!

Veneers
Average Price in the US: $1,100 USD
Average Price in Colombia: $450 USD
Savings: 59% Off – $650 in Savings!

Dentures
Average Price in the US: $1,850 USD
Average Price in Colombia: $370 USD
Savings: 80% Off – $1,480 in Savings!

Dental Implants
Average Price in the US: $4,000 USD
Average Price in Colombia: $1,385 USD
Savings: 65% Off – $2,615 in Savings!

All-on-4
Average Price in the US: $20,500 USD
Average Price in Colombia: $6,900 USD
Savings: 66% Off – $13,600 USD in Savings!

Do Dentists in Colombia Guarantee Their Work?

Yes! An excellent way to make a decision about your care is choosing clinic that has the strongest warranty on their work. Typical warranties range from 2-6 years, but some clinics offer lifetime warranties on procedures such as dental implants. You can check each clinic’s warranty information in their profile.

Customer satisfaction is paramount for clinics trying to attract foreign patients, and your satisfaction is incredibly important.

Why Is Dental Care So Much Less Expensive in Colombia Than in the United States or Canada?

Overhead costs in Colombia are far lower than they are in the United States or Canada. The cost to rent a facility and the cost of labor are significantly reduced.

Unlike their American counterparts, dentists in Colombia have access to more affordable education that starts with a 5 year degree in dentistry rather than with a 4-year bachelor’s degree (often in an unrelated field) followed by dental school. Dentists in Colombia start their careers with much lower student debt than their colleagues in the United States and Canada and they have significantly lower costs of living.

As a result, Colombian dentists are able to offer high quality services at an affordable price to American and Canadian medical tourists.

Is Colombia Safe?

At Apollo Medical Travel, we take safety seriously. We keep a close eye on the US State Department’s Colombia Travel Advisory and ensure that we only list clinics in areas that present low risk. We also conduct site visits that include security assessments.

In order to mitigate the risk of petty crime, we advise patients to leave flashy and expensive items at home, be aware of their surroundings, and refrain from drinking alcohol in excess. The local expression is ‘No dar Papaya’, which translates to don’t show your papaya – don’t show your valuables.

Colombia is a lovely place that hosts thousands of international visitors every year. With sensible precautions, you will have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Do I Need to Speak Spanish?

No, you do not need to speak Spanish. Colombia caters to a large number of international travelers and large, English speaking expat communities get by easily without Spanish across Colombia.

That said, a little goes a long way. Below are some quick phrases that will help you be polite:

Hello: Hola (oh-lah)
Please: Por Favor (por fah-vor)
Thank You: Gracias (grah-see-ahss)
You’re Welcome: De Nada (deh nah-dah)
Goodbye: Adiós (ah-dee-ohss)

If you want to know more, check out this helpful phrase guide.

How Do I Get to Colombia?

Colombia is well connected with the United States and Canada by air. Medellin (MDE), Cartagena (CTG), and Bogota (BOG) offer affordable direct flights. 

We recommend travelers compare prices using sites such as Expedia.com and Kayak.com. Roundtrip airfare between the United States and Colombia can easily be found for less that $500 USD.

What are the Entry Requirements to Get Into Colombia?

1. Passport with 1 or more blank pages, 6 months remaining before expiration.

2. Proof of Return Flight

3. PCR test within 96 hours of entry Requirement ended June 8th, 2021

4. Completed Migration Form

What Payment Methods Are Accepted By Dentists in Colombia?

Cash is the preferred method of payment in Colombia, particularly for routine procedures such as cleanings. However, this is not practical for larger procedures so traveler’s checks, personal, checks, bank transfers, PayPal, and credit cards are acceptable methods of payment. It is important to note that PayPal and credit card payments incur a small processing fee between 3-4% at most clinics.

Up to date information about payment methods can be found in the profiles of all of the clinics on our site.

Can I Use My Insurance?

Insurance is generally not accepted in Colombia, but your clinic can help you fill out a claims form. Before your trip, you should call your insurance company to make sure you know what forms you will need to bring.

Can I Use CareCredit to Pay a Dentist In Colombia?

No, CareCredit is only accepted within the United States.

Are Financing Options Available?

Patients seeking financing options can seek personal or medical loans in their home country to be used for care in Colombia

Do I Need to Pay a Deposit?

Some clinics require a deposit before starting major medical work. For routine and basic care, no deposit is required. If you have any questions, a patient coordinator will be happy to assist you on your specific case.

How Do I Get Started?

 Get started by browsing high quality clinics. Compare the price and quality of different providers, and get no-obligation, free quotes.

When you are ready, we make it easy to book an appointment through our site.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us via chat, or give us a call at +1 (888) 382-4929

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