Dental Experience In Peru

Carrie Rheingans

Carrie Rheingans

I got a root canal in Peru. Yes, it’s a story for my grandchildren… not really. It is the simple fact that I can’t actually afford dental care in the US, even when I had insurance! You can learn more about the root canal(‘endodontic therapy’) process on Wikipedia (I trust Wikipedia for non-partisan things of this nature).

Two years ago, I had a full-time job at a local non-profit, which included dental insurance. I’m very good at my dental care at home, and I take my 6-month visits very seriously. I think I might have missed only one in the last ten years, even when I didn’t have insurance. When I had insurance, they told me I grind my teeth at night and need to get an occlusal guard for when I sleep… for $600! And my insurance covered… 0%. Great.

Well, after the insurance ran out and I was a student again (in, ahem, public health), I was back in the no-dental-insurance club. Naturally, that’s when it was discovered that I needed to replace some old fillings… for something like $250. Too much for a poor student! When I got here to Peru, I ended up getting X-rays to see how close the fillings had decayed to the tooth nerves and it was not good. Time for a root canal!

I ended up getting the following: one crown, two fillings, one occlusal guard, and one root canal. At my dentist in Ann Arbor, this would have come to $2,388 out-of-pocket. Here in Lima, it was s./1795 (currency is nuevo soles, about s./3 = $1) which is about $600. This is a 75% discount! What makes it so expensive in the US? The dentist who specialized in root canals was trained in Canada! I’m sure he has tons of debt from it, which he must pay off. Yet it still costs 75% less. Why?

In the middle of my root canal (endodontic therapy) with Dr. Carlos

In the middle of my root canal (endodontic therapy) with Dr. Carlos

4 thoughts on “Dental Experience In Peru

  1. The survey was very interesting. I have my dental work done in Mexico when I travel to South Padre Island, Texas for the winter months. I have found the service excellant, the language not a problem, the accessability very good, and the costs unbelieveable. Fillings cost $25.00 (US) cleanings $20.00. My sister went there last March with me and got a bridge with a new tooth. Her cost in Mexico was $375 and was going to cost $1600 from her dentist in the USA. Go figure.

  2. Yep, I had my teeth sorted in Lima, with veneers and a couple of implants and crowns on the top of those. My quote in the US was beyond what almost anyone can afford, nearly had a heart attack when they showed me the quote. Friends recommended Lima to me, so off I went. Dr Yuen was great and very professional. Really nice clinic. I paid about a third of what i would have done in the US. Good results too, very happy, no problems either. His site is

  3. I got a root canal treatment in Cambodia… a year ago and everything went perfect. It was 35$ with fillings and everything.

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