A while ago I was chewing on a piece of pizza when CRUNCH and I suddenly realized I was chewing on a piece of my molar. “Ew,” you say. Well, it happens, but my immediate thought wasn’t “Ew,” it was “How much??” I have a dental plan, but it’s dinky—at best. In fact, it only covers 50% of most important procedures, and then only if it involves certain teeth and not others, blah blah blah. Won’t bore you with the details.
The thing is, I was going to spend north of a thousand bucks on my tooth, namely because I not only needed a crown for the broken part, it turned out I needed a root canal (ouch indeed). So I did the only logical thing I could: I drove three hours to Los Algodones, Mexico, where I sat myself down in a high-tech dental office and had all my procedures done for a grand total of $650 (plus couple of tanks of gas, since it took three visits to accomplish).
Medical tourism to Mexico is nothing new.
Here’s the drill: I drove down to the border, parked right across from the gates in a $3 a day lot (with security), walked across and into town and to my dentist’s office three blocks down. Simple. And very safe. Even though I had a wad of cash in my pocket and I’m sure every single person on the street knew it, since most doctors only accept cash. Did I say I felt very safe?
Los Algodones has a sterling reputation for excellent dentistry and opthalmology. Google it, you’ll see. In fact, here’s a link to an article all about it that was published in my “hometown” newspaper a couple of days ago: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/04/06/20080406biz-mexicodental0406.html
It’s a reputation they can’t afford to tarnish, so the local doctors make darn sure the crime rate is nearly zero. Ergo, all of us in dental distress head down there for (mucho) less expensive—and excellent—care.
The doctors in Los Algodones have state of the art equipment, immaculate offices and many are educated in the U.S., crossing the border themselves on a regular basis to update their techniques. Of course, do some research. I happen to have a personal friend with a dental office down there: Dra. Alma Luna.
In my humble opinion, if you’re within driving distance and don’t have piles of dough to put the dentist’s kids through Ivy League College, consider dental care across the border.