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  • Writer's picturehawaiichocolate

Dentistry in Mexico part 1

It never fails, some medical crisis always seems to crop up costing a ton of money. Since I’m saving diligently for my house, it’s a big setback and poor timing. Murphy’s Law.

This time it is a dental issue. In 2020 I had sinus pain and tooth pain so I scheduled an emergency appt with La Familia dental in Santa Fe, NM. It was at the height of Covid so I wasn’t keen on going to a dentist, but had to They took a look at it and I believe the issue was a loose crown which they patched up somehow. They had put the crown in a year or two before and I had to reject it twice for poor fit. In any case the pain went away but I couldn’t get a follow up appointment as the clinic was short staffed and they had a lot of patient demand.

Fast forward to this month, Nov 2021. I was proud of myself for getting some dental insurance and went for an exam and x-rays at Aspen Dental in Kerrville. I wasn’t keen on going here but it was what my Humana insurance covered in the area which is somewhat rural.

They had a very nice state of the art facility and especially nice imaging technology. In the consult after they determined I needed 2 root canals and two crowns. Both molars were very cold sensitive. Plus I needed a deep cleaning for all those missed Covid appointments or other sporadic dental visits over the years. One crown would be replacing the crown I’d gotten recently in Santa Fe. They gave me a printout and the total was $12,000 but my portion was $5,000. I about fell off the chair! Oh! But they had financing available and it was 26% interest! Robbery!

Needless to say I did not proceed and I was kind of ticked off they did not, at least offer a routine regular cleaning which insurance would have covered.

In New Mexico I had a doctor that went to , and recommended

You could have dental services done in Juarez, outside Yuma or Cancun, Mexico. But I was living in Texas and did not want to go to Juarez which is a 7 hour drive. Cancun was actually easier, a mere 2 ½ hr flight ( only $196 RT on American Airlines) but I’d need to stay a week to have crowns made. The hotels were cheap enough- I could stay on or near the beach in a 3 or 4 star hotel for $300-400 for 6 nites. This sounded great but I couldn’t find anyone to go with and a beach vacation by myself didn’t sound that fun. Not horrible but a lot more fun with a friend. Another option would be to fly twice and stay in a hotel one night on each visit. At that price, actually quite do-able. So an option anyway.

Based on reviews and a recommendation from our cleaning lady, I also contacted a dental office in Ciudad, Acuna, across from Del Rio Texas. It is SW of San Antonio but a shorter drive from where I’m living- about 2 ½ hours. You can drive to the International bridge a, park your vehicle and walk for take a taxi across. You can also drive in but its recommended to have car insurance in Mexico. The taxi or walk was less intimidating, at least the first time.

I sent an email and got a return call from the dentist the next day. My costs would be $50 for the initial exam. A root canal, done by a specialist next door would be $290 per tooth and $500 per crown made from Zirconium, provided I actually needed both teeth done. The molar with the problematic crown did not have a root canal so likely that was the real problematic tooth and the other possibly sensitive just to the infection. A deep cleaning would run about $200. First visit they would do the root canal and fit a temporary crown, second visit would be the permanent crown (they needed 7-10 days to get that from a lab) and the cleaning could be on that visit or if I preferred another visit. A far cry from $5,000 quoted here! So I’ve sent off my Xrays to them and hopefully can schedule something before Xmas break, at least to do the initial root canals and temporary crowns.

Stay tuned for part 2 of Dentistry in Mexico!

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Kristina Casanova
Kristina Casanova

Oh my, Melanie - that completely stinks! I have great endodontist in Fredericksburg if interested in 2nd opinion 'stateside'

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