Can an American get cheap dental care in Canada?
January 17, 2007 4:18 PM   Subscribe

Can an American get cheap dental work done in Canada?

My girlfriend needs a crown put in and her dentist told her it would be about $1000. She doesn't have insurance. I seem to recall that I've heard of Americans going to Canada to get dental work done for much less money. Is this true? Does anyone have an experience or insights on this?
posted by bajema to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, I went to Canada for laser eye surgery. I went because it was half the cost (exactly) of having the surgery in the US. I can't see any reason why your girlfiend couldn't get her crown put in. I recommend to you that you figure out where you want to "vacation" in Canada, then use their online "yellow pages" or use google to search (Dental Crown Replacement, City of Choice, Canada) for Dental Surgery practices. Print the info and call at least six (call more if the prices vary significantly.) Be sure to mention you are not Canadian (after they give you the cost) to ensure their liability covers you.

Also, do your research on the process, how many times will your girlfriend need to visit the doctor (pre and post surgery examinations and all that.)

Add up the costs of all the doctors visits, medications, travel expenses and lodging and decide if you will be saving money.
posted by melissaz at 4:35 PM on January 17, 2007

I've had routine dental work on both sides of the border in the last five years and I didn't notice one side or the other being cheaper. It probably varies from city to city and dentist to dentist, though.
posted by Staggering Jack at 4:39 PM on January 17, 2007

I can personally recommend, having been referred by ROU_xenophobe, Dr. Don Ducasse, here in Toronto. He's funny, fast, decently priced, and very bloody good. His staff is great--every single thing about my experience with them thus far has been wonderful. And I hate and despise going to the dentist with an unbridled passion.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:53 PM on January 17, 2007 [2 favorites]

You may actually recall hearing of Americans going to Mexico for cheap dental work. Heading south really is cheaper apparently.
posted by dness2 at 5:08 PM on January 17, 2007

$1000 for a crown might be a bit high but doesn't sound unreasonable here in Vancouver; I think I was quoted ~$700 for mine, and it definitely depends on the work that needs to be done. Where you might save a bit (10-15%) is on the exchange rate; it's much better for americans now than it was 6 months ago. But unless you're living on the border, I doubt it'd be worth it once you factor in travel, accommodation, etc. YMMV, of course.
posted by cgg at 5:15 PM on January 17, 2007

I think that $1000 is probably a little below normal for an average crown here (I'm in BC). My dental plan covers 65% of the cost and I paid about $400-$450 for each when I had quite a few done 3 years ago. I believe my dentist is about average on his costs - it's not a glitzy, expensive place.

The exchange rate might help a bit but it's not as much of a factor as it was a few years ago. Maybe you're thinking of drug prescriptions that are significantly cheaper here than in the US?
posted by nelvana at 6:05 PM on January 17, 2007

I had a root canal done here in Vancouver and I can tell you that the prices here are astronomical. I had to pay for a root canal 600 CAD. Doing that in my home country (Romania) would cost me a fraction of that (50-100 bucks).
If you need extensive dental work done, it would be economical to fly to europe, but just for a crown i dont think that would be practical.
posted by victorashul at 7:06 PM on January 17, 2007

I looked into this a few years ago, and full retail in Winnipeg at that time was running about 20% cheaper than Minneapolis. Adding in travel costs (driving in this case), it was about a break-even proposition. It's likely to have changed since then.
posted by gimonca at 7:53 PM on January 17, 2007

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