Cheap Veneers From Colombia, Are They Worth It?

Video transcript provided below.

Dr. CATRISE AUSTIN:  So, Gil, I don’t know if you’re aware that porcelain veneers are being done in Colombia, and people are flying all the way to  South America to get their teeth done. 

Why do you think it’s so popular? 

GIL VILLAVECER:  Well, I am aware, because, remember, I’m in Southern California, and what’s the country right below? 

Dr. AUSTIN:  Mexico. 

GIL:  Right.  So why most people would go there, for tourism.  And tourism is really a prettied up word for “I need veneers cheaper.”

Dr. AUSTIN:  Yes. 

GIL:  And so I always say don’t shop for veneers the way you shop for your tires. 

Dr. AUSTIN:  Yes. 

GIL:  Something like that, because this is a ‑‑ this is a lifetime investment in you.  People, sometimes, they lose perspective.  They’ll pay ‑‑ think of veneers as elective right for the most part; right?

Dr. AUSTIN:  Yes.  Not needed. 

GIL:  It’s not needed.  It’s elective.  A Louis Vuitton purse, is that a necessary procedure. 

Dr. AUSTIN:  It is not. 

GIL:  It’s pretty much elective, isn’t it? 

Dr. AUSTIN:  I just want my Louis bag. 

GIL:  But yet, people don’t have a problem with that.

And so really what it comes down to is what value do you place in your veneers.  So to address your question, Dr. Austin, with tourism they feel that it’s a cheaper way to do it and that it’s prettied up because I happen to be in Mexico, Colombia, whatever.  No offense to those countries, because they’re beautiful.  But I’m not sure that that procedure is there. 

The other thing is, you’re there typically for a few days, so they have in‑house labs, and they have to rush the work.  And imagine ‑‑ imagine this scenario:  If you’re having your veneers done, and you have a flight that goes out tomorrow, and it’s not exactly the way you want it when you’re in the dentist chair that afternoon.  What are you going to do? 

Dr. AUSTIN:  You’re going have to stay longer. 

GIL:  Either stay longer or accept it. 

Dr. AUSTIN:  Yes. 

GIL:  Because that’s what you got.  Whereas in your case, you have a relationship with the patient.  You have a relationship with the lab.  We’ll make sure this it’s right by the time that patient leaves the chair. 

Dr. AUSTIN:  And one of the things ‑‑ I know the cost ‑‑ they do these veneers, like, for the whole mouth, three to five thousand dollars.  So yes, that’s very attractive for someone that’s on a budget, but the one thing that Cardi B actually said when we first worked together, what happens to your teeth if the veneer chips?  Is there a warranty?  Do you have to go back overseas?  Those are factors that you have to think about. 

I know one of the things I love about working with you is your lab offers a warranty.

GIL:  We do.  And we work ‑‑ as I said before, we work very closely with our dentists, so for five years if something goes wrong, you can go back to that dentist, and that dentist comes back to us, and we’ll fix it. 

Dr. AUSTIN:  Awesome. 

GIL:  And that way you’re assured that your dental work that you invested in is well taken care of. 

Dr. AUSTIN:  You know, you won’t buy a refrigerator without a warranty or a computer or things of other value ‑‑ you know, things of value, like you’re TV, you should also have a warranty. 

GIL:  And there’s so may things that can happen in the oral environment; right?

Dr. AUSTIN:  You use your mouth all the  time, so ‑‑

GIL:  We can talk all day about the chewing forces you chewing on ice and those kinds of things.  And so you can tell that it’s strong, but yet, some things might happen, and we do take care of that through your dentist here. 

Dr. AUSTIN:  So I would you say just do your research if you feel that you have you to go out of the county.  Make sure, you know ‑‑ again, interview your dentist.  Make sure that they have credentials.  Look at their experience.  But, a lot of times, you can find someone in the US with the same credentials, and we’ll work with you. 

GIL:  Don’t you guys also offer payment plans? 

Dr. AUSTIN:  Yeah.  I have payment plans. 

GIL:  Yeah. 

Dr. AUSTIN:  I pretty much have a prepayment plan.  So once we do the consultation, if your treatment is 12 thousand dollars and you want to pay X amount of dollars per month, we can do a prepayment.  Once you pay it up, we get the work started. 

GIL:  Yeah.

Dr. AUSTIN:  Yeah.  We’re bringing back the lay away plan.  Or there’s financing. 

GIL:  Exactly.

Dr. AUSTIN:  That’s a lot ‑‑ how a lot of people do it. 

GIL:  Right.

Dr. AUSTIN:  But, honestly, there’s a lot of people that don’t have good credit, and they still want to smile.  So I try to give them an alternative so everybody gets to smile. 

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