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First dentist experience in Pana

Last Thursday I fractured a tooth. A piece broke off but stayed semi-attached in the gum. Friday morning I ran into a friend and asked about dentists. He suggested (without knowing her name) Dra. Lily Contrares). I walked down there and her assistant suggested I come back around 1200. So, I did.

She took a quick look, asked the right questions and we agreed it was better to come back for “a real appointment” which was today. It was at 1130. She apologized for being behind schedule (all dentists are behind schedule) but by 1140, I was in the chair. We started with an X-ray because the fracture went way below the gum line.

Looking at the X-ray she agreed it could be repaired (pulled was the easy option but not the one I liked). Today’s adventure went on until about 1:20. She removed the broken off piece and then ground out the old filling. Then cleaned stuff up and did one of those “cured with UV light” temporaries. Then took an impression of the lower teeth and of the temporary. That 1.5 hours with the dentist cost me a grand total of Q275 or about $35.

On Wednesday I go back for what she estimates as 3 hours of work. This includes doing the impression for the real crown and then doing a temporary. The crown will be the now typical ceramic with metal inside. Some lab, I assume in Guate, will make the crown. That appointment will cost Q225 for the temporary and Q2500 for the crown or a total of about $350. Sounds fair to me.

4 comments to First dentist experience in Pana

  • Carlos Humano

    This is about 1/5 the price it would be here, and sounds like equal or above average care!

  • Jena

    Dr. Lily and her assistant, Claudia, are great! My husband had a front tooth about to fall out in February. We stayed in Pana for a month, and he went to Dr Lily to have it repaired. She did a great job! She was very gentile, and her English is good. My husband needed both because he had not been to a dentist in years and his Spanish is very little. The cost was less than 1/4 what he was quoted in the US, and the work is beautiful. In his case, he had to go back many times and spend hours, but it was all well worth it. He ended up getting a full front bridge, and she repaired another tooth next to the bridge all less than the cost of replacing 1 tooth in the US.

    I even got my teeth cleaned while we were there. Dr Lily has a great sense of humor and kept us laughing.

  • admin

    Thanks for the comment. I didn’t even know she spoke English. When I first went there she asked me if I spoke Spanish (in Spanish) and I said yes. Done deal.

  • admin

    The work is all done and I am 100% satisfied. She was also speaking English to the client before me so, yes, she speaks English. Let me offer one comparison to my last dentist in the US, Dr. Hammer is Seattle (who is most certainly retired by now).
    He was amazing. Started out learning dentistry in the Air Force, then went into private practice. He probably had 40 years of experience. That experience meant that he could quickly size up situations. The end result was excellent but also very fast work.
    I have no issue whatsoever with Dr. Lily’s work. Well done and pain free. But, she doesn’t have 40 years of experience and, because of that, she tends to take longer. That difference isn’t going to encourage me to look for another dentist but, if you have worked with a very experienced dentist, just expect to spend a bit more time in the chair.

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