Medical Tourism: Saying Goodbye to El Salvador

by Lori Lundin

When I told people we were going to El Salvador their response was almost always "Why in the world would you go there?" People have the impression it's unsafe and the last place in Central America you'd want to visit. Then, tell them you're going for dental work and they are really baffled. Being a journalist, I'm not someone who would randomly hop on a plane and let someone pull my husband's teeth out. I did my homework. Planet Hospital facilitated everything and thankfully got us in contact with Dr. Lorenzana. Knowing he was trained in the U.S., speaks perfect English and is an American Board Certified Prosthodontist helped us feel confident about the quality care. The Americans we'd spoken to ahead of our own decision raved about the experience and they were right.

In all my husband had three teeth pulled, seven implants, a bone graft and a sinus lift. He also has a mouth full of beautiful temporaries. The procedure took about 4 hours. He didn't feel a thing and never had any pain. The entire process far exceeded our expectations. Dr. Lorenzana loves what he does and he loves his country. He has a real desire to let the world know what a great place it is to visit and that the quality of care really is first class.

Hard not to fall in love with the people here. They are so kind and eager to accommodate. It makes them sad and frustrated that the country still has a reputation for being unsafe, despite the war being over for more than a decade. Ricky (Our Planet Hospital Country Host) picked us up at the hotel and took us to Dr. Lorenzana's office for our final visit before heading home. The doctor took all the stitches out of Doug's mouth and gave him the final instructions for keeping his new teeth clean. He'll need to floss and rinse with Listerine, keep his mouth healthy while the implants integrate to his bones. We'll then come back in about five months for Doug's permanent crowns.

It's bittersweet to leave. In the short time we were there we made friends for life, some now are like family. I'm sold on medical tourism as a way to save a whole lot of money and get a vacation in the process. Our original estimate here in the states: 60 thousand dollars. The cost in El Salvador 19 thousand. Add a few thousand for travel expenses and we're still saving over 30 thousand dollars. Doug's temporary teeth look like a million bucks. We can't wait to go back in July.

For more information:

Lori Lundin is a News Anchor/Reporter with Fox News Radio