Skip

dentista necesitado
February 21, 2008 3:16 PM   Subscribe

So, it has been suggested that I go get my dental work done in Mexico. From what I hear, the $10k worth of work here, will cost maybe $2-3K there. My family knows of a dentist down there that has done work for 4 or 5 of our friends. I would like to hear from anybody else who has experience with this. All feedback is welcome.
posted by B(oYo)BIES to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
No personal experience, but NYT did a article on this a few weeks ago.
posted by saffry at 3:19 PM on February 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wet to a dentist in Merida last year. Three crowns and a bridge for 9000 Pesos (around $850.) I had dental insurance, and my deductible would have been $1800 if I'd had it done in the States. He did a great job, and it was the first absolutely painless novicaine shot I'd ever had. I recommend it to anyone who will listen.
posted by Floydd at 3:25 PM on February 21, 2008


My dad was just there about two months ago and had some extensive dental work done. (He is, like many, not a fan of the dentist.) My mother relayed his experience and said he got excellent care both while in the office and afterwards (A follow-up phone call to see about his progress.) He was also given some special mouthwashes and medications that were a mere fraction of what it cost here in the states.
My parents tell me that there are several retirees in the condo where they own who have moved there specifically because their medical dollars go a bit farther. I should mention that this is a resort town, just south of the Arizona border. I'm not sure if the affects the type of care available.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 3:28 PM on February 21, 2008


The money paragraph from the NYT article mentioned above:

Although the American Dental Association has no official warning against foreign travel for dental care, a spokesman, Dr. Edmond Hewlett, said, “Dentists abroad are not held to the same standards as in the U.S.”

And that'd be the end of the conversation for me ...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:29 PM on February 21, 2008


We had this post here just oh, yesterday.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 3:46 PM on February 21, 2008


Although the American Dental Association has no official warning against foreign travel for dental care, a spokesman, Dr. Edmond Hewlett, said, “Dentists abroad are not held to the same standards as in the U.S.”

And that'd be the end of the conversation for me ...


My Mexican dentist trained in the US and is a member of the ADA.
posted by Floydd at 3:50 PM on February 21, 2008


The question isn't whether the dentists are held to the same standard as those in the U.S., the question is whether they are held to equivalent standards. I doubt it, but you wouldn't expect the ADA to say anything else; these people are competing for their business after all.

I mean, if you listen to the FDA or whatever ordering pills from Canadian pharmacies is likely to result in a horrific death.
posted by Justinian at 3:55 PM on February 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've had dental work done in Tijuana. It wasn't extensive, but I had no insurance and it wouldn't have been affordable in the US.

The dentist's lab and facilities were clean and just as high-tech as others I've been to (although I don't go to those cool guys who set you up with DVDs to watch and whatnot). Overall, it was as good as if not better than other trips to the dentist.

I'm insured now, but if I found myself in need of dental work and not enough money to cover it, I wouldn't hesitate to go back. If you've got a recommendation and a handful of satisfied customers backing that up, I'd say go for it.
posted by stefanie at 3:58 PM on February 21, 2008


The question isn't whether the dentists are held to the same standard as those in the U.S., the question is whether they are held to equivalent standards.

Also, keep in mind that the "standards" the ADA is likely talking about include both medical accreditation and legal standards. How do you go about suing a Mexican dentist for malpractice, anyway? Even the good guys make mistakes sometimes ...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:13 PM on February 21, 2008


What I said in that other thread. The dental work I have had done in Mexico was superlative. “Dentists abroad are not held to the same standards as in the U.S.” would be killer, if only dentists in the US provided uniformly good care. They don't, any more than dentists anywhere else. I think a randomly-selected US dentist is probably a safer bet than a randomly-selected Mexican dentist, just because of more effective oversight, but I can afford to see a really good Mexican dentist, and my US dentist is, well, kind of so-so.

What can we say here that will outweigh what 5 of your family friends report about a specific dentist in Mexico? If that dentist is good, then go for it. Talk to those five friends to get specific details of how happy or unhappy they were with the care they received.

You probably would have a lot more difficulty suing for malpractice, if for no other reason than you would be doing so from another country. And if either you or the dentist is not bilingual, you will want to bring a translator to make sure there are no surprises (almost anywhere in Latin America, it is really easy to round up a high-school or college student with good English; someone will know someone who knows a kid who can translate -- no need to bring your translator from the US). And there are some practical issues -- flying or driving immediately after surgery, arranging payments if the cost suddenly doubles due to complications, etc -- but nothing insolvable. You've already nailed the hard part, which is finding a good dentist overseas.
posted by Forktine at 4:13 PM on February 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


After problems with my dentist over x-rays and other things, I decided on a dental trip to Tijuana. Of course, my dentist in the states made it sound so dangerous. Bottom line: my work cost a third of what it would have in my hometown, the care was BETTER than I had ever received at my hometown dentist and I would - without hesitation - recommend the dentist I used in Tijuana who, by the way, is a member of the ADA.

At first I was concerned because the dentist in Tijuana said my last root canal, in his opinion, was done very poorly and, because of that, certain other work had to be done on that tooth. Well, I was in for a week long stay anyway for all my other dental work, so we started on the other things that needed to be done. Well.....Just to be sure, I got into a dentist in San Diego for an "introductory" $25 consultation and, without saying anything, he looked at my digital x-rays and told me the exact same thing about my last root canal. So, I knew the dentist in Tijuana was on the level. It was another lesson that just because something is done in the United States doesn't make it inherently "better." In fact, with many things, it's just the opposite; most Americans just don't want to accept that it could possibly be true.

By the way, when I said the dental work cost a third of what it would have in the states, that included my transportation, lodging, food, everything for a week in San Diego!
posted by Gerard Sorme at 4:39 PM on February 21, 2008


There was a great article written by localroger on K5 about this very issue.

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/12/20/121018/65

You can email him for the dentist's details.
posted by WetherMan at 5:32 PM on February 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thank you for all the feedback so far. And thank you Admiral Haddock for pointing out yesterday's thread. I search 'Mexico' and 'Dentist' but didn't come up with that thread. Added two of the tags from that thread to mine (teeth & dental).

Can I get some of you that have had good experiences to post the contact information of their dentist here, or MefiMail if you are more comfortable doing so? The more options for me, the better.

As for whether the dentists over there are held to the same standards, I could really care less as long as I don't have a bunch of horror stories coming back. So far, not one (and I am not just talking about these threads). The whole reason I am now going back to the dentist, is because an American dentist fucked up, not one, but two bridges 9 years ago and I am dealing with it today. This doesn't mean I don't trust dentists here; I actually just got back today from having those bridges and the 4 teeth under them removed. The dentist was great! Now I have 6 holes in my mouth that need teeth.

Again, I do appreciate ALL of the comments so far, whether for or against the idea.

Thanks again.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 6:21 PM on February 21, 2008




I would trust a recommendation from a person I trust way before I'd care where the doctor's office is located.
posted by gjc at 8:12 PM on February 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


A couple of things. If you can, try to avoid the border. The chances of going to a dentist "toursit trap" might be higher.

Go to bigger cities like Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey where there are first class private dentists that are located in middle or upper class neighborhoods. These doctos usually study in US/Europe, will speak english and still be quite cheap compared to the US.
posted by edmz at 8:55 PM on February 21, 2008


(sorry for being pedantic but "dentista necesitado" means "dentist in need"; "necesito dentista" might be better)
posted by edmz at 8:57 PM on February 21, 2008


I don't have any personal experience, but thought I'd mention that here in Albuquerque there are several clinics that advertise free transportation to Juarez, which is 4+ hours away. One of them advertises "Se Habla Espanol", with the remainder of the ad in English. Presumably there are similar setups in other cities. I would assume this is more expensive than some options, but it might make sense for some people.
posted by yohko at 9:06 PM on February 21, 2008


Just to add another data point, most of my extended family in San Diego gets their work done by dentists in Tijuana. I've done both Tijuana dentists and dentists in the US and never have noticed a difference in facilities or quality of care.
posted by vacapinta at 1:07 AM on February 22, 2008


Some great cosmetic dentistry can be had for very affordable prices in Bangkok.
posted by tarvuz at 2:58 PM on February 22, 2008


« Older My XP takes too long to shut d...   |  Is it ever okay to directly co... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.


Post