Root canal in Colombia

This item appears on page 52 of the August 2010 issue.

While staying for a month in the city of Medellín, Colombia, in January ’10, I started having a toothache. It became so insistent, I did an Internet search for a dentist and sent a request to the Bocca Clinic (Carrera 43A #14-109 [Edificio Novatempo, Office 406], Medellín).

When I checked my e-mail, the clinic had sent me the cell phone number of the director of the clinic. I made an appointment for the next day.

The office was more modern than that of my dentist in the US. A quick x-ray confirmed my belief that I was in need of a root canal. One hour later, after a pain-free procedure, I was out of the office.

Not only did they not complete any paperwork, all they had was my first name. (Try doing that in this country.) Two days later I went back for a final treatment. The cost was $250 for a procedure which probably would have cost $900 in the States. And that afternoon I returned for a laser cleaning at a cost of $60.

They issued my receipts in dollar figures, and AETNA, my insurance company, has agreed to reimbursement for these expenses.

My dental surgeon, Juan David Restrepo, spoke perfect English (always helpful when undergoing a root canal) and was the equal of any dentist I have ever had in the US.


El Paso, TX