qman01

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I am interested in practicing dentistry in other countries, particularly in central or South America but other locations as well. Information is hard to come by. Are there job opportunities abroad (not military or volunteering) for US trained dentists?
 

Saddleshoes

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Oct 28, 2007
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I am a US trained and licensed dentist. I have been lucky enough to practice in Central and South America.
The answer to your question is to be found in the individual countries. Each nation has a set of rules to cover such things. Some countries are extremely easy to practice in (Haiti), some are very difficult to practice in (Brazil). Talk to the consulate office of the country you have an interest in as a first step.
 
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qman01

5+ Year Member
Nov 9, 2013
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Pre-Dental
I am a US trained and licensed dentist. I have been lucky enough to practice in Central and South America.
The answer to your question is to be found in the individual countries. Each nation has a set of rules to cover such things. Some countries are extremely easy to practice in (Haiti), some are very difficult to practice in (Brazil). Talk to the consulate office of the country you have an interest in as a first step.
What countries have you been able to work in?
 

Firik

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Dec 7, 2017
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I am a US trained and licensed dentist. I have been lucky enough to practice in Central and South America.
The answer to your question is to be found in the individual countries. Each nation has a set of rules to cover such things. Some countries are extremely easy to practice in (Haiti), some are very difficult to practice in (Brazil). Talk to the consulate office of the country you have an interest in as a first step.
If you work in another country, how do you manage your school loans? Or are we talking about those with loan free dentists?
 
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Why? Many dentists from other countries want to come to practice in the US because there are more job opportunities here. Many can’t obtain the licenses to practice dentistry so they have to stay in academia. That’s why you see a lot of specialty program directors and dental school instructors, who are foreign trained dentists. Two of the ortho assistants at the corp where I work at were dentists in their countries. One was a general dentist in Mexico and the other one was an orthodontist in Columbia. They both make more now than what they used to make in their home countries.
 
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I am originally from a developing (aka "third-world") country, and in my country as long as you have a dental degree from any industrialized country (US, Australia, Canada, Europe...) they'll let you practice. It might be harder to have your own practice due to bureaucracy, but I know people who did. Again in my country anything can be done with money.

To be honest, in my country there are even people who have no dental education whatsoever but they managed to learn the "trade" and then suddenly they call themselves dentists and practice dentistry. They can even open their own dental practice by paying real dentists for the licenses to submit with the paperwork. Sounds disastrous and unethical, I know, but that's a reality in third-world countries where there are not much regulations in dentistry/medicine.
 
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Saddleshoes

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If you work in another country, how do you manage your school loans? Or are we talking about those with loan free dentists?
You have just hit on one the sad truths for this generation of dentists!!!!
The newest dentists are slaves to their student debts. They can not afford to take a risk and go do something fun and adventurous with their profession. As an old guy, I feel so sorry for you new guys.
 
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ElCubanito

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I made this mistake before to my detriment. I found the "salary" to be a kind of joke, let along that you are probably going to be living in a third world country with third world issues....like getting robbed, after you finish working a full day for a fraction of what you would make in the USA. Follow the math; make money in USA then vacation to your paradise island.
 
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Sep 8, 2017
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Why? Many dentists from other countries want to come to practice in the US because there are more job opportunities here. Many can’t obtain the licenses to practice dentistry so they have to stay in academia. That’s why you see a lot of specialty program directors and dental school instructors, who are foreign trained dentists. Two of the ortho assistants at the corp where I work at were dentists in their countries. One was a general dentist in Mexico and the other one was an orthodontist in Columbia. They both make more now than what they used to make in their home countries.
Doesn't that causes oversaturation?
 

Rainee

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Its very very very hard to go from making a "normal" dental income to working in a different country and your income gets cut in half. It's just hard for many people to bear with. Honestly, save the second third world dental work for mission trips and or vacations.
 
Sep 8, 2017
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In Honduras, it only cost $10USD for a cleaning, $5 for a wisdom extraction, $10 for whitening, $10 for a filling. Like those prices? Regular Americans would love to pay for those prices if they knew about it. Over here, a dentist charged me $90 for a check-up...
 
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AppalachianDentalBoy

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In Honduras, it only cost $10USD for a cleaning, $5 for a wisdom extraction, $10 for whitening, $10 for a filling. Like those prices? Regular Americans would love to pay for those prices if they knew about it. Over here, a dentist charged me $90 for a check-up...
I know you’re probably trolling but I’m here at the Mexican border and there is a huge difference in quality. You definitely get what you pay for.
 
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In Honduras, it only cost $10USD for a cleaning, $5 for a wisdom extraction, $10 for whitening, $10 for a filling. Like those prices? Regular Americans would love to pay for those prices if they knew about it. Over here, a dentist charged me $90 for a check-up...
That's why these dentists from the south and central American countries want to come to the US. They'd rather work as dental assistants because the patients here in the US pay their dentists more. What they make working as assistants are much more than what they make as dentists in their home countries.

People in the US earn much higher wage and many of their jobs offer them dental insurances that help cover the expensive dental care. They also have better awareness of their dental health and they care more about the appearance of their teeth than people in the poor countries. That's why dentists are doing very well here. It's supply and demand. The more people who want to have beautiful healthy smiles, the higher the income the dentists will make.

I never saw a dentist when I grew up in my home communist country. There were no such things as preventive dentistry, cleanings, and 6-month office visits. People see dentists only when their dental pain become unbearable...and they usually elect to extract teeth instead of saving them with RCT and crowns. I didn't know what the dental flosses were for. I brushed my teeth with a mixture of charcoal and salt because I was told that the charcoal would make my teeth whiter. When I first arrived the US, I was shocked when I saw this beautiful flight attendant who had a bunch of little metal pieces in her mouth....I didn't know those were orthodontic braces that were used for straightening the teeth. I had my very first dental visit when I was 17 yo. Fortunately, I only had 2 cavities.
 
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Sep 8, 2017
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That's why these dentists from the south and central American countries want to come to the US. They'd rather work as dental assistants because the patients here in the US pay their dentists more. What they make working as assistants are much more than what they make as dentists in their home countries.

People in the US earn much higher wage and many of their jobs offer them dental insurances that help cover the expensive dental care. They also have better awareness of their dental health and they care more about the appearance of their teeth than people in the poor countries. That's why dentists are doing very well here. It's supply and demand. The more people who want to have beautiful healthy smiles, the higher the income the dentists will make.
Well, Honduras has a super high unemployment rate and inflation is rampant. That's another story.

But like you said, these foreign dentists want to come here. And from reading from here, if they have a dental degree/license over there, they might need a few years of schooling in the U.S. to be a licensed dentist, which causes an oversaturation. From reading from here about dental therapists on the rise, more schools/more graduates, "rogue" dental hygienists - you guys are being attacked from all corners. Plus unlicensed foreign dentists practicing in the black market which is a common thing in my area(Miami).

It might be supply-and-demand for a white smile in the U.S. But I wouldn't pay a lot for it TBH. I'm always curious who goes to a American dentist unless you have good teeth and insured. Because I know basic dental insurance from regular jobs doesn't cover much other than cleaning. But those with serious problems, where do they go to.
 
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It might be supply-and-demand for a white smile in the U.S. But I wouldn't pay a lot for it TBH.
You say you wouldn't pay a lot for your teeth now because you are still young, healthy and have no kid. Wait until you have kids and each them will need ortho treatments, you will see how expensive the ortho treatments will be. You will have no choice but to pay the orthodontist big $$$ so your kids can have a beautiful smile. When your teeth fall out in 20-30 years from now, you'll have no choice but to pay the perio/OS big $$$ for dental implants so you can enjoy eating the food you love again.

Most of my patients are low income Hispanic kids. The parents don't make much and they have to find ways (either borrow from the relatives or use credit cards) to pay for their kids' ortho tx because they don't want their kids to be teased at school for having ugly smiles. I've taken over a lot of cases that were treated in TJ, Mexico because the parents got tired of driving too far every month.

I'm always curious who goes to a American dentist unless you have good teeth and insured. Because I know basic dental insurance from regular jobs doesn't cover much other than cleaning.
People who want to have good teeth for the rest of their life. The reason people have good teeth is they see their "American" dentists every 6 months. Without regular cleanings and exams by their dentists every 6 months, they will lose their teeth in 5-10 years. Perio disease is a silent disease that causes no pain to patients....bone loss is an irreversible process. Regular dental visits easily prevent this. By the time you feel pain that is caused perio disease, it's too late. There are kids who get new cavity(ies) every 6 months.
But those with serious problems, where do they go to.
When I was a dental student, I did my oral surgery rotation at a government-run county hospital that offered free dental extractions for everyone who showed up. USC dental school has a mobile dental clinic program that provides low cost dental treatments to kids in underserved areas. People who don't have $$$ can go to these types of clinics. Of course, they won't get ideal care....only palliative care....mostly filings and extractions....no RCT, no crown, no implant.

To get good dental care, they have to work and have a job that offers them dental insurance so they can see a private dentist.
 
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