The American Dental Association recently published a guide to choosing your dentist in the U.S. in 4 steps. We have adapted this guide for Ecuador and hope it helps you to find a qualified, compassionate dentist in your part of Ecuador! "Dentista" is one word for "dentist" in Spanish, but "odontólogo" is the most commonly used word for "dentist" in Ecuador.
Dr. Victor Carreño's office in Manta, Ecuador.
When you’re looking for a new dentist, you’re searching for more than someone to just clean your teeth. “Your dental health is such a vital part of your overall health, so it’s important for every patient to have a dental home,” says Dr. Cathy Taylor-Osborne, an ADA dentist and director of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Bureau of Oral Health. “That means there is always someone looking out for the best interest of you and your family.”
Having a dental home allows you to feel comfortable when you’re dropping in for a regular visit and gives you a safe and trusted place to turn for a procedure or dental emergency. Here’s how to find the best dental fit for you and your family in Ecuador.
Start with the Basics
Regular visits are key to a healthy smile, so start with the details that work best with your lifestyle and dental care needs. Some things to consider include:
Is the office easy to get to? Is parking easily available? If you take public transportation or taxis, is it easy to catch a taxi or bus to and from this location?
Do they have convenient office hours? (Many dentists in Ecuador work occasional evening and Saturday hours - just ask!)
Doctor-patient communication is very important. Do you need translation or interpreter services? There are English-speaking dentists available in most of the major cities of Ecuador.
Are additional services like laughing gas and x-rays offered? These services are not as commonly found in dentists' offices in Ecuador as they are in North America and Europe, but they can be found in many modern dental offices.
Launch the Search
In Ecuador, the best way to find medical professionals is online (mainly through social media and Google) and through personal recommendations. Get in touch with local friends and acquaintances and ask for their recommendations (try to get a few if possible!). In Ecuador, local libel laws discourage customers from leaving negative public reviews online. So while you probably won't find many negative reviews when researching Ecuadorian businesses online, you may see businesses with no reviews at all or very few reviews. So be sure to ask around before making a decision!
Once you’ve found a few good candidates, visit their websites and see if their offices are on social media to learn more about them. Look for a dentist with an online presence with positive reviews, such as on Facebook or Google.
It is very important (and easy!) to make sure a dentist is licensed to practice in Ecuador. This is an important consideration for patient protection and is easy to verify online. In order to legally practice in Ecuador, dentists and doctors must register their degrees with the official Ecuadorian educational governing body SENESCYT. Make sure to ask for the full name of the dentist who will be treating you, including both apellidos (surnames). Then, simply go to the official SENESCYT website at http://www.senescyt.gob.ec/web/guest/consultas and enter the dentist's two surnames. The cédula number is not necessary. For example, you may find Dr. Victor Hugo Carreño Alava by searching "Carreño Alava".
Find your dentist's full name and select "Ver Información". If your dentist's name does not appear, they may not have any degrees registered with the government, and it is important to independently verify that the professional graduated from an accredited dental school and is licensed to practice in Ecuador. Similarly, if a dentist claims to hold a specialization in a certain area, this should be reflected on the SENESCYT website if the program is accredited and legitimate.
On the following page you may verify all college-, graduate- and postgraduate-level degrees held by the professional from accredited Ecuadorian and/or international educational institutions. Look for the dental degree ODONTOLOGO(A) plus any postgraduate degrees that the dentist holds.
Meet and Greet
To find the right dentist, don’t be shy about calling or visiting the dentists on your list before deciding. “Schedule consultation time with the dentist to meet with the dentist and staff before making an appointment,” Dr. Taylor-Osborne says. “Make a list of questions and bring your records so the dentist can take a look at your dental history if you want to ask something more specific.” You’ll also be able to see if the office is welcoming, comfortable and neat.
A few questions you might want to ask are:
Will the dentist explain ways to help you prevent dental health problems? Is dental health instruction provided?
How does the dentist and office staff handle emergencies outside of office hours?
Is the office staff familiar with your benefit plan, and do they offer financial options for treatment costs?
Will your medical and dental history be recorded and placed in a permanent file?
Dr. Taylor-Osborne encourages anyone looking for a dentist to share past dental experiences or dental concerns, including any anxiety. “Make sure the dentist understands your concerns and answers all your questions,” she says.
Pick a Partner
Above all, you want to choose a dentist who can be a part of your total health care team. “So much of your dental health can impact your overall health,” Dr. Taylor-Osborne says. “Look for someone who can be a coach to motivate you, a trusted advisor to turn to when health issues arise and a partner to make dental care decisions with.”
Dr. Victor Carreño - TopDental 💎 Manta
🇬🇧️ M.Sc. University of Manchester - Inglaterra
WhatClinic Award Winner 2018
📍Via Barbasquillo y Calle Universitaria 12, Manta