Many countries around the world are cashing in on Medical and Dental Tourism since treatments can be exorbitantly expensive in Canada and even more so in the USA. Mexico is positioned perfectly to the south to cater to that type of tourism, and one can find many alternative clinics along the northern Mexico border where it is easy for clients to cross the border for the day and receive reasonably priced, effective treatments in state-of-the-art clean facilities with English-speaking staff.
Come away from the border and you can still save a lot of money and still get great care, but your options are more limited and the English might not be so good, but hey, we’re in their country so why expect their English to be so good?!! I need to practice my Spanish more!
Anyways, I thought you might be interested in knowing how I made out at the dentist last week here in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico. So, here’s the report. First, a quick history.
I haven’t been to the dentist probably in about 8-10 years. I don’t particularly like going to dentists, and am fortunate to have decent teeth. A gift from my dad? He supposedly (if I recall right) had his first cavity at 32 yrs old. I had my first at 27 (the year I started drinking coffee. Is that related??) whereas Mom had most of hers pulled as a teenager.
The reason I went? I didn’t have any real concerns about my teeth other than my hopes of getting my amalgams removed, someday. But the main reason I booked an appointment was because when I was sick in the New Year I started feeling a lot of pressure and discomfort above my upper teeth, particularly when I bent over. And here it is, March, and I was still feeling it although I am no longer sick. I thought it was best just to have it checked out, so I booked a cleaning to get some tartar removed and the safest x-rays I know of to see if something was up behind the scenes.
The office was in a new medical building in a plaza along the libremiento. Clean, smooth, white decor….medical with a touch of warm wood. No pics. Didn’t think of it, because I’m nervous going to see a dentist and my brain was concerned about other things.
The dentist (I got local recommendations) Dr Benjamin Lara spoke decent English, and I spoke my feeble Spanish. We managed.
The room looked hygienic, tidy and well organized. The assistant put a blueish tape over all the points on the over head lamp that the dentist would touch as he moved it into correct position. They wore new disposable gloves, they had all the equipment I remember my dentist in Canada having. It looked like what you would expect any new dentist office to look like up north. Sterile and white.
He didn’t find anything wrong above the gum lines, he speculates its just some inflammation still from when I was so sick. That was good news.
They did the cleaning and after swishing clean water around my mouth I could feel space between my front teeth again (and developed a sore tip of the tongue as I explored those spaces over and over and over again for the next 2 days).
Here’s my bill, and an estimate for suggested future work. Don’t flip, remember it’s Mexico, it’s priced in pesos.
I checked to see what kind of price it would have cost me to have the same work done back home in British Columbia. According to this pdf it would have cost me approximately $191. Here in Chapala, MX it cost me $600 pesos, which is about $50 Cdn. They were going to charge me for 2 extra digital x-rays (the first 2 are included in the cleaning bill) but I said the dentist hadn’t told me that it would cost me extra, so they waived those. That’s the 2 x’s at the bottom of the bill ($100MX each).
What this dentist recommends for me yet to get done is to have my half-dropped-down wisdom tooth extracted, 2 amalgams removed and replaced with porcelain because they are cracked. I won’t be following his plan, nor going back to him although I thought he was fine. But when I can afford it I plan to go to a Biological Dentist somewhere to have my amalgams removed and get any other necessary work done there.
For what I was looking for, this dentist fit the bill. I’m glad I went.
My tongue isn’t nearly as sore, though I’m still feeling that space up front. I’m toughening up!