Dedicated to providing you with credible information about living overseas
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroad

Questions & Answers

Q & A Menu Q & A BY TOPIC
To navigate, use menu bar to the left
Daryl Ries of Keller Williams Panama, associate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The question about the quality of the dental care in Panama is apropos because I’m just now starting a dental procedure that I’ve long needed and put off until I found the right place to have it done.  And that place is here in Coronado, Panama, over Super 99-- Coronado Dental Clinic. The doctor, the attending staff, the location and price, all meet my criteria for excellence, not least, the small pill recommended to quell my nerves before the surgery.

This is going to be "it"… finally… and I can go back to New York with a fresh smile, created without a dental debt or horror story.
Sarah Booth of Panama Holiday Homes &  Buyer's Consultant with My Panama Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
When you get a teeth cleaning here in Panama, it’s the actual dentists who clean your teeth, not a dental assistant like you would tend to get in North America.  So, when the dentist is cleaning your teeth in Panama, you have greater confidence that he’s checking everything.
For a teeth cleaning in Panama (with x-rays included), you’ll pay between US $30 - $50, with $50 being for a high end cleaning. 
Just like the doctors in Panama, the dentists in Panama have a great bedside manner.  They’re not rushed like they are in North America, and don’t let you leave until they’re satisfied that you’re ready.  It’s what I call “full on care.”
The quality and competence of the dentists in Panama are 100% as good as the quality and competence of the dentists in Canada, but at about a fifth of the price.  Also, the equipment in Panama is high tech, top of the line.
Ron Hunter of Finca Cazador – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Dental Clinic in Panama City, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe dental care in Panama is phenomenal. As an example, my wife was in Panama last year and had bridgework done by our local dentist here in Río Sereno for only $250 - $300 that would have cost an estimated US $2,500 to $3,000 in the United States. She was very pleased with the outcome. 
In our little berg, Río Sereno, our Mexican dentist, whose wife is also a dentist, has a very nice clinic. A third to half of his and his wife’s clients travel 3-4 hours all the way from Costa Rica because of the quality of the work they do and the price differential. 
The price of dental care in Panama depends on the practitioner and on your comfort level. It’s very affordable, and my experience in dental care here in Panama has been as good as the dental care in the United States but for a fraction of the price.
They use modern equipment depending on the dentist. I regularly go to two dentists in Panama City, one of whom is my lawyer’s cousin, and who uses a state of the art equipment that allows you to see everything on a very large widescreen, flat TV during procedures. 
My dentist here in Chiriquí doesn’t have that state of the art equipment but his clinic is very modern and is very well-equipped. It still just depends on the practitioner as to how much money they invest in their clinic. 
If you’re in Panama City, your options for medical care are at least as good as in the United States, and there are modalities and procedures available in Panama City that you cannot have done in the States. Panama has become a place for medical tourism in the last ten years. 
If you’re in Panama City, your options are far greater than they would be in a very rural area like where I am, but I am most pleased with the quality, cost, and options of what I can get done here in Panama. 
(Ad for a dental clinic in Panama City, Panama, pictured.)
MANUEL GRANADOS  of MEDICAL SERVICE PANAMA, S.A. (MS PANAMA, S.A.) – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Woman enjoying herself in Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingDental care in Panama is very good. Dental tourism is increasing because people are finding out that it is a lot cheaper to do any kind of dental work here in Panama than in the US and the quality is the same.  
My sister is a dentist.  She told me a story about a couple that came here to Panama to see her, and who got a bunch of work done by her for much less than they would have paid in the United States. When they went back to the US, they went to see their dentist there and were told that the work was done perfectly.  
To give you an idea of the cost difference between the cost for dental work in the US and the cost in Panama, this couple told my sister that the cost to get it done in Panama, including the cost of the plane ticket and the hotel, and spending some time in Panama, was still less than what it would have cost just for the dental work in the United States. 
Denise Patrick of Panama Roadrunner Secure Transport – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Yes, dental care in Panama is much less expensive than in North America, however, I have not had great experiences with dentists here. I tried eight dentists in 4 years.  The last one in Coronado that I went to (above the Super 99) used a full size hardware store screwdriver to remove my old crown.  He also told me that we should not worry about the abscess underneath - we will just put on a new crown and hope that the abscess will go away by itself.  I also have visited several other Coronado dentists.  They do not do a check up when you get into their chair.  Most local dentists do not have X-ray machines, let alone digital imaging.  The work I have received has been less than average and I have had fillings which fell out within a week or two.  I had a Panamanian filling come loose in Canada and the dentist in Canada showed me the material that was used - it was considered substandard by Canadian practices.   It is buyer beware when it comes to dentists.  Check out the cleanliness of each dentist's office.  Check to see where your dentist was trained.  Many local dentists are trained in Mexico.    
After my experience with the screw driver and covering up the root canal I discovered an American dentist, trained in the U.S. who practices in the city.  His prices are not any higher than the last couple of dentists I went to, his offices are incredibly clean, modern and rather than just look at the problem I was there for he took the time to do a complete exam.    
Feel free to email me if you are looking for a dentist!  Denise 
Jose Broce of Broce-Pinilla & Asociados – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Just like the medical care, dental care here in Panama is great, both private and public.
In the private system, the cost for a cleaning can go as low as US $75, but if you want to get almost everything fixed, it would cost you $100 to $150. This price includes reviewing the condition of your mouth, giving protection to your teeth, making small repairs and taking x-rays, which is cheaper than the amount that you would have to pay in the United States.
In the public system, you can get your dental work done at a Social Security facility, which is available to anyone who is legally in the country of Panama.
Terry Bradford of Origen Real Estate Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Dental care in Panama is very inexpensive and the service is superb. Our dentist, Dr. Morales, is a very well-known dentist in Panama City. He was our first dentist four years ago and we did not know how popular he was. One day, just before a formal sit down dinner party at our home, I was getting the hors 'd'oeuvres ready, and Bob’s (my husband) dental cap fell off. The guests were about to arrive in an hour. He called Dr. Morales’ clinic and it so happened they were open on a Thursday night so Bob went to his clinic. They redid his cap and he got back home just in time to greet our guests. That visit could have easily cost him close to US $200 but Dr. Morales only charged him under $100.  The quality of the job is excellent and they use very modern tools, too.
The dentists in Panama are usually bilingual. Some of the staff are bilingual and some do not speak English at all but with our broken Spanish and their broken English, we all seem to convey a conversation and then all parties understand each other.
Tamara Fernández of Broce-Pinilla & Asociados – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I am a Panamanian, and I believe dental care is almost ingrained in the culture here.  Appearance is important to many Panamanians, and people take care of their teeth.  Perhaps in response to that demand, there have always been a wide variety of dental care options in Panama City, from very low-cost options to high-end.
Over the last several years, Panama has captured more of the medical tourism market.  In fact, my favorite dentist tells me that he is now receiving most of his clients from abroad, and many of his European clients' travel expenses are apparently being covered by their insurance providers.  I am no expert, but my personal experience leads me to believe that this must be at least partially a result of the first-world dental care that is available at comparatively affordable prices in Panama.
Marla Diaz of United Country Panama Coastal Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
To give you an idea of the quality and cost for dental care here in Panama, here’s an example: My father, who lives in the US, just paid $40,000 to get brand new teeth.  I was upset with him, because, for the same price, he could have paid for four trips to Panama and gotten his teeth done on his trips.  The price for dental care here in Panama is less than a quarter of what it is in the States.
You can get your teeth cleaned here in Panama for $15 to $20, as opposed to about $100 in the States.
I know of 10 or 15 people who come to Panama from the US just to get their quality and inexpensive dental work done, and they get a tropical vacation at the same time.  In one case, I know this one family who lives here in Panama but whose son lives in the US, whose son saves up all his dental work so he can get it done here in Panama.
Linda Jensen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
My husband, Arne needed a tooth pulled and a denture plate.  We had priced this in the US and it was going to be between $3,000 and $5,000, for just the standard dentures.
Here in Panama, he went to two different dental offices and got two different opinions, one in David (the closest large city to Boquete) and one in Boquete, the smaller town where we live.  We decided to use the local dentist in Boquete.  The office was very neat, very nice, and very professional.  The dentist spoke just enough English to get by.
She pulled the tooth and gave Arne the choice of several different dentures.  Arne chose the top of the line dentures, as opposed to the more standard dental plate that was offered in the US.  From what I understand, this is the newest, most technologically advanced product. When Arne’s dentures are in, you can’t even see that he has them.  There’s no wires or anything visible.  They use some type of resin or plastic that looks just like your gums.
We went back for several follow-up visits, and never paid anything for them.  The total cost, $1,200 (without any insurance, paying out of pocket), for what, in my view, was dental care and product in Panama not only as good as we would have gotten in the US, but better. 
One of my American friends who is moving back to the US from Panama for business reasons told me that she likes her dentist in Panama so much that she plans on coming back to Panama for her dental work.
We get regular cleanings every six months, which are paid for by our hospital plan.
David Whittington of Tucan Golf Club and Resort – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
In terms of quality, the dental office I go to here now in Panama is equal to the dental office I went to in Canada.
The dental care is a whole lot cheaper in Panama than it is in North America.  I recently had to have a crown, and all said and done, it will cost me about $650 in Panama.  In Canada, a root canal would cost me between $2,000 to $2,500.  Here, the root canal and crown would be around $1,000.
The price for dental and medical care here close to Panama City is a few dollars more than it was in Boquete.  In Boquete, they charged me $80 to get a tooth pulled, while here close to Panama City, they charged me $90.
Philip McGuigan of Chiriqui United, an Association of the leading humanitarian organizations in the Chiriqui Province of Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
When I was living in Chicago, I went to a fabulous dentist.  When I moved here to Boquete, Panama, I found an excellent dentist in David (the closest larger city to Boquete, about 40 minutes away) and his office had more sophisticated equipment than my dentist in Chicago. Also, he is much less expensive.
Shai Gold of International-Triage Medical Networks – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Dental care in Panama is good but one should ASK FOR PRICES BEFORE sitting in the chair.  One can get any and all services accomplished at substantial savings compared to the same at major metro areas in the USA. Prices vary by location of the clinic.  I strongly suggest that patients seek recommendations before selecting a doctor. Take nothing for granted, question everything and get a second opinion before embarking on major dental work.
Roberto Diaz of United Country Panama Coastal Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Dental Care in Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe dental care in Panama is amazingly affordable.  Where I live in Coronado, you can find anything from $15.00 to at most $30.00 for a cleaning.  A friend from Germany was so blown away as over there she said its more like $150 USD.  
Also, the dentists for the most part have studied abroad, many in the US and Canada.  I am a native Panamanian but I lived abroad all over the U.S., Hawaii, California, Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia.  I can honestly say that you will find the same type of service in Panama, if not better. Especially when Panama is compared to some of the US southern states.  
Dental tourism is on the rise.  I knew many people in California who would travel to Mexico because of the high cost of dental care.  Many people are starting to discover that Panama offers a much better standard than Mexico for the same cost.  And it is infinitely safer!  
Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

One of the most important things for Panamanians, as well as everyone in the modern world is the dental care.  If you have good dental care, your overall health improves considerably.  Now, the question is: How do I get it?
Medical schools in Panamá universities provide outstanding training in dental care.  After graduation, a great majority of dental students travel abroad for different and sophisticated post studies.  A dental graduate from the "Universidad Nacional" (National University), as well as private universities, needs lots of training before they graduate.  This is one of the reasons why these students are so very well accepted into clinics of all kinds, in every town or city of the Republic of Panamá.
Many foreigners come to Panamá to have dental surgery, not only because of the highly trained Panamanians are specialists, but also because of the price of dental care in Panamá is lower than in other countries in Europe, the United States or Canada.
As stated above, dental graduates study abroad in different specialties.  As a result, they are well-educated in English and other primary international languages before they graduate, which is useful when they travel, as they can offer the best dental care with the latest dental technology to local foreign residents as well as visitors, all in their own language.
Implants are very popular among surgeries, and more and more clinics offer this kind of service.  Some of them also offer alternative medicine, in order to hasten recovery.
Almost all well-established clinics accept credit cards, and because Panamá uses the US dollar as its official currency, US patients don't have doesn't have money exchange issues.
In addition, as is the case for all medical services in Panamá, by law, Panamá resident retirees (with proper visa, approved by Immigration Department) have the same benefit as do locals--   discount in their office visits or surgeries.
Additionally, visitors to Panamá have the privilege of a 30 days free emergency medical care, courtesy of the Tourism Authority. (Please make certain to ask for your brochure and card upon entrance to Panamá at the International airport).

[Editor’s note: According to a press release August 1, 2014, the Panama Authority of Tourism stated that no charge tourist insurance coverage is no longer being offered.]

Go Here Next

Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadAnswers about living, working or visiting abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
Best Places In The World To Retire - MarketplaceFind for profit, non-profit and religious organizations.

Our Pledge To You

Best Places will present information from the Community in a transparent way, unedited, except to conform with our Conditions of Use.

You can trust that Best Places does not manipulate content to sell you anything. All opinions in the Community Q & A and Expat Stories are those of its authors, not Best Places.

Get Known To The Community

Those who contribute to the Best Places Community are our heroes! And being a Best Places hero is fast, fun, and easy. Just go to Questions & Answers, find your first question to answer, click on it, and then click the Contribute Your Answer To This Question Button. If you’d rather enter a Story, go to Expat Stories and click the Contribute Your Story Button".


Please contact us. We would love to hear from you! Customer Service
Technical Support
Business Development
Phone: (US) 520-940-0481