RE's Excellent Mexican Dental Adventure


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    I’m currently sitting in a Luxury Hotel Room in Yuma, AZ after an exhausting Red Eye flight down here from the Last Great Frontier. Reason for the trip? Tomorrow I will walk across the border with Mejico into “Los Algodones”, a town of Dentists, Optometrists and Pharmacies that makes its living on Amerikans making day trips there to buy prescription drugs and get affordable dentistry.

    Its soooo much cheaper there that the cost of the flight from Alaska and the Luxury Hotel Suite and the Rental Car is more than made up for by savings on the Dental Work, if you have a decent amount to be done and I have a LOT. I may end up having them all pulled and get dentures, but I will try to get Implants instead, or at least implants that will help stabilize the dentures. For most people, if you just have a couple of Root Canals and Crowns to get done, this is enough to justify the trip. My Dentist comes to me Highly Recommended by numerous Alaskan friends who have used him….



    el gallinazo

    I had some fairly minor dental work done in Costa Rica about two years ago. Excellent and very cheap. An exam, x-rays of all the teeth, thorough cleaning, and a couple of fillings cost me about $35.

    In Cusco, Peru about 6 years ago, I had about 6 fillings, an epoxy jaw balance, and my two top incisors capped (work was two hours a day for four days). Total cost about $280. Caps have been trouble free since and match the color of my other teeth perfectly.

    A molar pretty much fell apart where I am now living in Mexico. Went to the recommended town dentist who took an X-ray and said that the extraction was way above his pay grade because the tooth was too far gone to be just pulled. He referred me to a dental surgeon in the small city about 60 km to the west. I needed a second tooth pulled as well next to the offending culprit. The guy was great. Very good technician, pleasant and concerned, and didn’t skimp on the procaine. The work took well over an hour and I had to come back a week later to pull the sutures. Total cost – USD 85.


    I had a good deal more work necessary. Up in Alaska, I was quoted $300 per tooth to pull. Since I still have about 20, that was $6K. Dentures were $1500 for Upper and $1500 for Lower. So it was a $9K bill minimum, and I would not get to keep any teeth at all.

    $40 to pull a tooth in Los Algodones. All totalled my Bill is $2200. I spent another $3000 on the Flight/Hotel/Car for $5200 or so, plus I get to keep a few teeth which makes a big difference because the Upper can attach to them and I don’t need a full palate covering denture up there.

    The most interesting parts for me though was exploring the Border crossing issues. More on that now up in Part II


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