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Philippines Dentists: The Complete Guide

Save up to 80% on your dental care while enjoying your holiday on the beautiful Philippines islands. Find and book a quality-checked dentist in the Philippines with Dental Departures and we guarantee you the best prices.

The Philippines offers dental patients expert dentistry in modern, first-class clinics and the chance to experience island-life on one or more of its 7000 islands. A typical island has a mountainous, jungle-laden interior and a white sandy coastline surrounded by turquoise waters and a coral reef – a formulaic but fantasy island paradise.

The islands are collected into 6 major groups - each having its own personality with different geography, weather and areas of interest The most densely populated, and the largest, is Luzon, which forms the majority of the northern land mass and is where Manila, the islands’ capital city is situated. Although there are beaches, inland high mountains where tribal minorities call home and pine forests offer a respite from the heat. Along with preserved old Spanish settlements and the wild and remote Batanes islands Luzon presents a rather different view of The Philippines.

Historically, it was in 1946 that The Philippines was granted full independence from the United States of America and became a republic. Prior to the US occupation the country was under Spanish rule for 350 years despite peaceful immigration from south China, Taiwan and other countries for nearly 5000 years before Spain’s arrival in 1521. The first sign of indigenous humans date from 30,000-50,000 years ago around the Tabo Caves in Palawan, and it is believed they were the ancestors of the Negritos, a tribe that still lives in the mountains and forests in some parts of the country.

The influence of The Philippines past is very much in evidence in its present. Catholicism, town fiestas and Spanish architecture merge with shopping malls, fast-food outlets and spoken English to create a unique and enthralling country with an individual culture that is hard to resist.

Where are The Philippines?

In southeast Asia across the south China Sea from the mainland countries of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, The Philippine islands are the tips of submerged mountains formed as a result of the Eurasian and Philippine tectonic plates grinding against one another.  They sit on the 'Ring of Fire', an arc of volcanoes that encircles much of the Pacific Ocean, including Japan, Russia, North and South America and Indonesia.

The City of Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines 

(Image by: neibjr)

Why visit a dentist in The Philippines?

Dental tourism is not new in The Philippines, having existed for several decades. However with cross-border training and widespread air travel The Philippines has become a popular place for patients from Western nations, particulary Australia and New Zealand, to travel to for affordable, good-quality dental care.

The expertise and professionalism of Filipino dentists has ensured many patients have received treatment beyond their expectations, and many consider having their treatment in a renowned tourist destination the perfect antidote to necessary dental treatment. After all, dental care is not something that most people enjoy getting done, so why not enjoy glorious beaches, exotic food, eclectic shopping and a carefree holiday vibe to take the edge off?

With the availability of local but first-class dental laboratories treatment times can sometimes be turned around much quicker than at home – leaving plenty of time to enjoy a vacation with the money saved.

Culturally, although Filipino culture is unique, there are Spanish and American influences which make it seem very familiar – and with nearly everybody speaking English it won’t feel a million miles from home, although the prices certainly will!  The costs on some procedures are nearly as much as 80% less in The Philippines:

Average cost of a single dental crown in Australia AUD $1,230; At a dentist in The Philippines AUD $250

Average cost of root canal, post and crown in Australia AUD $2,155; At a dentist in The Philippines AUD $550

Average cost of dental implant and crown in Australia AUD $3,800; At a dentist in The Philippines AUD $2,400

Where to stay in The Philippines?

Hotel accommodation throughout The Philippines is varied and plentiful. From basic  backpacker hostels to 5* luxury spa resorts there is something for every taste and every budget.

During the low season you will be easily be able to negotiate discounts of between 20 and 40%, but during high season you may have to book well in advance to secure the accommodation you want.

Some of our clinics offer free hotel pick-ups and may also be able to offer you a discount on your accommodation dependent on the nature of your treatment. Please contact us for further information.

Is it safe?

Generally, yes. US, UK and Australian governments have warned against travel to Mindanao, in the south of the country because of recent terrorist activity and the threat of kidnappings.

Throughout the rest of the country you should take sensible precautions to avoid becoming a victim of robbery or street crime. Use hotel transfer services or arrange to be met at the airport. Only use taxis from reputable companies. Avoid displaying jewelry or cash and beware of strangers offering food or drinks.

It is a sad fact of life that even in the most idyllic of settings it pays to be vigilant and to employ the same common-sense that you would in your own country when visiting an unfamiliar area.

Pasig City, Philippines

(Image by: ninjakeg)

Is the quality of dental care in The Philippines the same as back home?

We maintain that providing you choose your dentist with care there is no reason why your treatment in The Philippines won’t be up to the standards you would receive at home. We also understand how difficult it is to try and choose a dentist in your own country, let alone one from overseas.

This is why Dental Departures only list quality-checked dentists on our site, whose qualifications and experience have been verified. So, at the very least, you can be certain that the Pinoy dentist you choose through Dental Departures is qualified to perform the procedure you require.

We have also visited our clinics and there are photos and videos for you to look at to give you a feel of the clinic you will be visiting. Along with real patient reviews we provide you with the information you need to be able to make your own informed decision on whether a clinic is right for your particular circumstances.

In the past it has been assumed that dentist training overseas is somehow not as good as ours. However, globalization means standards are becoming more unified throughout the world - and with many dentists training in different parts of the globe there really isn’t that much difference in standards these days.

Most countries now have professional organizations which healthcare professionals must be members of. In The Philippines dentists must be members of the Philippine Dental Association and are regulated and registered with the Phillipine Professional Regulation Commission. You will also find that we have dentists in The Philippines who are also members of professional organizations in other countries, such as the American Dental Association. All these bodies govern the profession, ensuring quality standards and proper conduct is maintained.

As well as dentist training being on a par with your dentist at home, hygiene and safety standards are also subject to international protocols. Clinics in The Phillipines have adopted ISO protocols ensuring the safety, reliability and quality of their products and services.

What happens if something goes wrong? Does my dental care have guarantees or warranties?

All of the clinics on Dental Departures website have warranties and guarantees on both lab work and the treatment your dentist carries out, for your extra peace of mind.

However, even with good quality dental care no procedure can be guaranteed to be 100% problem-free. In the rare event that there are any problems with your treatment, we will do our utmost to make sure you are taken care of and will take up any issues on your behalf with the clinic concerned. 

Will my dentist speak English?

Undoubtedly, yes. It is one of The Philippines' two official languages. A legacy of the American occupation is the widespread use of English. It is taught in schools and is often the main language used in business.

While the majority of the population speak English it is not used as a first language. There are said to be over 80 languages and dialects in the Philippines, although in reality there are around 8 tongues which the majority speak. One of these is Tagalog - which around 30% of the population speak - and its standardized form, Pilipino, is the other official language.

What payment methods are accepted in The Philippines' dental offices?

Cash is accepted by our dental offices but many also accept other methods of payment, including personal and traveler’s checks as well as debit and credit cards.  Please contact your chosen dental office to enquire as to what payment methods they accept.

Please remember that credit card payments usually incur a small handling fee of 3-4%.

Tarsier, Philippines 

(Image by: Roberto Verzo)

Is my dental insurance accepted?

Dental clinics in The Philippines will not usually be able to bill your insurance company directly. However, if your insurance provider allows out-of-network care you may be able to claim when you return home.

Certainly many US and Canadian insurance companies will allow out-of-network care, but it is not as commonplace from other countries’ insurance companies. You will need to verify this information with the insurance company before you travel.

If they will reimburse be sure to find out what forms and other documentation you will need to bring with you for your Filipino dentist to complete.

US patients may also be eligible to claim medical expenses tax deductions for dental treatment abroad, including travel and accommodation costs, potentially saving an even greater amount on dental treatment costs.

When is the best time to visit one of our dentists in The Philippines?

Our dentists are open all year round and so you may visit anytime. There are certain times of year when it is busier – for example during holidays (particularly Christmas) or festivals - and hotel accommodation and transport becomes booked up quickly.

The Philippines is a tropical country, whose weather is affected by the northeast and southwest monsoons. The five climactic zones the country is divided to reflect the exposure to these monsoons. The majority of the West, including Manila is wet from June to November, but dry for the rest of the year, whereas areas exposed to the northeast Monsoon are wet from December to March. In April and May most of the country is dry, but these are also the hottest months.

The country is susceptible to typhoons from July to October, especially in north and eastern Luzon and the eastern Visavayas. However, in much the same way as the Caribbean is susceptible to hurricanes at certain times it doesn’t stop people from going there then – especially as there are good deals to be had on flights and accommodation.

Mayon Volcano Philippines

(Image by: Sir Mervs)

Is the country handicapped accessible?

Although the Philippines government is committed to providing access to all, generally the streets, roads and other public places in the Philippines lack facilities for disabled people, and most people with a disability usually have a companion with them for getting around. Commercial properties including shopping malls may not necessarily have the facilities a wheelchair user requires such as ramps or designated bathrooms.

Some hotels, especially the newer ones, do have wheelchair access and many of our clinics offer pick-up services. Please contact us if you require any further information about accessability and we will assist in any way we can to get you to one of our Filipino dentists.

What is the downside? What should I know about visiting?

Warm and welcoming, Filipinos are friendly and upbeat. However, in Manila especially be wary of overly friendly strangers who may be intent on robbing you and be watchful for moneychangers who use sleight-of-hand or short-change gimmicks to scam tourists out of money.

Although prostitution is illegal, in some areas including Angeles City and Olongapo, it is quite blatant and may be unsettling, especially as many of these areas cater for Western businessmen.

Manila is a big city and you will encounter the same big-city pitfalls as anywhere else in the world. Crowds, pollution, noise, traffic and poverty may be too much for some, but fortunately there are plenty of tranquil places nearby to get away to.

What else is there in The Philippines?

For dental patients there really is an extraordinary range of options to engage in, depending on how you are feeling after your treatment.

Naturally, a lot of activities take place in and around the islands’ waters. For beach bunnies and snorkellers island-hopping around the Visavayas should find you the perfect beach. While divers have been enamored with The Philippines charms for years, surfers are just finding out that both coasts have great waves at certain times of the year. Freshwater pursuits include rafting, wakeboarding and kayaking.

On land there are a host of trekking opportunities from the rice terraces around Banaue to the peaks, volcanoes and rainforests across the whole islands.

The Philippines' isolation from other land masses has ensured a wide range of unique wildlife has developed here that cannot be found anywhere else. It is considered to have one of the world’s highest biodiversities and is one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries. The Philippines’ rainforests and marine waters are teeming with unique flora and fauna - the importance of these unique plant and animal species and their habitats now an important part of conservation efforts to protect the delicate ecosystems with protected areas and sustainable use of the natural environment.

A number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the historic City of Vigan – one of the few Hispanic towns left and characterized by its fusion of European and Filipino architecture and cobblestone streets – Baroque Churches and Rice Terraces all present another perspective on these fascinating islands.

There really is an abundance of things to see and do and if you can’t find your own personal nirvana in The Philippines then you will be hard-pressed to find it anywhere.

Underground River, Palawan, W. Visayas, Philippines

(Image by: Carrie Kellenberger)

Travelling to The Philippines

By Air:

The majority of people arrive by air at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). However, it is a rather old airport and there are often long queues at immigration. Cebu City’s Mactan-Cebu International Airport in The Visavayas has international connections with Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul and it may be more practical to fly here, depending on your itinerary. 

It is also possible to fly direct to other international airports around the country, including Laoag International in Northern Luzon or Clark International at Angeles City, and make your way from there to Manila either on a domestic flight or overland.

By Sea:

Travel by sea is possible between Mindanao in the south Philippines and parts of Malaysia and Indonesia. However reports by US,UKand Australian governments have warned against all travel to that part of the country due to recent terrorist activity and the threat of kidnapping.

Travelling around The Philippines

Tricyles:

Essentially these are a motor-bike and side-car. They are the least expensive method of transportation and great for short trips in the city - where they are usually found.

Jeepneys:

These are modified jeeps left over from World War II and are the most popular form of transportation in The Philippines, especially for short hops. You can hail a jeepney just like you would a taxi. 

Buses:

Usually used for longer trips in The Philippines rather than Jeepneys or tricyles which are used for short trips. Buses are cheap but be aware that there are air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buses – and you will pay more for an air-conditioned bus. 

Taxi:

One of the more expensive modes of transportation in The Philippines they are convenient and plentiful. Ensure you use a bona-fide taxi, know where your destination is located and that the meter is on.  

Tourist Visas

For stays of less than 22 days citizens of most countries do not need a visa to enter the Philippines and are granted a 21-day visa on arrival. Visitors may be asked to provide proof of an exit or onward ticket upon arrival.

For longer stays of up to 59 days, three month single-entry or multiple-entry visas for up to six or twelve months are available but will have to be applied for before you travel.  

Distances and Flying times from other countries to The Philippines (Manila)

New York, 8506 miles, 17.5 hours

Los Angeles, 7307 miles, 15 hours

Montreal, 8195, 17 hours

Sydney, 3884, 8 hours

Auckland, 4979, 10.5 hours

London, 6679, 14 hours

How do I book my dental appointment in The Philippines?

We make the process easy. Find your Filipino dentist on our website. Compare prices, read reviews, view virtual clinic tours and high-definition photos. Book online or use our Toll-Free phone number. You can always chat to us if you have any questions, or want further information - and we provide free quotes too. For high-quality dentists, superior customer service and the best prices choose and book your dentist with Dental Departures.

Ati-atihan Festival, Philippines

(Image by: Flipped Out)

(Main Image: Public Domain by Magalhães)

This article is meant for information purposes only and is not intended to be dental advice or instructions for dental diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with your dentist or a qualified dental professional before starting or changing dental treatment.

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