We came to Ecuador with the plan to have some needed dental work done for a lower cost than in the U.S. Ecuador is one of those countries where good dentists with fine training have offices, and they are embracing dental tourism in their practice.
Before we came, we heard that Dr. Bayardo Bolaños, in Ibarra, was good.
He is one of the few in this part of the country who takes credit cards. We emailed him and made an appointment.
After a few days in Cotacachi, we began asking for referrals to dentists here.
We chose to switch to Dr. Martha Guerra, before seeing Dr. Bolaños, and are satisfied with her expertise. Gary is having two crowns replaced.
He was pleased with his first appointment, wherein she removed old crowns and installed temporaries.
A Positive Dental Experience
I have had two appointments to take out old metal fillings and replace them. I was happy that she used a dental dam when taking out the old mercury-filled fillings. Dr. Guerra was gentle, compassionate, and soothing with me. We have had great conversations in half-English-half-Spanish, with plenty of laughter.
Here are the dentists we’ve had recommended in Cotacachi and Ibarra:
- Dra. Martha Guerra on Calle Sucre (does not take credit cards, speaks English) and
- a mother-daughter team of dentists on Leather Street named Dra. Sarzosa, as well as Drs. Bertha and Christian Lopez on Calle 24 de Mayo.
- In Ibarra, there is Dr. Bolaños, plus a place called the Jade Center for Integrative medicine.
- The highly recommended dentist there is Dra. Suzana Bedoya.
The Jade Center seems to be the place to go for chiropractic-type adjustments, yoga classes, courses in herbalism, and more.
Natural Health Care Products Sold
Happily, natural health care products are available here. Even in a town as small as Cotacachi, I found two natural products stores. One is called Prana Vital (on Nueve de Octubre) which sells primarily organic food and herbs and soaps and such.
The other is called Natural Heath Store or Naturalezay Vida (on Calle Bolivar). They are like a natural supplements store in the US, but tiny.
Every Thursday, there are two outdoor organic markets that happen in little nooks off the sidewalk downtown. One is next to a gringa-owned bakery, where expats sell their organic produce, organic yogurt, organic loaves of bread, blueberries, crocheted items, organic meats, etc.
The other is in an arcade-type space between buildings and sells similar items.
It’s nice to see that over the years, the gringos who have been here a long while have been opening up businesses to serve the town and the expat community both. Some local Ecuadorians have also opened cafes that cater to expats/tourists. That type of place becomes quickly a hangout for English-speaking residents.
Cotacachi even has a wonderful “Parque Activo”– a city park with an expansive view of the volcano, filled with exercise machines for adults. We had fun exercising on them.
For those who consider moving to South America but wonder if natural alternative health practitioners and products are available, the news is good in this region.
It’s even more prevalent in larger cities like Cuenca and in focused areas such as Vilcabamba. For people like me, it’s great to be able to support my health with herbal products while doing my dental tourism!
Have you found suitable spots for dental tourism? How is good health encouraged in your community? Let us know about your experiences.
by: Bonnie Willow