A Visit to the Dentist in Istanbul, Turkey

I’ve had good dentists and I’ve had bad dentists in the United States. I guess I should not be surprised that my worst recent dental experience was with our high deductible dental insurance plan, which sent me to a dentistry chain where the hygienist had me do all sorts of treatments, despite previous dentists telling me all was well and normal with my choppers.

As a result, having been inspired by Ali’s experience with dentists internationally, I decided to try going the route of dental tourist in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. That experience went so well that, when we went back to Puerto Vallarta to explore lens replacement surgery, we went back to the same dentist and were both happy with the results.

Since our six month cleaning time was due while we were in Istanbul, Turkey, we decided to go to the dentist and get our exams and cleanings.

Given that our friends the Geekstreamers and Stephanie and Gillian loved the Cihangir neighborhood, we decided to look for a dentist there, as that neighborhood is only about a 15 minute walk from where we are staying.

In wandering around, we found the cleverly named Cihangir Dental Clinic, and saw that it had 4.9 stars on Google. We made an appointment for a few days later and were set.

When we checked in, we went into a very modern, clean-looking lobby to wait for our services.

While I was waiting, one of the receptionists asked me if I wanted a hot tea. Pro tip: never turn down hot tea in Turkey. Also, who offers you hot tea before you get your teeth cleaned? Turkish hospitality is awesome!

When it was my turn to get my exam and cleaning, I walked into a very modern-looking patient area.

This place was way nicer looking than the dental clinic my insurance back in Texas had me going to. It’s not a surprise to me that it’s now closed.

Even the ceiling at the dentist in Cihangir was fancy. This was my view while I was in the chair.

I’m used to a hygienist doing the cleaning. At the Cihangir Dental Clinic, that’s not the case. The dentist does the cleaning. He did have a supervisor, though.

For those who are worried about not knowing the Turkish language (Türkçe bilmiyorum), the English of my dentist, Dr. Yıldız, was very good. In fact, it was so good, I got schooled.

What I liked about the cleaning was that the dentist applied a little lidocaine spray to my gums beforehand so that I really didn’t feel anything while he was cleaning. He did a high pressure water spray for cleaning, so there wasn’t a lot of poking and prodding using instruments. Also, when he started, he had a fresh pack of instruments that were sealed in a package, which he opened before starting. He also checked up constantly on my comfort to make sure that I wasn’t in pain. I wasn’t. He at first thought that I had a filling which had fallen out, but once he cleaned the teeth, he realized it was still there. I should have asked how much it would cost to refill a filling that had fallen out, but I did not.

My wife didn’t like it quite as much because the cleaning paste they used to polish the teeth at the end of the cleaning got on her face. I had some purple spatterings as well, but I wasn’t as bothered by it as she was.

So, I liked the experience a little better than the experience in Puerto Vallarta, mostly because of the application of the lidocaine spray beforehand. My wife liked it a little less because of the paste spatterings. All in all, that averages out to just as good of an experience as our previous experience in Puerto Vallarta.

The cost of the cleaning was 645 Turkish lira per person. In the exchange rate as of June 24, 2022, that converts to $37.57 per person, slightly more expensive than what we paid in Puerto Vallarta, but much less than we paid (even after insurance) in the United States.

We would definitely go here again, and are likely to continue our international dental care in the future.

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Jason Hull was the co-founder of Broadtree Partners, a firm that acquires $1-5MM EBITDA companies. He also was the co-founder of open source search consultancy OpenSource Connections, a premier Solr and ElasticSearch firm. He and his wife FIREd (financial independence retire early) at 46 and 45, respectively. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a MBA from the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business. He held a CFP certification from 2015 - 2021. You can read more about him in the About Page. If you live in Johnson County, Texas or the surrounding areas, he and his wife are cash buyers of Johnson County, Texas houses.

2 thoughts on “A Visit to the Dentist in Istanbul, Turkey

  1. This really is a great way of keeping track of dentists around the world! It is shocking the difference in cost and care compared to the US. We made a few trips to the dentist in Split and the cleaning was a similar price (~$40), but also had a few other things done. We’re definitely starting to wonder why we bother getting any care in the US at all.

    1. If I didn’t get free healthcare from the VA, I think I’d be going the same route – get healthcare overseas. Since the VA inexplicably doesn’t cover dental, we get it overseas. I would be on the fence about something like a colonoscopy, but I could probably get there.

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