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Dental Work in Mexico


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#1 Bobinyelm

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:14 PM

I am hearing more folks talk about going to Mexico for dental care, so I just had to ask...

I just had 2 crowns and a root canal done here in Dallas, and each one was about $1600, for a total of $4800.

I was told that though I have no cavities, my present fillings being 35 years old mean I will be looking at increasing crown work to preclude failure of these old amalgam fillings. In view of the fact my dental insurance is limited to $1500 per year, if good quality care is available, it might be worth a trip south of the border under certain circumstances.

I have a friend of a friend (living in Lake Havasu, AZ) who goes to an American dentist that moved her clinic from Havisu to Mexico saying that after eliminating expensive facilities, insurance, and employee costs, she could charge a fraction of the cost and make as much money working 3 days a week there as opposed to 5 days a week in AZ. Her patients (mostly retired w/o dental coverage) are reportedly happy to make the trip to her new clinic for the money they are said to be saving.

Those who travel over the border, I was curious how you would rate the facilities, the personnel, and the finished job vs. where you used to go.

I must say that I am concerned about cleanliness and competency first overall, but paying $1600 for exactly one hour in the chair for the root canal really started me thinking about alternatives in the future.

I presently pay about $800/mo for health insurance (I get a good discount by buying group coverage from my old employer), and have been told to expect 17% per year increases in premiums as far forward as they can see. That means in 4 years, my premiums will be almost $1600 a month (almost $20,000 per year), and that makes me think about dropping the dental coverage portion if there are lower cost alternatives available.

Bob

#2 meanders

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 07:00 AM

Bob
I don't have dental (employer offs a plan (no cash for it) that is so expensive--no reimbursement beyond $25 for a filling for 3 years!
So I will be interested in reading this thread.
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#3 andy101

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 07:00 AM

I have had no problem with Dentists in Mexico. I go to Palomis just south of Demming NM.
Prices are about 75% Less than Dallas,TX.
I had my two front teeth bonded in Mex.$70. The quote here in Las Cruces,NM was $400.
Fillings$35 Crowns,under$400 and root canal $135. The prices are different in each boarder town but the savings over US Dentists is substantial.
As far as quality...I have not heard any complaints and there are lots of folks in this reigon that use Mex.Dentists. Even Braces for ths kids.
Let me add that they operate under as clean a condition as any US Dentist. Their equiptment is just as modern as in the US.

Edited by andy101, 07 February 2008 - 07:04 AM.

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#4 Bobinyelm

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 07:44 AM

Wow!

$135 vs. the $1600 I paid Tuesday for a single root canal is a HUGE difference!

I have to tell you that was the one that REALLY got my attention! After the one-hour procedure, they immediately offered me an "easy-payment plan" at 18% interest! If someone had to use that, that $1600 could end up making the dentist double before the debt was paid.

I will look forward to more responses and locations.

Bob

#5 SilverRaven

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 10:00 AM

I drove the town bus part time in Bisbee, AZ for a while. Bisbee is just six miles from the border. I asked the Latino and some anglo riders on the bus, who go across for dental work, who they go to. I walked through to Naco, Sonora to check out the office and it looked pretty efficient. Made an appointment, had work done, and was pleased with the work and cost. I'll definitely go back.

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#6 jvwands

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 12:29 PM

I have had a lot of dental work done Alagondes (Near Yuma, Az) 4 root canals with caps, fillings and a partial. Cost is about 20 % less than in the states. They were clean and had all the latest equipment. This time of year the dental offices are very busy with snowbirds. I was happy and would go again.
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#7 btrotter1

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 12:53 PM

I am seriously considering going to Mexico for the savings for denal work. The one I am looking at is across from El Paso in case I have to have several appointments because I have relatives there. Check out www.riodental.com and click on prices.
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#8 mickeyd@wayfarer1.com

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 06:23 PM

Hey Bob:
My neighbor is in the process of getting extensive dental work done in Progresso. He has been three or four times already and is scheduled for a couple more. He does not make a lot of money and has found the work to be reasonable and the facilities clean. Let me know if you want his email for specifics.
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#9 Bobinyelm

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 07:08 AM

Thanks, Mike.

Since there seems to be some interest in the subject, maybe we could put up a temporary poll or something so those who have tried such Mexican facilities can report on their satisfaction with them in various areas (price, cleanliness, perceived quality, etc.) along with enough information to contact the dental clinics.

Mentioning the campsite on the US side with distance, or best way to get across to the clinic would help as well.

Obviously some even have websites (like www.riodental.com ), which is helpful.

Mentioning the US border city is good as well, because sometimes finding Mexican towns is harder. I am sure "Progresso" is in Google, and I know you kindly offered to PM me w/ more detailed information.

I don't know how to put such a thing up, or even if Eric would think it an acceptable idea, but it might be worth considering.

This would possibly be a great "Casita People helping Casita People" opportunity. Many of us may not need the dental help right now, but having it available for when we do could be wonderful.

Bob
I just Googled Progresso: (nuevo Progresso)
http://www.shop-progreso.com/
They even list dentists (about 25 of them), so obviously this is big business!

Edited by Bobinyelm, 08 February 2008 - 07:17 AM.


#10 mountainborn

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 07:50 AM

Nuevo Progresso, on the Mexican side, is a very nice place for many reasons. Butcherknife and I have been there several times. We have never had any dental work done there however. But we did see many nice looking places where people were getting dental work done. There is secure parking that is patroled on the US side and the pedestrian bridge has a .25 cent toll each way. For those that want to drive across, the streets are wide and curbside parking is assisted by an attendant who stops traffic as you enter and leave a parking spot. It is a short walk directly into the shopping district. There is no "jostling" or aggressive behavior by "street" people. Every one is courteous. There are several "shuttle" methods from the parking lot across the bridge, including a beautiful white, horse drawn carriage. For bringing larger purchases back across, there is help available to get it to your automobile and load it. We saw several large Chimneas being wheeled across by hand cart. RV parking abounds at any level one might be comfortable with all along the river valley. We usually stop by Progresso while going to and coming from South Padre Island where we boondock right on the beach. Texas beaches are considered the same as a highway for driving purposes. You can take your camper miles down the beach if you want to. 4x4 is recommended for the soft sand areas just immediately before getting out on to the beach. Many winter Texans arrive at the crossing early to beat the shopping crowds that start arriving about mid morning. Though it is busy during mid day the service is adequate even in the busiest restaurants. Those that are "wintering up" nearby go about their daily shopping routine efficiently and already have their empty shopping bags with them as they arrive. Many take advantage of the horse drawn carriage to go to the pharmacy, drop off a perscription to be filled, then go shopping, picking up the perscription on the way back to the carriage and the crossing.
Most of the products that the WT's buy for daily consumption, are the same as they would buy anywhere else, just packaged differently and signifigantly cheaper. Familiar logos to US shoppers abound and finding things is not difficult.
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#11 Dutchman

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 09:43 AM

Bobinyelm - My "experience" with a Mexican dentist in Palomas so far: six crowns (two to go), one five crown bridge, two periodontal surgeries and one root canal. I think I am up to about $2,700 so far, and that includes a full set of Xrays. Also had a bridge done in 2003 in Algodones MX, near Yuma.

First of all, I am satisfied with the work, the conditions and the hygiene observed. The equipment is clean, comes sterilized in plastic covers, masks and gloves are worn.

My suggestion for choosing a Mexican dentist: Just like in the US, there are good dentists and there are bad dentists. First of all, ask, ask , ask around. While it is difficult for a patient to properly evaluate a professional job, repeat recommendations will help zero in on a qualified Dr. Or Dra. Many Mexican dentists are female, and they are very good. If you are still in doubt, visit two or three recommended professionals and have them do an evaluation. Costs only about $20 - $40. Even if you repeat it three times it is, in my opinion,
a worthwhile "investment". You get to observe the dentist in persona and at work, and you can look around and look at the equipment and environment. I ditched one dentist after she failed to note two crowns that I knew needed replacement.

Depending on who you go to, prices will vary somewhat. My dentist in Palomas charges $150 per crown. He, and his dentist wife, work out of a modest, rented building. Another dentist charges $190 (all his prices are higher, but he has a fancy clinic and has built a motel next door, and runs a 9-passenger van). My suggestion here is to go with the dentist recommendation and not by the pretty surroundings. Most offices are smaller and more modest than in the US.

Some prices I recall paying at this moment: Evaluation $25; crown $150, periodontal surgery $250; root canal $240; full mouth Xray $150. If Rx is needed, it will be much cheaper in a local farmacia than in the US. I paid $22 for an antibiotic for instance ($29 for a Combivent inhaler - $105 at Walgreens in Las Cruces; same brand, same company). No problem taking it across the border - neither was it a problem to take a liter (quart) of Kahlua back ($11), strictly for medicinal purposes of course.

As far as Palomas dentists are concerned, I'd recommend the one I am going to: Dr. Guillermo Lam, dba as the Lam Dental Clinic. He and his Dra. wife have been practicing for twenty years. Once a week they have specialists come in from Juarez to do surgeries and root canals. Both speak what they refer to as "dental English", enough to get by. They have a receptionist fluent in English who can translate when needed.
I understand the American Clinic (interestingly named) behind the Pink Store has good dentists, Dr. Perez and Dra. Karla ? (forgot the last name). Very mixed opinions on Fierro dental clinic. Some like it, some don't. They have about 8 or 9 dental chairs in a circle, work quick and accept credit cards (most don't). I had the bad evaluation there. Avoid a Dr. Baron in Palomas, event the other dentists wiggle their noses at that one.

Payment is usually cash or checks. At Dr. Lam's I saw about 7 checks hung in the office with "No Funds" on them. Embarassing for us honest people.

When all is done and the numbness wears off, the Pink Store in Palomas is a "must visit" even though it is 100% a tourist attraction. The food is good, drinks are good, everything is purified and clean. Andy (101) showed me another restaurant that had good food; forgot the name of it at the moment.

Curiously, after two plus months in and out of Palomas I have yet to see one Peso. All transactions are in dollars, even at local stores and pharmacies.

Lastly, I am told that, with many Mexican teeth, I will speak much better Spanish. The jury is still out on that one, but my Spanglish is out of this world biggrin.gif .

btw, Google "Mexican dentists" and that will give you more information all along the border.

Hope this helps you decide.

Buena suerte,
Ed(uardo)

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#12 Dutchman

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 09:56 AM

I forgot to add what I think is an important consideration - where to go. In Algodones for instance, in snowbird season, it is super crowded. I recall, and seen email pictures, of a five block long pedestrian line waiting up to 1 1/2 hours to get back into the US. A small location, in my case Palomas, allows for quick, no wait returns into the US. Small town should not mean lesser dentists. Going across south no one stops you. They're glad to see you-(r dollars).

Forget about taking your car across. Most border towns have good parking this side and you walk across. Some even drive you across in busier areas. You might wait until the busiest snowbird season is over, usually by the end of February.

One last item. Some Casitans have wondered about me spending 2 1/2 months in one State Park, in this case Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus NM. This park, which has a 21-day limit, will allow extensions during their slow season (December - January was very slow here, but then, Columbus lies at 4020 ft, and it freezes often at night), when nicely asked. It is "ranger's discretion". And why not, why send revenue somewhere else? Helps to be a clean, pleasant camper of course (pat, pat) and a Casita is prefered tongue.gif wink.gif

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#13 DesertHawk

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 12:38 PM

dry.gif Never had any dential work done in Mexico, nor would I consider it, a little too timid rolleyes.gif , however, crossing at El Paso could take a longer time as Dutchman mentioned, the smaller towns take much less time in coming and going. I have been to Nuevo Progresso and it is a smaller place compared to the other crossing points in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas somewhat like Palomas, which I have not been to. Crossing at Del Rio might not take to long, but I have never crossed there, and crossing at Douglas, AZ, which I have crossed at, would not be too long to get back.

We tend to stay north of the border, but plan on going across again at our far north border again someday.
I not sure if you can get dential work done up there or not? Nor if it would be less or more expensive? tongue.gif

Good luck to those who ago across to get it done.

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#14 ronnie

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 07:26 AM

Any excuse to go to Mexico is a good excuse. We're thinking of going to have dental work done, Just can't decide where. I have friends originally from Mexico City that go home for dental services and wouldn't think of getting it done in the states.
You can dance, shop, dance, scuba dive, dance, tour, dance, and eat great food. Who wouldn't want to go?

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