Dental Care Across the Border

By Lola

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.

38 thoughts on “Dental Care Across the Border”

  1. I have been seeing Dra. Alma Luna now for the past 5 years and find her to be extreemly professional. She has all the latest equipment and is by far the most gentle dentist I have ever gone to. Last winter because of an emergency root canal I was force to go to a dentist in Montana who totally screwed up. Dra. Luna sent me to Dra. Armando Hernandez Mejia, who specializes in Endodontics, to have my root canel redone and then she rebuilt the bridge. I cannot say enough about either one of these doctors. I’ll never go north of the border again!

  2. There you have it folks—an unpaid Grade A endorsement! Thanks, Denny! :-D

    PS – I had a root canal with Dr. Hernandez, too. He actually had a “tooth-cam” so I could watch what was going on. Amazing… And I can also say it was MUCHO better than the one I had done here in the states a few years back. This from a serious scaredy-cat.

  3. Lola,
    I had some root canal therapy done with Dr. Mejia a couple of years ago….would like to contact him by email. but…apparently I have the wrong address: jahmejia@teinor.net

    Do you have a more current email for him?
    Thanks.

  4. More recently by following the advice of this article and other articles like it. You can learn a lot by googleing any of these
    three Dr. Pablo Luna, Dr. Alma Luna, and Dr. Hernandez.

    I went down to get a couple of root canals and Dr. Hernandez
    watched $700 dollars walk out the door. Tooth was cracked the other was too decayed. Thats a lot better than getting ripped off by somebody only interested in the money. Dr. Pablo pulled the tooth and by the time i got home the novicaine had worn off, and my mouth hasn’t hurt or bleed
    since. They are the only three I’ll ever go see from now on.

  5. He’s an endodontist, so I’m sure he does even though I’ve never had an extraction with him. I would not hesitate to go see him, he’s very good!

  6. Dra. Luna is very good. My partner and I both have been patients for the past couple of years. We also have had work done with Dr. Hernandez. They are both extremely competent and pleasant to deal with. I have recommended both to my family members. In addition, the town is fun and colorful. In addition to dentistry, we have had eyeglasses made for a great price. They beat Costco. Worth the trip. Janie

  7. Wow, thank you all. We will be heading to Algodones in Feb. and I’m now getting various references for the work I need done. Drs. Luna and Hernandez it is. Much appreciated.

  8. Lynda or Jane,
    Do you have a current e-mail address or phone number for either of the dentist? I have sent several messages and they have been returned.
    Thank-you

  9. Hi Penny, This is Lola!

    This is the information I have for Dra. Alma Luna; I don’t think she has changed her number. Av.B Plaza Mextlan tel. 51-7-76-59 dra_almaluna@hotmail.com

    This is the website for Dr. Pablo Luna, Dra. Alma’s brother who has an office right next door to hers. His number is on the page as well as his email address http://www.losalgodones.com/dr_pablo_a_luna/about_me.htm

    Please let me know if you need any other information and I will do my best to get it for you!

    Take care :)

  10. Lola,
    Thanks for getting back to me.
    Tried to send a e-mail but was returned again. Is there a possibilty for you to send them an e-mail with my address and have them contact me? I would appreciate it.
    Thanks.

  11. Hi Penny! Will do. You might want to try to contact her by phone, too. If I’m not mistaken her receptionist speaks English. Good luck and I’ll let you know if I was able to get through. :)

  12. Hi again, Penny! Something might be iffy with your mail, because I got through to her with Hotmail address. Gremlins, maybe? They’ve been messing with my Apple mail, too lol The doctor will be in touch with you! :)

    Good luck!

  13. I took my daughter-in-law to see Dra. Alma Luna on 3/7. Dra. Alma Luna and her brother, Dr. Pablo Luna, examined my daughter-in-law. They are both wonderful people and we couldn’t be more pleased with the recommendations that they made. We will be back to them once the pre-work has been completed. (Also being done in Los Algodones!)

  14. That’s fantastic! I just got back from seeing Dra. Luna myself and am getting ready to write another blog on crossing the border for dental work. So happy to hear about your good experience :)

  15. Dr Hernandez is tops! He has the top state of art equipment
    More so than most dentists have seen in the US. I can’t say enough good about his quality of work, pleasant personality, perfect English! Foremost he cares about his patients ! also teaches students so that tells you even more about his knowledge!
    I have experienced bad work in Mx until I met him
    . believe me he can refer you to the best dentists and Dr. Luna is also very good.
    Donna

  16. I have been a patient of both Dra Alma Luna and Dr. Hernandez for several years. They both are EXCELLENT dentists. I have dental insurance here in the States and their rates are, generally, lowere than my co-pay here. plus if you have insurance your company may still pay their percentage (mine did). These dentist’s give excellent care, speak FLUENT english as does the staff. I Never go North of the Border for dental care.

  17. I am a patient of Pablo Luna and he told me he would be on vacation the month of July and asked me to contact him the first of Aug, I have been calling his US number as well as his Mexici number to no avail. I also sent an e-mail and got no answer. I called his sister and have not heard back. I am concerned that he might have been in an accident or ill. I thought his receptionist (Claudia)would be calling his patients if this was so.Please if anyone knows anything I would appreciate hearing from you

  18. Would like to make appointment have seen Dr. Alma Luna before and would like to make appointment please contact me at 928-726-3507 the phone # i have which is o1152(658)5177659 doesn’t work . Please call or E-Mail me.
    Thanks James Durden

  19. I live in Arizona and, having just recently moved here permanently, needed to find a dentist and have my teeth cleaned and x-rayed. I did that this morning and the dentist said I needed a root canal and that I had an infection in the molar. The dentist said, since I had a crown already from a root canal done years ago, he could save the crown and that would save me some money. Ha.

    The price for a root canal he gave me is $1146!!!

    I was having dinner with some neighbors who go to Mexico for their dental work and they recommended Dr. Luna and Dr. Hernandez. One of the neighbors said she had had two root canals done by Dr. Hernandez and was impressed not only by the procedure but the high tech equipment and treatment by the staff.

    I have written to Dr. Hernandez and hope to get an appointment, although my neighbor (who had the root canals) said she thought he required a referral; Dr. Luna had referred her. I’m hoping to get an appointment soon. I also want to inquire about veneers; the estimate I got today for 8 front teeth was almost $7000!

  20. Has anyone been to Dr Gabriel Nunez Huerta? I had some work done by him and am having to get teeth pulled because he ground them to close to the gums to put crowns on. I would not recommend him to anyone

  21. I’m trying to contact Dr Alma Luna in Algodones, Mexico and the email address Dra_AlmaLuna@hotmail.com that I have for her does not respond and is not indicated as a non-existent address.. Please give me an email for her that is now active.

  22. Unfortunately that is the only email address we have for her. Did you try contacting the office by phone? They speak English. 011 52 (658) 517 7659

  23. Just heard about Dr. Armando Hernandez Mejia from a friend.
    Sounds positive. Have already been looking at seeing
    Dr. Carlos Rubio, several have also recommended. Anyone
    have experience with his work?

  24. I am in need of dental work and have been in contact wi friends in Az. and Dr Pablo A. Luna came highly recommended. Looks like he is related to Dr Alma Luna and they work with Dr. Hernandez. Very high recommendations for all. As soon as my new passport gets here we will be off to see them. We have friends in Yuma so we have a place to stay as the work I need will take a few days and probably a return trip. Will post my experiances.

  25. Dr Alma Luna now has a US number 928-468-3592. If you are in Yuma you still need to dial 1-928-468-3592 and they will answer in Algodones.

  26. I’ve been trying to get a hold of Dr alma all week by phone and e-mail and I have not heard anything back :-(. I even tried calling her brother but no one answers either line and neither returns any calls.

  27. In response to Betty’s message above in April 2013:
    Yes, unfortunately I encountered Dr Gabriel Nunez Huerta in 2009 when he worked at TLC Dental. He absolutely butchered a procedure (apicoectomy) on my front teeth. Stay away from both TLC and Gabriel Nunez Huerta! Dr Hernandez and Dra Luna were able to save my 3 lower front teeth after my foolish experience at TLC. They’re both highly recommended.

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