The following is an interview with Dr. Roland Aplicano who owns a practice in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The services he offers include dental implants and other related procedures. The goal of this interview is to provide some insight into how a typical Honduran office operates and what the time and money requirements are for those considering the country as their destination to get dental implants done abroad. Now over to Dr. Aplicano:
Please note that the US Travel Advisory currently has issued a travel warning against going to Honduras. Please make sure to do your research before choosing this destination.
Hello Alex, thank you for your prompt response, I’ll answer all the questions starting from my office details as follows.
What procedures do you typically recommend and perform?
In my office, we perform all kinds of treatments, starting with metal-free ceramics, (E-Max), Zirconia, dental implants, bone grafting, etc.
Please give me a summary of the steps in the process of getting an implant at your clinic.
In most cases, a dental implant placing is a minimally invasive procedure, if you compare it with a tooth extraction, a single implant can be placed in either the jaw or maxilla within 45 minutes to an hour, the procedure will be, in most cases as follows:
- After local anesthesia, the gums around the area to be implanted is separated, and the bone exposed.
- A carefully measured drilling is done, depending on the length and thickness of the implant chosen.
- Then the implant is placed using, either a motor or a hand ratchet, specially designed to meet the proper amount of torque needed.
- A cover screw is then screwed in on the top of the implant and the gums sutured, in some cases a healing screw can be placed instead of the cover screw, this will save some time for the next step, three to four months later.
- After the osseointegration it´s done (3 to 4 months after first surgical step), a healing screw is placed where the cover crew was screwed in, then, 10 to 20 days later an impression copping is placed to make an impression of the position and angle of implant, then, impressions are sent to dental lab, where ceramics are done.
- Prosthetic ceramics can be cemented or screwed in on top of implants.
Time elapsed from implant placement to ceramic placing, about 3 to 6 months, depending on the need for bone grafting and zone without teeth.
How long have you been in business?
I’ve been in practice for the last 20+ years, and performing dental implants, the last 8 years.
How many dental implant procedures have you done?
I’ve placed dental implants in about 200+ different cases and of those, from single units to several units cases.
Where do most of your patients come from? How do they hear about your clinic?
Most of my patients are local, but since I work with an international insurer, I have patients from south America as well from the U.S.
How many trips to Honduras and how many days of stay are needed for one or two implants?
Regarding on how many trips to Honduras a patient should do, in most cases, 2 trips, the first one of about 2-3 weeks, for making sure all post-op precautions are taken, and the second one of about 3 to 5 weeks to place the final prosthetic restorations, this second trip could be split into two trips, one of 2 weeks and the other, just a couple of days.
What type of implants does your clinic use?
My practice is mostly based on MIS implants, widely known in the U.S market, although I have placed dental implants from brands such as Zimmer, Implant Direct and Bio Horizons.
How much do your procedures cost?
Generally, the cost for a single dental implant in my clinic would be around $1,450 to $1,680 U.S multi-units placing in the same surgery, lower the costs.
What other costs would there be for someone travelling to Honduras from North America?
Normally the air fare from Miami, New York, Houston or L.A. is about $450 to $750 round trip, but patient could get some pretty good deals on low seasons, (from August to November), hotel fare is between $55 to $175 U.S., patient can choose from local hotels or international chains such as Marriott, Intercontinental, Holiday Inn or Hyatt. and Honduras offers a large variety of foods at no big prices. Patient can also choose from a large set of franchises here, from the ever present McDonald’s, TGI Friday’s, Chilli’s, Applebee’s etc. but I strongly advice to try the Honduran Food, it’s amazing.
What do advise your patients to do if they have a problem with their implant?
I try to be as meticulous as possible in all my surgeries, but, in the event that something goes wrong for any reason, patient can always come to my clinic to try to fix it or replace an implant if necessary. In some cases, an implant comes a little loose and only needs to be tightened with the proper tool, for that I can refer the patient to a nearby dentist who could do that.
Many people are attracted to the dental work+ vacation combination. What is there to do in your city?
Tegucigalpa is a 1 million people city, there are plenty of activities to do, starting with some museum visits, shopping, short trip colonial villages are widely visited by foreigners, and of course a rich night life to choose from. Also, Honduras has the second largest Coral Reef in the World, only the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is bigger than ours, so those diving junkies are going to have the time of their lives. Many Natural reserves for wild life experience too.
I hope this is enough for your needs, I’ll be happy to help you if you need anything else.
Sincerely at your service.
You can get in touch with Dr. Roland Aplicano by filling out the following form:
On behalf of everyone who reads this, I would like to thank Dr. Aplicano for telling us all about his practice, the steps in the process of getting an implant and a little bit about Honduras! If you have a question that you would like him to answer about his clinic or going to his country for implants, please ask him in the comments below. If you’ve had dental work done by his clinic, please leave a review!
Please note: This interview is for informational purposes only and does not represent a recommendation of the dentist mentioned. All opinions expressed are those of the interviewee.