How much is a dentist in The Philippines, and what you should know!

Extracted teeth at a dentist
The almighty fear of blood, teeth and pain may be put to rest if you have dental treatment in The Philippines (click to enlarge)

How much does a dentist cost in The Philippines?

A dentist in the Philippines can be very cheap, but it really depends on what you want done! And, where you are from.

We’ve all heard of medical tourism. A term used to describe the practice of going overseas for medical treatment while on holiday. This can also be said of dentistry.

Cost of a dentist in Asia compared to the USA or Europe

In the United Kingdom dentistry and dental work used to be so expensive that people often waited until there annual overseas holiday to get work done. Spain is a common destination with work up to 50% cheaper than back in the UK.

Nowadays Europe as a whole has become expensive. So people are looking further afield to places like Asia, where the cost is still much much lower.

Likewise in the USA where dental work is near astronomical in price. People have often done the math and worked out that a holiday to Asia, plus dental work can work out the same as just dental work back home!

But is there a catch?

How good are dentists in The Philippines?

In my time here I’ve been to a dentist four times. Here’s what I have experienced.

There is a lower, middle and upper class dentist.

  • Lower is generally the old local dentist that resides in a small office in town
  • Middle class dentists are modern and well-trained. Many work as corporate dentists and have surgeries both in a private clinic, and in a big company.
  • Upper class dentists deal with cosmetic dental work to the movie stars, people who want to be movie stars, singers and politicians. The odd diplomat and the excessively wealthy

I recommend you hunt out the middle class dentist. They usually have a practice in an office block within a city. They also have offices in Malls, but I’ve not come across any that felt comfortable with there.


Are dentists safe in The Philippines

Yes! Most of the dentists I have come across or visited have been trained in the USA. Or at least practiced there at some stage. As most might know, North Americans have a thing about perfect teeth. And, this has carried over to The Philippines where the perfect white smile is very important to many.

I have also seen some of the best, and most modern equipment anywhere in the world appear in dental clinics in The Philippines. Dental chairs with high-speed drills, cameras, and cleaning brushes are well established here.

Composite fillings (resin white) are preferred over amalgamate (metal).

What can I have done to my teeth in The Philippines?

Everything from cleaning, and fillings. To straightening, bonding, whitening and root canals.

My experience with a dentist in The Philippines

After 6 years of travel, you can be sure that I’ve seen more than one dentist. All, I am happy to say for cleaning. But, unfortunately last year my wisdom teeth showed signs of problems. For anyone that doesn’t know why this occurs here’s why:

Wisdom teeth arrive when we are about 21 years old. There job is to take the place of other molars that should have fallen out, or been damaged by then. They are natures back up teeth. But, as we have learned to look after our teeth more, many of us don’t lose any teeth by the time the wisdom teeth arrive. So they can cause problems like squashing our teeth. Not emerging properly. Or pain.

In my case the problem is that they were so far back against my jaw, all the brushing in the world could not reach them. So before this journey, I had two removed. The remaining two finally showed signs of trouble forming last year. So this year I took the measure of having them also removed.

I don’t know where I will be in 6 months time, so if these start to give me problems, I could be in for a world of hurt. Prevention over cure.

The dental work I had done

First up the dentist examined my teeth and we looked at each one with a magnifying camera. This is possibly the best thing I have seen in dentistry. Quite simply you can see what the dentist can.

How many people often wonder if the dentist is telling the truth? With a dental camera you can see for yourself

Then with local anestheticthe dentist quickly removed both teeth with less trouble than the previous dentist. I’d been given antibiotics to take before hand. And, felt not a thing during the procedure.

Modern dental chair in The Philippines
With a dental camera, you can see what the dentist sees, and make your own mind up if you want treatment or not (click to enlarge)

There was little bleeding. That evening I will admit I has in pain, and bleeding. But I have a slight allergy to local anestheticthat gives me a headache. But, the next day things were much better.

There is still some tenderness around the gum, but all in all it was a professional job.

Cost of dental treatments in The Philippines

This will vary depending on location, and class of dentist but generally in USD:

  • Check up $6
  • Cleaning $11 – 16
  • Filling $11 – 16
  • Extraction $11 -16
  • Front bonding $ 55

From what I know, this is some of the cheapest dental work, at the highest level of standard anywhere in the world.  The only other place I know like this is Thailand which is well-known for walk in dental “shops” in Bangkok and Chiang Mai with similar prices.

What to be careful of when choosing a dentist in The Philippines?

Get your haircut in a well established mall first. Why? When you do you’ll get an idea of how “Hollywood” like Filipino’s treat their hair. Women in the Philippines get all sorts of treatments done to their hair here. As do the men. I don’t know too many male barber shops that will want to give you hair strengthening treatments, anti dandruff treatment, hair loss treatment etc. All this, and there’s nothing wrong with your hair in the first place!

Get my point?

Yes, the Philippines is very much on the everything should be cosmetically perfect. Hair, eyes, teeth, skin. Everything has many treatments.

So, you need to be very assertive when going into a dentist in The Philippines. Otherwise you might leave with a set of braces, a new whitened smile, and implants etc.

Tell them, you want to know what they are doing, before they are doing it. And then ask “How much?”

With this said, and understood, you should be fine.

Places to avoid dentists around the world!

China! Horror stories of miscommunication, and bad practice have come out of here. If you need dental treatment in China, try to find a recommend one. Or one diplomats use.

Nepal has a lot of … “different” types of dentists. If you need dental work here, seek out a clinic that’s treating expats and diplomats.

Morocco have dentists everywhere. Sadly, it seems their main job is removal of teeth!

Long term travel and dental care

I’ve never seen this mentioned anywhere before. But when people go on round the world trips, or one year plus travel journey’s very often their teeth take a back seat once they hit the road. Big mistake.

Every six months your should get your teeth cleaned, and checked up. Travel lifestyles vary. But quite often that nightly brush doesn’t always happen. And more often than not you are eating and drinking sugary drinks more than normal. All this mounts up.

And, you really, really don’t want to be in some countries and get that almighty jabbing pain and have to look for a dentist.

So, my advice. On your journey, mark out at least one or two countries where you can stop off to have a cheap dental check up.

It might be interesting if you could leave a comment with the average cost of a clean or filling plus your experience of a dentist from your own country!

Or, your own experience of seeing a dentist when traveling!

Note: This article can and has helped people in making informed decisions in choosing a dentist in The Philippines. However the amount of dentists leaving comment spam is quite high thus making it difficult to see a for profit business versus genuine recommendation etc.

All comments in this article are monitored and held for moderation. Dentists, or their relations, leaving continuous and or blatant links to their businesses will be reported as spammers, IP address recorded and said comment will never appear.

People offering genuine advice, experience and referrals are very welcome and free to leave comments. 

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57 Replies to “How much is a dentist in The Philippines, and what you should know!”

  1. great information dave! In KL it is pretty much the same. You need to go to a reputable one, and the prices vary. Normally, a good dentist is referred to by word of mouth. Malaysia is pretty cheap for teeth but not as cheap as Bangkok.

  2. Good information. Medical tourisim is big business. I reckon it will get bigger

  3. I was in Singapore when I felt a pain on my jaw caused by an impacted wisdom tooth.. good thing home is not too far away and I was about to fly back to Manila. I don’t want to imagine the cost of having a check-up and surgery in Singapore!

    Ya the Philippines is one of the cheapest places for medical and dental treatments. However, the Philippines would have to do over-the-top tourism breakthrough to even come close to Thailand.

    Great article Dave! =) wish you the best on your stay here in the Philippines! See you before you fly off!

    1. I agree, there’s a lot more work that needs to be done with tourism in the Philippines before it could even hope to compare. By then, it might be too late, as the country is expected to boom soon.

      Yep, looking forward to meeting up!

  4. Great post. I actually have a lot of respect for dentists here in the Philippines. In relation to dentists and tourism, there were 2 Korean guys with nicotine stains who went to this dental clinic chain in a mall, where I was waiting for the results of my dental xray. They were shouting their heads off at the dentist who charged them 1,200 pesos for cleaning their nicotine stains away. “Too expensive!” They were saying over and over again while the dentist patiently explained why it costs them 1200 pesos to remove their nicotine stains. I actually thought it’s not a bad price, considering they are getting a cleaning at a mall.

    1. I wonder if it was a case of mis communication! I’ve seen Koreans get very upset over a lot of things. I don’t know the culture there very well. But they seem to get upset quite easily!

      One lesson for sure, is to ask “how much” before any work is done!

  5. Hey great timing to a post! I have always looked after my teeth with regards to brushing and flossing but a love for sugary stuff has left me with major problems. For the last few months I have been toying with the idea of getting a “Hollywood smile” in Hungary which is 3 times cheaper than here in the UK, do you know anything about dental work in this country?

    Or I could just go to Phillipines from my Malaysia trip next year! :)

    1. No idea about a Hungary price I am afraid. I guess it’s less than western Europe, but Budapest can get pricey. I’d also try to check out English vs Hungarian is case you run into any difficulties. In other words, speak to the dentist before committing. Maybe even on the phone.

      If you’re headed to Malaysia, it’s also going to be cheap. And, Thailand might be a better option if cost is an issue as you can get a cheaper flight from Malaysia to Thailand than to the Philippines! And both countries are good for getting a “Hollywood” smile! :)

      1. Brilliant! that sounds like a plan to me, do they also speak good English? Thanks for the reply

        1. Yes, English is no problem over here. Thailand too. Doesn’t hurt to get 2 opinions first and get to know the dentist first. At $4 for a check up, you can’t go wrong really :)

  6. I had my teeth worked on in Argentina and had a great experience. It was 20% of the cost that it would have been in America. I imagine when I get to SE Asia I’ll get some more work done. Thanks for the informative post!

  7. I’ve had a cleaning, root canal and a crown made from a dentist in Delhi, India. The cost for everything came out to $100 USD and I’ve had no problems at all.

    And in Mexico (I’m unlucky when it comes to teeth!), I also recently had a root canal and another crown made by an excellent dentist in Cancun for around $175. And a very thorough cleaning was only $25 USD.

    1. Earl you get everywhere son! :P

      That really is great price for what you got done, I think I’ll hold on till Asia. I just hope I don’t become a horror story haha!

  8. Thank you for posting this, Dave. I’m happy that the dentists in the Philippines (my hometown) are given due credit for their professional work. When I was based in Singapore I had two wisdom teeth removed. It cost me SGD800 (US$612.00). For my regular cleaning there I payed SGD40.
    Really big difference in costs. :)

    1. Hi Russel,

      Wow, USD$ 612.00, that is a huge amount! 700 pesos per tooth here. Or for compacted wisdom tooth 5,000 -8,000 pesos (US$116- 186).

      The only thing in The Philippines is that pharmaceuticals seem disproportionately expensive compared to dental treatment. But yes, still a lot less than Singapore I imagine :)

  9. Excellent entry,

    It is fear that makes people spent vastly more money for medical care. These people pay more for peace of mind than for the medical procedures they receive, and many don’t mind doing so.

    But, from experience, I know that dropping $5 for a medical visit in China or going to a hospital for free in El Salvador will get me comparable service than spending $500 at a “US department of State” approved private clinic abroad.

    This information really should be shared amongst travelers, as the amount of money that you would have to spend for traveler’s insurance is around 10 to 100X the amount that you would pay out of pocket for most medical procedures abroad.

    Though, as you said, medical tourism is fast becoming popular, and I can see a day when doctors in public hospitals try to move me over to an expensive foreigner clinic.

    Wrote a couple pieces about this here:
    <a href=""Medical care when traveling abroad and Medical tourism scares me.

    1. Thanks Wade. Its already happening. I’ve been to places and they just try to send you into a private clinic. First thing you must say is “No insurance, I pay cash like local”

      After that, if you have any sense, you’ll take a look at the treatment / facilities on offer. If you are comfortable with them, then no problems. But, many people really have no clue about general medical care, and will run to a doctor at the slightest ache. This might not be a bad thing if they really don’t know an aspirin from and antibiotic.

      Many medications are available over the counter in developing countries. It’s a long term travelers last bastion of cheap things you can still do; re value for money. But again, some degree of sense and knowledge is needed.

      For dental work it’s really a no brainer. As seen in the comments: $600 vs $10 hmmm …

  10. can you name the dentist that you guys went to. this would be my first trip out of the USA-except Canada, i live in Michigan-I don’t know anyone that has travelled by themselves or not with the military. any good medical tour providers that i can be directed to. any locale and I will check the airfare but Cancun seems the most affordable.

  11. Nice info! I’ve been to dentists in Peru, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Kosovo, India and Hungary. All much cheaper than my native Ireland the work was just as good. I would highly recommend medical tourism. :)

  12. I went to the dentist for the first time in 10 yrs in the Philippines and had no cavities! Succes. :) I went to a local dentist in the province.. town proper. They didn’t have flouride or the suction for water. They just had me rinse w/ glass of water and spit with a nearby sink setup next to the chair. I would like to go to a mall dentist for bigger work because they seem to be more upper class.. Which in my line of logic, means better more well-trained dentists :P

    1. Congrats on the not cavities after 10 years. Thats a feat. Do you think that result would change if you went to a mall dentist? Some of those mall people like to work up their prices and add on things when there is not need :)

  13. As a dentist it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside that you took the time to write up a post about us! Thanks for that. One little comment though, as a dentist I must say that amalgam still outperforms plastic composite fillings on back teeth by a long shot. And I don’t see plastic outlasting metal anytime soon. So, don’t be fooled into paying extra unless you are really informed or need to have your Hollywood smile.
    Dental work here in Thailand is generally pretty good. I’d say the prices for the mid-level dentists are right on par with the Filipino dentists. Maybe a little more expensive. The standard of care and level of service at a lot of clinics is dare I say higher than the US. I can say that since I was trained and worked in the US before moving to Thailand. That being said, picking a good dentist is a difficult task even for a dentist. I am terrified of getting dental work done and only allow a handful of people to work on me. Go figure.

  14. This is a great post! I’m actually a dentist in Canada, and I will be travelling to the Philippines next month, and this is very good to know, thank you.

  15. Neat post… unfortunately I wished I hadn’t read this… reminds me of how badly I need to have dental work much of it will require extensive work and possible surgery.

    I may have been involved with medical all my life naturally with 30+ surgeries… I hate them all, you wanna work on me then gimme some general anesthetics… and I don’t wanna know what you did while I was asleep just fix me up.

    That’s the main reason I haven’t gone to a dentist… the last time a dentist worked on me was for oral surgery… the local shots are killer!

    I hope there are more options than to just sitting in the chair while they give you local shots and pull all your teeth out (I’m going to need most of them removed)

  16. hello everyone does anyone of you know the fee of draining an abscess tooth and root canals? an average or range will be fine tnx

  17. really awesome post. enjoyed reading it until the end. keep up the good work. thank you. I really like this one and will share this one with some of my friends on facebook.

  18. GREAT POST!!! Unfortunately i live in Denmark, where the prices might be higher than anywhere else in the world! A crown normally costs around $1000 here, while a filling costs $200. I need to have one crown and six fillings made, and i have persuaded the dentist school to make the crown for $350, but still…

    Since i have stumbled upon a VERY CHEAP journey to Thailand, i am considering to do it there, but can someone PLEASE RECOMMEND A GOOD AND CHEAP dentist in Bangcock? I would be VERY HAPPY for some contact informations!

    Thank you in advance, and merry christmas and a happy new year to everyone!


  19. Fantastic Blog!!
    I’m not sure if you are still responding to questions on this subject, but I am heading to the Philippines in 3 days and I need to get an unfortunate amount of fillings done and so would really apreciate it if you could give me the name and city location of the clinic that you went too with the above mentioned prices.
    All the best,

    1. Hello John, Philippines is a big place and you didn’t say where you were going within it, or for how long?

      I don’t give out business info when it comes to medical or dental, I just try my best with the guidelines and my own experience. Everyone has a slightly difference experience and expectations. This post for example is hammered by spam from Dental clinics in Manila. I don’t let any through. If anyone want’s to give genuine personal information on a certain clinic, they are welcome to do so.

      Best advise I can give is be wary of Pinoy Cosmetic Dentists, and stick with family style dentists if it’s fillings you are after. The cosmetic one’s have a tendency to go overboard with Hollywood smiles. While family type dentists are more into stronger teeth over veneers/whitening etc.

      If you let me know where you are going to be and for how long, I can send you some recommendations if I have them for that location!


  20. Hey Dave!
    Thanks for responding- I noticed you wrote the article in October 2010, so im pleasantly suprised to hear back from you!
    I fly out from Vancouver on January 28th and my return flight is scheduled to come back a scant 3 weeks later- but this is subject to change if im lucky enough to meet the girl of my dreams :)
    I will arrive in Manila and spend a few days and then will fly to Cebu and most likely spend about 10 days on the islands in the Visayas lounging on the beach and coming back to Cebu City on the weekend’s for the nightlife.
    From there I will make my way back to Manila via land and sea.
    To be honest, I havn’t made any plans beyond booking the flight- a norm for most of my trips around the world, as I find that having no plans, leaves me open to all plans that may turn up!
    I do normally buy a guidebook for sleeping and transport information, but I can’t seem to find a newer lonely planet philippines book then the 2009 release and i’m not a fan of the rough guides.
    Quite understandable that you don’t give out business info- any recommendations for Cebu City would be much appreciated- I don’t think I want to spend too much time in Manila.
    I did a little internet searching for dentists in the Philippines and have found some places with great prices ($11 per filling) but I am always very apprehensive around it all- thinking that the quality cannot possibly be very good for those prices and not wanting to ruin my trip by having infections ect.
    Unfortunately, this has led to me doing the oposite of your “prevention over cure” method for the past 6 or 7 years and so I know for sure I need at the least 9 cavaties filled and my 4 wisdom teeth out.
    A final question if you or anyone else could answer it- Do you know a cheapish hotel in Manila that has a free airport pickup service? I arrive at around midnight and have had many troubles with taxi’s in the past- robbed of all my money in Vietnam and held a knife point in El Salvador :(

    1. Hello John,

      I’m asking a few people about dentists in Cebu, and if I get any recommendations I’ll email them to you.

      Just a couple of points. $11 for a filling sounds about right, so that’s good news. Again, just be wary of “Cosmetic Dentists”.

      I’m assuming that you know having 4 wisdom teeth removed can be quite traumatic and painful no matter the country? Can take up to a week to heal, especially if their are stitches involved.

      For a relaxing time, getting out of Manila is indeed a good option. Simply booking a return flight on Cebu Pacific/PAL from Manila might be the fastest option. Just be sure to tell your credit card company you are using it in The Philippines and with the airlines over there.

      Re Airport taxi. You shouldn’t have much of a problem. There’s an official ticket booth for taxi’s inside the terminal. You tell them where you want to go, they’ll give you a price and a ticket, you go outside and queue, the taxi man will take you directly to your destination for the ticket price. Keep a copy of the ticket yourself, or use your phones camera to copy it.

      There’s a small cheapish guesthouse near the airport called The Green Mango. They should be online, and it’s a shortish ride.


  21. Thanks a ton Dave!
    I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out!
    I will let you know how things all worked out.
    All the best,


  22. :John, Green Mango is in Bf Homes/Paranaque. When you look for a hotel with airport pick up, please look for Southland Apartelle, which is nearby(100 meters beside Green Mango) and definetly better than Green Mango. Dont look for the cheapest offer in the Philippines, i know the philippine dentists very well, if a treatment is really cheap its mostly not good. Its a part of the mentality of the philippinos.

  23. thanks alot for the informative site, i know you try to avoide suggesting names, but i’m planning to visit manila in march (21-29) for dental work, ihave sent my x-ray and pics to many dentist that i have seen online , i guess they are all as you said are more into cosmetic holywood smile, as they give me really expenssive quote (higher than local prices here in SAUDI ARABIA) that is why i thought you might give me some recommendation in Makati area

    kind regards


    1. Hello Ahmed,

      I only know the names of a few dentists in Cebu. I can ask for some in Manila, but I can’t vouch for them as I have never been to one in the Capital.

      What I can tell you is this. Sending copies of your xrays to any Dentist in The Philippines will move the price skywards. The more money many people think you have, the more they will charge. I don’t know the extent of the work you need. But if it’s routine, then a walk in appointment will certainly cost a lot less than getting any price online.


  24. Hi Dave,

    My wife has been told she needs a lot of work done and I was keen to read your comments and those from other people. I have said that if we could combine it with a holiday would be good. We are a bit committed this year but may consider something next year. I’d be keen to get a list of recommended clinics when we get closer.


    1. Hi Tony,

      I get a lot of dentists leaving spammy links to their own clinics on this article so I generally don’t approve them to appear here due to having no references etc.

      I’ve a few references sent to me for Cebu City and can happily send them on to you if you will be visiting that island.

      Just drop me an email and I’ll send them on to you.


  25. Hi Dave! Thanks alot for the helpful information provided here. I am going to visit Cebu, and I thought why not fix some teeth while I am there. I have some minor cavaties plus I feel that my smile isn’t perfect or even near that. So, I would like to have a Hollywood Smile but I want to be 100% sure that I will find the right dentist who can do the job great. I thank you in advance if you would supply with some contact info of the right dentist/s in Cebu. Thanks alot and best regards,

  26. Hi Dave,

    Do you have any recommendations for a good dentist and orthordonists in Manila and Davao? Will need braces, implants and crowns. Davao would be better, but willing to go to Manila if better treatment is there.

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Kathy,

      I do know several that have come recommended. I’ve sent some emails for their exact details/telephone numbers etc.

      The first is Doctor Annabelle Telephone +63(0)9272077010)

      I’ll leave more names and contacts as I get them.


  27. Just jumping in at what is probably the longest dental discussion I’ve ever read, and interestingly so. Thanks for the link again, Dave. I used to have Swiss friends who come over to Davao for R&R and dental appointments, and hop on to Indonesia to dive while their dentures and crowns are being fixed, and come back in time for their departure. :-)

    We have very good dentists here in Davao as well, so you won’t have any problems with choices. I think my big smile can attest to that. :-))))

    Thanks for the good words on our professionals, Dave.

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