Should you go get your dental work in Mexico?

Should you go get your dental work in Mexico?

So we finally went to the dentist in Mexico and I know many of you are very, very interested in the results. I’ll start off by saying I don’t necessarily have the fear that many might have of getting care in a “foreign country”. I was born in a foreign country, grew up in Asia, have been to the dentist in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, UK, US, S.America and have received both good and not-so-good care in my past. So going to get work done in Mexico is not that big a deal. But I do think there are general precautions everyone should take up-front and there are some significant $$ advantages which makes it worth looking into.

What I want to do in this first post is try to clarify some Myths and Facts about Mexican Dentists before I delve into details about our own experience and how you can go about making your own choice in dentist. This post will be mostly related to the town we visited, Los Algonodones although I will try to touch on some general points too.

1/ Myth Or Fact: It’s Not Safe At All To Go To Mexico

Answer: Myth

Walking into Los Algodones, Mexico

Walking into Los Algodones, Mexico


I’m not going to sit here and tell you that all of Mexico is a safe place to visit, the same way I’m not going to gell you that all parts of New York are safe to visit. There are certainly many towns that are not safe at the moment, and (just personally) I won’t be taking any RV trips to Mexico anytime soon. But I can absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt tell you that Los Algodones is fine. This is a tourist town right by the border of only ~5 square blocks with literally thousands of people coming through everyday. There are more tourists than locals here, and everyone depends on the business. We did not feel the faintest touch of worry down there and I would be quite happy to visit by myself (which, in fact, I’m going to do next Monday for my last appt).

2/ Myth Or Fact : You Can Get Any Kind Of Dental Work Done in Mexico

Answer: Fact

Many people go to Mexico for implants

Many people go to Mexico for implants

Yes, you can get just about anything done in Mexico. The border town of Los Algodones caters specifically to dental, prescription drug and eyeglass tourists. In this small 5-block town there are over 300 dentists with every kind of specialty imaginable from basic cleaning to full dental implants. Many tourists actually go for major work mostly because of the cost advantages (see #3 below) so it’s common to see people having multiple implants and other large cosmetic procedures down there. Paul and I both had cleanings in Mexico yesterday and I’m in the middle of having some more serious work to remove a crown, re-do the root canal and re-do the crown (work I’ve been putting off for a long time). It will be a week before my work is complete so I will report back fully at that time.

3/ Myth Or Fact: Dentist Work Is Alot Cheaper In Mexico

Answer: Fact
Typically any work you get done in Los Algodones will cost ~1/3 of US prices and this is true of most Mexican border towns. How are they able to do it? Mostly because of lower operating costs, lower insurance, lower labor costs  etc. As an example here are some costs:
Cleaning $25-30
Root Canal $200
Fully porcelain (no metal) Crown $300
Dental Implants $1200-$1700
And for more major work? We know a couple who were quoted ~$50,000 for a major restoration (with implants) in the US and got them done for $17,000 in Los Algodones. Work costs will vary somewhat from office to office, so ask around before setting-up your appt.

4/ Myth Or Fact: All Dentists in Mexico Have Been Trained In The US

Answer: Myth
This is actually a common myth that’s perpetrated on the internet forums. The vast majority of Mexican dentists are trained in schools in Mexico. They may come to the US for specialty training or post-grad training, but almost all the dentists in Los Algodones will have degrees from Mexico, and you’ll see these hanging right on their walls.

5/ Myth Or Fact: All Mexican Dentists Are Good

Answer: Myth

Do your research before picking an office

Do your research before picking an office

This should really be self-evident and applies to any dentist in any country. You can get good and bad care just about anywhere. In fact my botched crown job that I’ve been living with for ~15 years was originally done in the US (this dentist also destroyed some of my other teeth, unfortunately). Not that that says anything about US dentists in general. I simply made a bad choice and was stupid enough to stick with it. The same is true in Mexico. You can certainly get bad care there, perhaps more easily than in the US since they don’t have the same agency oversight that you have here. So, you do have to be picky about your choices. In Los Algodones many dentists are specialists, so if you’re looking to have implant work done, for example, I would look specifically at dentists with specialties in implants. And further, I would go with established dentists with an established reputation. There is alot of  competition in Los Algodones and literally thousands of tourists travel there everyday. If your dentist has been operating for many years with a good reputation and is still in business he/she is likely to offer pretty good care.

6/ Myth Or Fact: You Need To Make An Appointment

Answer: Depends
I would say if you’re just travelling down for a dental cleaning, you can get by without an appointment. There are plenty of offices offering this simple service and you can walk in right off the street to get it. If, however you’re travelling down for specialty work, then I would definitely do your research beforehand and make an appointment. In fact I would go one step further and make sure you get to see the exact dentist you want. Some of the larger offices (e.g. Sani Group) house several dentists and each may have their own speciality. Make sure you book the actual dentist, not just the office.

7/ Myth Or Fact: You Can Get Everything You Need Done In A Day

Answer: Myth
Some work can be done right away, but Mexican dentists are no more miracle-workers than American dentists. I was able to get my root canal re-done the same day my dentist took off the crown (and saw what was underneath), but I have to wait a week for things to heal up before I can get my crown. If you’re coming for implant work you WILL need time. Sometimes the mouth requires significant healing time (6 weeks to 6 months) before you can take the next step and you should be aware of that before you start the process.

8/ Myth Or Fact: You Need To Bring Foreign Currency

Answer: Myth (but do bring cash)
Los Algodones, like many tourist border towns, will happily take US$ for everything you do down there. Many dentists offices will ony accept cash or check so do make sure before heading down (some will take credit cards, but often there is an extra charge). All the local vendors and shops will deal in US$. You won’t need foreign currency, but DO remember your passport. The border crossing will require it on your way back.

9/ Myth Or Fact: There Are Horror Stories Of Care In Mexico

Answer: Fact

You can definitely find horror stories of trips to Mexico

You can definitely find horror stories of trips to Mexico

I know I kind of addressed this in #5, but I want to touch on it again since this is probably the number one issue that comes up regarding dentistry in Mexico. Yes, you will find plenty of horror stories on the net, and yes, you can most certainly have a bad experience. But you can also find thousands of people who’ve had very good experiences and rave about their results. Simply speaking, if all the care in Mexico was that bad, no tourists would come and these offices wouldn’t exist. DO YOUR RESEARCH before you go -> get recommendations, ask around on the forums, look at experience, how long the dentist has been operating, credentials, what his/her specialty is etc. Don’t just go down, walk into the first office you see and expect to get great results on major dental services. I wouldn’t do that in the US and I certainly wouldn’t do it in Mexico.

My next post will cover specifically our personal experiences in Los Algodones and how we found our particular dentist. Feel free to comment on your own experience or myths/facts that I missed.

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185 Responses to Getting Dental Work In Mexico Part I – Clarifying Myths & Facts

  1. Gunta says:

    Truly an excellent post. I’ve had friends rave about work they’ve had done in Mexico, but it’s a trip that involves quite a few miles of travel, so I’ve hesitated. Not having an RV adds more cost, so for me it’s a balancing act whether it’s worth the travel (& motel) expenses since I’m looking at a possible implant (or two?) This is such great information to have in deciding.

    • libertatemamo says:

      It’s a cost decision that many look at, I know. I’ve met lots of Americans from the north and Canadians who make the trip especially for care, but I certainly understand the concerns. Not an easy decision I’m afraid.
      Nina

    • Michael Church says:

      I am currently in the middle of my second trip to Sani Dental. I did my research before my first trip. I am so far very happy with their work. This trip I have saved about $11,000, and like their work better than my local Phoenix dentist. They have their own lab…not a 3rd party lab, so they have more control over quality control. They also will put you up for free at their hotel, or give you a cheap rate, depending on how much work you are having done. They also have a shuttle between the 2 and the border crossing.

      • Diane A. says:

        I can not recommend Sani Dental :( I had work done there about two years ago and have at least two cracked crowns since that time.

        They employ a variety of dentists from month to month and the quality of the work varies GREATLY between them.

        It is also NOT TRUE that they do all their work onsite. My crowns had to be be done remotely by a lab in the U.S. – and then sent back again when done incorrectly.

        Two of my semi-permenant crowns fell out the next day after I ate (carefully) some soft scrambled eggs for breakfast. The entire job (7 crowns) took over a week to do and after all was said and done the fit was far from perfect.

        Sani Dental is fantastic at self-promotion but the quality of their work is VERY variable.

      • mike farrell says:

        What was the name of the clinic you went to? if u have any other info on them i think i’d like to start my research after your post. I would really appreciate any time you can put into it. I know I am a stranger but its good karma. thx M

    • sandra elizabeth miranda says:

      DO NOT USE LEON DENTAL! DRA. MARTHA LEON IS SUPPOSE TO BE AN IMPLANT SPECIALIST. SHE USED TWO IMPLANTS THAT WERE TO SHORT FOR MY JAW. SHE REPLACED MY OLD CROWNS WITH HUGE MARBLE LIKE CHEAP CROWNS AND MY BITE WAS OFF CAUSING TWO OF MY TEETH TO HAVE TO BE EXTRACTED. TWO BRIDGES BROKE WITHIN A FEW WEEKS OF HER PUTTING THEM IN. I HAD TO MAKE MANY TRIPS BACK TO HAVE HER FIX HER MISTAKES BEFORE I FINALLY SAID ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I’M OUT $5000. I HAD DR. ENRIQUE LOPEZ GASPAR D.D.S. AT SIMPLY DENTAL FIX ALL OF HER MISTAKES. NOW I AM VERY HAPPY WITH HIS WORK. BEWARE OF LEON DENTAL!

  2. great post! I had a five tooth bridge done in 2 separate visits… with root canals on both anchor teeth He did a GREAT job and my quote in the US was between 8 and 9 thousand for the job. Had it done in Los Allgadones for $860. Then he knocked off $30 from each of our bills because my husband had dental inlays done at the same time. (our US dentist would only do root canals and crowns on Steve for $3000.00) after it was done, our US dentist saw Steve’s teeth and said it looked REALLY good!~

  3. Julia says:

    I just had my uppers and lowers redone took a week because I’m in the Baja and my impressions had to go to Mexicali up on the border to fabricate the teeth. $700 for both upper and lower plates, my old plates were getting thin. I am happy with the work and if I need an adjustment just I’ll just stop by the office and my dentist will take care of it. The cheapest cost in the states was $1400 and up. Oh my dentist is a good english speaker his wife is the receptionist and his son just graduated from dental college and is learning the business so the atmosphere is one of family and caring. My neighbors love him ! They have had all their work done by him and they wait till they come down from B.C. Canada! The price is reasonable, he cares and I feel good; what else can you ask for?

  4. Zophie says:

    Thanks for this post, I was just about to dump a huge chunk of money for a dental work I need to get done before we can go full time and even with an insurance it would cost more than I really could afford. Now we can just start our adventure when ever and get the dental work done in Mexico. Excellent post! Will come very handy, like so many other posts of yours.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Good to know it’s useful. I know dental costs are a prime concern of many, many RVers. I made the personal decision to wait on care so I could get it done in Mexico. Hopefully the proof is in the pudding and my results will be good.
      Nina

  5. Brenda A. says:

    Another very positive experience to report here! Excellent professional care at a very low cost. Our visit was to Nogales, the border town just south of Tucson. Would do it again in a heartbeat. :)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Great to get the feedback. Thanks for sharing!
      Nina

    • Joshua says:

      Can you tell me what dentist you went to in Nogalas. I need some pretty heavy duty work done. I live in Tucson. I was quoted 17000 dollars here for everything I need done. There’s just no way I can afford that. Thank you, Joshua.

      • Laura says:

        The dentist we went to in Nogales for implant work was Jose Espinosa with Periogroup. If you google Periogroup in Nogales you will get their website with their contact information. Very very nice guy and very knowledgable, and we have had no trouble so far. I’ve had 2 implants, any my husband had all his whole lower teeth replaced.

    • John says:

      I’m looking to go to Nogales for dental work…what dentist/clinic did you use and what type of work done? a thanks!

    • Charlotte Arnold says:

      Could you please give me your information on dentist in Nogales. I need to have a bridge replaced. Thank you

  6. Marsha says:

    We have gone to the same dentist in Progresso, MX, the last three years. He was trained in Mission, TX, lives is Mission, TX, and is wonderful. Four years ago, we used Baja Dental in Los Algonodones and were equally pleased with our service. We had good recommendations from bloggers for both of these dentists before we had them treat us. Our advice, ask reliable people who know the area of Mexico you might be visiting for suggestions on which dentist to use.

  7. Very exhaustive and detailed post. We were glad we only went for cleaning and not something major otherwise a good research would have been in order before going in. Sadly we paid more at $35 each but we were happy with the results.

    • libertatemamo says:

      $35 is still a pretty darn good deal. I think it often costs a little more when you go in without a booking because there’s a kick-back to the street peddlers (plus it’s easier to charge a higher price without a booking).
      Nina

  8. Tina says:

    Hi, just discovered your blog a few days ago and really appreciate it! I especially value your yearly overviews of your favorite campsites and plan to explore the ones we haven’t already been to, so thank you for your efforts.

    Mexico Dentistry. Well, this is something we can speak to with considerable experience, both good and bad. So here we go with a long post!

    First let me say we love Mexico–in fact we lived in Central Mexico for two years and still consider returning, but the call of returning to the RV lifestyle is also strong–so we’re still working all that out.

    All of our dental work was done in Los Algodones, with four different practitioners as we went–and with a considerable amount of research ahead of time. We went to dentists who are well known, and as far as we ever heard, extremely popular with their patients. One of them is known to be one of the higher priced cosmetic dentists there (he actually lives in Yuma). Very attractive and up to date office, nice guy, irritating wife who is the office manager. ;-)

    Even with the savings, we have spent tens of thousands there, as my husband had many implants done. For me, I was too chicken to do implants there but did have root canals and crowns.

    My results: ALL my dental work done there has failed. Sorry, but that’s the way it has gone. The worst experience I had was after a crown was removed, a root canal done, and the very nice woman dentist (whom I made quite an attachment to as a friend) handed me off to her dental assistant to prep for the new crown. The assistant picked up a drill and before I could do anything–promptly over drilled what was left of that tooth down to the gum line, effectively destroying any chance of restoration.

    I had the root extracted in the AZ (no way I was going to do it there after all that!) and eventually had an implant done in Phoenix area with great results.

    My other crowns and bridges have had to be replaced. I did not return to Los Algodones for any more dental work.

    My much braver husband has had a total of 8 implants done, several crowns, a few root canals, and a six unit bridge–the work was done a few years ago.

    To date: Two of the implants have failed and been redone in Phoenix.
    Two of the crowns were made too short for his bite, giving him an overbite
    he never had before. The overbite has caused damage to other teeth because they have been hitting together when he chews. He is now in the process of finishing a huge implant restoration which will be the first step of taking care of this (in Phoenix) but the two crowns will also have to be redone to completely correct his bite back to what he used to have.

    He also had a failure with the six unit bridge (right in the front on the bottom so really had to taken care of immediately). The dentist who did the work did not offer any solution other than repaying to redo, so we found another dentist in Los Algodones who did the new bridge, which to date is still doing fine.

    Even with the savings, we probably spent in the range of 20K there for all this work, much of which has had to be redone.

    The other important issue with this is that NONE of my husband’s Mexico implants were “torque tested” before the implants were restored with crowns. We have since learned how essential this step is–it is literally torquing the new implants to make absolutely sure they are firmly seated in your jaw and completely healed before the crowns are done. There is no way you or your dentist can know if they are completely ready without this vital step. It’s not anything you can determine for yourself.

    Maybe that’s why he had two implants fail–we don’t know. But our extremely skilled oral surgeon and implant specialist in Mesa (listed every year in the “Best of Phoenix) requires implants to heal for at least 4 months, sometimes as much as six, before the torque test is done. If you feel ANY discomfort at all during the torque test, you’re on a “continue to heal” mode for another month or two.

    So while we love many, many aspects of Mexico–the food, the people, the music, the crafts, the whole lifestyle of the beautiful colonial town we lived in for two years–let the buyer beware.

    Have also had prescription glasses done there with very positive results, and prescription purchases with excellent savings, which we definitely will continue to do!

    And by the way, we have a home in Yuma (getting ready to sell it and return to RV/Mexico travels!) so if you’d like to get together for lunch or coffee when you come through next, let us know! It would be fun to get acquainted.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Well I certainly appreciate the personal experiences. If you wouldn’t mind, could you share the names of the dentists you used in Los Algodones with bad results?
      Nina

      • Tina says:

        Sure, I will share the info if it can ease the journey for someone else.

        The failed bridge was done by Dr. Rubio. My husband just reminded me that the when the bridge came loose, it was discovered that there was a piece of cotton left in the bridge itself before it was cemented on, causing the bridge to break off from that anchor tooth, cracking it, and putting all the stress on the other anchor tooth, which resulted in cracking the other tooth too–and fracturing the bridge.

        So I forgot to mention, he had to have two implants to replace the anchor teeth, and then a new bridge. So considerable cost the second time not to mention inconvenience.

        Ironically, the dentist that put in the new implants and did the new bridge successfully–is also the dentist that put in the other implants, of which two have failed. Go figure. His name is Dr. Iniguez.

        Sorry but I cannot recall the name of the women dentist who had the assistant who drilled off my tooth–her office was in the walkway behind Dr. Rubio’s office, but that was a number of years ago. And for all I know Dr. Rubio has moved into new digs as well.

        The other dentists that did a crown that worked out for my husband was part of a brother/sister team of dentists. I think their last name is Luna.

        I’m sure there are many who have had better experiences, but unfortunately this was ours.

        Hope this helps!

  9. ToRn says:

    Great post! Thank you, we will be in the Nogales area soon and this post has given us much to think about.

  10. Donna K says:

    Thank you so much Nina for a helpful report. You certainly addressed the basic facts of dental work in Mexico. Will be anxious to read of your personal experience.

  11. Janna says:

    I’ve had root canals and crowns done in Mexico. I had poor work done in Nogales and excellent work done in Los Algodones–I would go back again.

  12. I had a similar experience to yours, with a failed root canal that required removing the crown, new surgery, one week of antibiotics to heal an infection and then followed by a new crown. It required three appointments. It cost me 10% of the cost for a similar procedure back on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. My experience was a 10 on 10. Good luck with your procedures.

    I never hesitate to express my positive experience with those who may wish to visit Los Algadones.

  13. Tina says:

    P.S. Forgot to mention my father was born in Copenhagen! Yay Danes. :-) Wish he’d taught me to speak Danish.

  14. LuAnn says:

    A great post Nina. Looking forward to hearing more about your personal experiences.

  15. Luke Alexander says:

    Nina, my father was a dentist in Texas and I used to work in his office and assist as needed, so I understand what goes on in a dentist office. I was nervous about going to a dentist in Mexico, but the price of U.S. dentist finally forced me to make the jump. I picked out Dr. Juan Bernal in Algodones (U.S. phone 928-328-8237) based on recommendations on IRV2.com. He is Mexican and went to dental school in Mexico. He later qualified to practice in the U.S. and did so for four years, before moving back to Mexico and opening his practice in Algodones. His English is passable, but his front office staff are native English speakers. After using him and Dr. Rochin, the endodonist in Dr. Bernal’s office, I find them to be completely up to the standards of American dentist, including sterile practices in the office, work ethics, cleanliness of the office, etc. Every instrument he uses come out of a sealed sterile envelope. My wife and I have both had root canals, crowns, fillings, etc. I find his work on a par with my father’s, who graduated from Baylor University Dental School. The prices in Algodones are approximately 20% of the prices in the San Francisco Bay Area. The prices are cheaper because of cheaper real estate, fewer legal issues, office labor is cheaper, and outside lab work is cheaper. Mexico works on a different economy than the U.S. and the prices reflect that, but the skill of the dentists is certainly equivalent to that of U.S. dentists.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thanks for the excellent feedback. Dr.Bernal was one of the names that came up in my search and it’s good to know the reputation is warranted.
      Nina

  16. Luke Alexander says:

    If you have to stay overnight or longer in Yuma for dental work, I highly recommend La Fuente Inn and Suites. Free breakfast, free 5 night dinner (hamburgers/hot dogs or pizza and an OPEN bar. Great pool and hot tub, under $100 a night and really nice staff. Located at I-8 and Hwy 95. Check out the recommendations on TripAdvisor.com. And they take pets!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Great info for those that need overnight stays. There are several spots for RV’s to park in the area too.
      Nina

  17. geogypsy2u says:

    You covered it well. I went to Virginia Castro for years and was always happy with the work done. Unfortunately, I had really bad teeth and the more extensive work, which I paid double for, was more convenient to take care of closer to home.

  18. Tina says:

    I’ve really been thinking about all this since you wrote your excellent post about dental work in Los Algodones.

    You know, the bottom line is how tremendously difficult it is for many of us to afford extensive dental care in the US–don’t know about Canada, but maybe the same there too.

    It is such a far reaching issue–because the function of your teeth, not to mention the issues of self-esteem if you start losing them and cannot replace them, is pretty darned major.

    Even now, we are wondering if we could find an excellent dentist in Los Algodones to do a few more crowns for my husband, so if you’ve found one, we’ll be checking on that too.

    However, for folks like my husband and myself, who have had upper implants done (in the States) there were such issues of high levels of skills required…for example, we both had to have sinus lifts done with the upper implants. This is truly a surgical procedure, very delicate in nature, and smack dab next to your brain. So obviously you want someone who is extremely well trained and experienced.

    Also, several of each of our implants required bone grafting BEFORE the implants could be placed. So surgery to remove a tooth (or teeth), with bone graft material placed, that then requires five months or so to heal BEFORE the implant is even placed. This is something we did not hear about at all in Mexico. I don’t know if that has changed or not.

    Bone grafting is necessary if you don’t have enough bone mass (width or height) to adequately support a new dental implant. Plus, all these procedures were done with general anesthesia, another prospect I find frightening unless you are very sure you are in good hands.

    I know they did (maybe still do) general anesthesia at Dr. Rubio’s office for extractions and I just thought is seemed so dicey. But to each his own.

    The problem is, you may not know for even a year or two or three if your dental work succeeded or not. For example, almost all of my husband’s Algodones root canals have failed.

    So it’s kind of a crap shoot in many ways.

    Actually, in discussions with our oral surgeon and implant specialist in Mesa, we have agreed there will be no more root canals. Mine have failed as well, and even in the states, you have to sign off saying you realize they can fail. With the cost of all that (root canal plus crown) we are going straight to dental implants at this point on any other teeth that present this problem.

    At any rate, lots to consider and I truly hope you have a wonderfully successful experience with your dentist–because we would LOVE to find a dentist in Los Algodones who could do a few more crowns for my husband!

    Thanks again for starting an extremely helpful and interesting thread that will surely be significant for many of your readers.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sure appreciate your thoughts. I try to let everyone see all sides of the equation before making a personal decision. I do agree that there is always a chance dental work will fail, no matter where it is done and this is part of the risk to understand. And of course, you won’t really know until 2-3 years after the fact. It does seem like you and your husband have had more failures than most and I’m sorry to hear that. Apart from my one crown (and the other tooth that my old dentist destroyed) my teeth are in pretty good shape so I’m hopeful we are on the right track. Only time will tell.
      Nina

      • Tina says:

        Yes, we are both the classic examples of folks who had NO dental care as kids in our respective families–and have had to deal with the consequences of that as adults. On my own at 17, so I did my best, and we’ve worked hard to hang on or replace teeth as we go!

        No coincidence that my adult kids have NO cavities AND got orthodontics. I started brushing their gums before they even had teeth! :-)

        Looking forward to your “reveal” of where you are getting your dental work done.

  19. Sheila Ojendyk says:

    I’ll be eagerly awaiting your comments after your next visit. We live full time south of Tucson and are exploring dental options in the Mexican side of Nogales. We both had our teeth cleaned without problem, and the dentist found some issues in my mouth (which I was expecting to be there). I’m planning on some major restoration work with crowns at a large group practice. I’m still a little uneasy, but both my hairdresser and at least one neighbor have been to the same practice and are satisfied.

    • libertatemamo says:

      The more positive feedback you can get from others, the better. I’ve met folks who have had work done in Nogales. No names to share unfortunately, but I do know many go there.
      Nina

  20. Zophie says:

    One thing I am curious about is if you go to the Los Algodones, Mexico with your RV, what are the requirements to go there and come back with your pets? I have never crossed the border with our animals, other than when I flew here from Finland the first time with my dog and a cat. Is it even a possibility to park in the US and just cross the border walking, or do you need a transportation?

  21. Sheila Ojendyk says:

    I’ll be interested in hearing any comments about Dental Laser in Nogales.

  22. Rowanova says:

    Perhaps this is a bit off topic, but I know some people from the northern US who snowbird about mid way between Phoenix and Tucson for 4 to 5 months every year. While there they aleays make a few trips south of the border for: !-dental work; 2-medications/prescriptions (if allowed coming backinto the US); 3-medical visits/procedures not covered, or poorly covered by health insurance, or the type of treatment is not available in the US.
    This is a very fast growing trend and there is actually an industry subcategory known as Medical Tourism. And it is global, not just near the Mexico/US border. The industry growth here is expected to continue to be significant for a number of years to come. The reasons are many and complex but in one word for the majority of us, it’s economics. And politics plays a roll too.
    I would not hesitate to have work done outside the US. I would follow the advice given in the original post and the comments, that it is VERY important to do your research when selecting your care providers. Just like we should do here at home, in the US. Or any other home country.
    As for the tales of horror and failure-they are rampant in the US too. And at much higher price$!
    Research thoroughly. And best of luck to all. :)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Very true Rowanova. Medical tourism is a fast-growing industry. When we lived in Asia we became well aware of this trend. Thailand, for example, is a huge “go-to” country for basic health check-ups and doctors. India, as another example, is a huge growth area for heart operations. Germany is a huge growth area for cutting-edge cancer treatment (which is not yet approved in US). Having lived in Asia and experienced excellent care there, I would not hesitate to look at other countries if it came down to it.
      Nina

  23. Brenda A. says:

    Thought I’d add that the dentist we saw and had a very good experience with in Nogales is Dr. Espinoza of Dental Periogroup. This visit was for a cleaning and tooth extraction. http://dentalperiogroup.com/

  24. […] dentistry just around the corner in Los Algodones. What a […]

  25. John says:

    One of the best articles I have read about Dental treatment in Mexico.

    I have been researching Dentists in Acuna, across from Del Rio. However, there is very limited information from individuals with personal experience with Acuna Dentists. Dr. Talamantes and Dr. Flores have good websites. Not sure I just want to rely on their marketing. Both have responded to a basic inquiry, but have not provided references as requested. Maybe they were offended by the request. I have located a Dr. Faz with one outdated experience from a patient.

    Not sure how to obtain specific information. Any ideas.
    Thanks, again an excellent article.

    • libertatemamo says:

      John,
      Glad to hear the article is helpful! Not sure if I can be more help getting feedback on your dentists in Acuna. I think my best idea (outside of the links I listed in Part II of this post) is simply word-of-mouth referrals. If you happen to know others who are using dentits there that would be my first choice.
      Nina

  26. Gemma Jay says:

    I to have experienced good dental work in Mexico but my last trip to a Cancun Cosmetic Dentists in Mexico was a horrific experience. It has cost me well over thirty thousand dollars to fix. I made the mistake of not going where I had before thinking this dentist was an expert and qualified to do the procedures I needed. Turns out he wasn’t and all his internet advertising was exaggerated and he was not accredited dentist.

    I’m glad this dialogue is happening. It Is the only way dental tourists can share information with each other because as of today Mexico does not have an open data base in which we can investigate formal complaints.
    Wishing you all safe dental vacations. Just be diligent in selecting who you will trust with your health and savings. Gemma

  27. Michael says:

    Please do you know how long I should plan to stay if I’m getting dental bridges done in los algodones?

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sorry, no idea. I’d ask the dentist that you’re planning on seeing. They should have an answer for you.
      Nina

    • Pat says:

      A few years ago, I went to Dr. Rosalba Salcedo at Dental Clinic in Algodonnes, Mexico. It was my first Mexican dental experience. She started to drill my tooth and told me she was sorry but I needed a root canal (I had already been told this in the US). I was referred to a root canal specialist and then went back to her office for my cap. It was then that she told me that I should also consider a 2 tooth bridge and I took her advice. The work took only 1 day and I had 4 other fillings and a cap at the same time. The bridge is still functioning well and this was over 10 years ago.

  28. Mary Mckeever says:

    Great information! Has anyone experienced Rio Dental in Juarez? As typical my husbands buddies over simplify Los Algodones, just walk in etc. He need crown replacement and clean up in anticipation of a total knee in Dallas. My situation is complicated. I have five bottom part of implants on lower. Due to a deteriorated TMJ ( gone!) the chances of implants working well is not good. All caps on uppers – with several (4) broken off. At this point dentures seem to be indicated. At 74 spending the estimated $100k seems impractical. Thanks for the in put everyone!

    • Laura says:

      Hi Mary – its been almost a year since you put this post up, wondering if you went down to Juarez for your dental work? I’m trying to decide between Algondones, Nogales, or Juarez. Juarez would be much closer for us, coming from Colorado. thanks

  29. Trina says:

    I see alot of great comments [some no so great] but how do you get to Los Algodones, airport, do you need a car when you get there? I would be flying out of O’hare Airport. Just email me then if I don’t find this website again I can have an answer tt.brittain@gmail.com. Any information would be helpful.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I suggest you fly into and stay on the US side. Yuma airport would be your destination and you can stay at the casino near the border, or anywhere else in Yuma. Then just drive to the parking lot by the border, park on US side and walk across to Los Algodones for your appointment. A rental car would be easiest to get around from airport to hotel to border parking lot.
      Nina

  30. Trina says:

    In other words, do I stay in Los Algodones or a US border town? How does this work exactly. Never been to Mexico, been to San Diego before though. But, I need braces and the pre-work is what cost here in USA. Thanks.

    • libertatemamo says:

      As I mentioned above I would stay in Yuma and drive to the border parking lot. Then park and walk across to the Mexico side for your appointment. Los Algodones is a very small town and super easy to walk around (you’ll likely only need to walk a few blocks to see your dentist), but not really an interesting spot to stay overnight.

      Remember to bring your passport since you’ll need it to get back across the border to US side.

      Nina

  31. Emnuel says:

    Your opinion for – bigger cities like Cancun or Mexico City are safer than cities along the border?

    • libertatemamo says:

      I would say it depends entirely on the city. Like all big cities Mexico City has safer areas and not-so-safe areas. So, just depends where you go. Los Algodones is a really (really) easy and safe spot, but I’m sure many other Mexican cities are also good for health & dental services. I don’t have too much experience in the other cities (except for Guadalajara where I travelled often during my previous job -> I like that spot alot), so I can’t comment directly, but I would say any city that has good services and caters to visitors are possibilities.
      Nina

  32. Vivian says:

    I have read many reviews here but not to much at all is said about the safety in Mexico. I plan to go into Los Algodones, MX. for dental work but many friends and relatives panic at the idea. They say it is not safe going over there so many bad things are happening, Is this true? I went to El Paso and then to the border town for dental work about 8 or 9 years ago and went right to the clinic and back across the border with no problem.
    What is it like crossing over from Yuma? They say that we don’t hear all
    the bad news that go on there in Mexico, and it isn’t safe for American’s to go there???? Please coment on this for me. I plan to get my passport card this week but don’t wan to spend the money if it is to dangerous to go to the dentist down there. I have not read any of this on these reviews.
    I hope this will be answered fast because I don’t know how to find out about this other then calling the police in Yuma and asking them and hope for a straight answer.

    • libertatemamo says:

      It’s very, very safe.

      I highly recommend you read the 2nd part of this series that I wrote here:
      Getting Dental Work In Mexico Part II – Our Los Algodones Experience

      The town is literally right on the border. You park on US side, walk over and you’re there. The town is only a few blocks wide and everything is within a few mins. Hundreds of people do the journey each day, most of them older retired folk. I would not hesitate to recommend going there.

      Nina

  33. This is interesting insight into going across the border for dental work.

    Here’s what my dentist here in Northern VA cautions about implants in Mexico: http://www.ridgetopdental.com/Blog/What-Are-Teeth-in-a-Day-and-Should-You-Go-to-Mexico-to-Buy-Them

    • libertatemamo says:

      Well this is exactly the reason for #7 in my post. It’s a MYTH that you can get all dental work done in a day and if you find a dentist that is telling you that you can get implants done in one day you should walk away. My own work (root canal and new crown) took a week, around the same time it would have taken in the US. Common sense should follow down to Mexico.

      Nina

  34. Rj Anderson says:

    Safety: I have no problems going to Mexico. Mexico City, the west coast side, Cancun and south of Cancun…all with zero problems. The area that I hear is the worst and that should be avoided is the far NE area of Mexico along the Matamoros-Tampico highway, particularly around San Fernando and the area north of Tampico. It’s all relative as the U.S. is still more crime ridden than Mexico. I’ve driven from the states deep into MX with zero problems.

    Dentist: I highly, highly recommend Dr. Martin Artola in Los Mochis, MX. Note this is not a boarder town but rather approx 400 miles south of Nogales, AZ. http://bit.ly/13RepDB

    He is a USC (University of Southern California) grad, 25+ years experience and the ONLY dentist in Mexico that is certified by the American Board of Prosthodontics. http://www.prosthodontics.org/abp/locate.asp (select Mexico in the drop down menu)

    U.S. dentists are in defensive mode regarding dental tourism. Most will tell you that it’s not safe. The idea that you can only get safe and professional dental work in the U.S. is absurd. That a foreign dentist needs to be trained in the U.S. to be any good is absurd. Most of the advanced dental procedures being use today were not even invented in the U.S…not even dental implants.

    I have a friend who is a expat in Costa Rica…lived there for over 12 years. He says the dentists there have been using methods that the U.S. is just now catching up on. That the clinics there are more advanced than anything he ever saw in the U.S.

    We as Americans have to get out of this “we are better” mentality because in many cases it’s just not true anymore. Heck we’re not even the most “free” country anymore since added security and in-country surveillance since 911 but that’s a whole different forum so forgive me. The WHO (World Health Organization) listed the U.S. #37th in healthcare out of 200 countries…37th!!!! We were #1 in one category though….the most expensive.

  35. Richard Eichenberger says:

    Dr. Hernandez in Algodones is a root canal specialist. He uses a binocular-like scope mounted over the patient. In fact, it’s a pair of scopes so that an assistant can watch/work from the other side. He does charge more–$400, but it’s worth it. There is also a small “dental hotel” next door. Our home is in Yuma so we go across the border for eye glasses, dental work, haircuts and fish tacos.

  36. Denise says:

    We needed a specialist for implants and a friend of us recommended a dentist in algodones. First we have been hesitating about all the facts you mentioned. But we gave it a chance and – it was perfect. We can highly recommend him too. It’s Dr. Mario Garibay – http://www.softdentalcare.com
    He studied in Mexico and in the US.

  37. Trailtrotter says:

    So many dentists recommended, hard to choose. However, 3 people I actually know have seen and been happy with Dr. Minerva Navarro Nogami of SmilingFacesForever, in Los Algodones. But would like to hear from anyone else who has been to her for further reassurance. Appreciate any feedback, thanks.

  38. Alejandra says:

    Doing a treatment (dental or medical) in México, or any other place can be risky or a great experience. There are bad doctors in USA too… Just need to do some research. It´s good to see the point of view of Mexicans (Like me) I had many surgeries, dental work in Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara (Lasik eye correction, nose job, hemorrhoid and my daughter´s birth… Never had an issue or problem, Love my nose, I don´t wear glasses anymore, don´t have problems with hemorroids, and I had the greatest experience delivering my child… oh.. and my teeth are perfect (Had an skating accident and now I have 2 zirconia crowns and 2 veneers).
    I know that some of the people living in the USA or Canada sees a “Third world country medical or dental service”. You will be surprise of how advance most of of doctors are.
    Don´t go to the cheap doctor or dentist. Cheap doctors will give you cheap results…
    check this dentist in PVR… it´s a great way to visit a beautiful destination and have some dental work.
    Thanks.
    http://www.puertovallartadentist.com

    • libertatemamo says:

      It’s nice to hear the view-point from a local. I’ve heard many, many good experiences in Mexico and I know that personally, I would not hesitate to have other medical work done there. Thanks for sharing the link to your PVR dentist.
      Nina

  39. Rita Kent says:

    Hi!
    Actually getting your dental work done in Mexico is a great idea, and as you mentioned, you can get a bad experience anywhere in the World. I went to Cancun go get my dental work done and saved loads of money!! Not to mention my kids had a blast in the Resort we chose, Cancun is so beautiful!
    I went to see Dr. German Arzate at Cancun Cosmetic Dentistry, it was pretty good. I fully recommend them.
    Here’s the link to their website in case you’re interested: http://www.cancuncosmeticdentistry.com/affordable-cosmetic-dentistry-mexico.html

  40. shonya1121 says:

    Hi,
    I’m not one of the success stories, I’m afraid, and wish I’d read this post before I went down last year. I’m sure there are good dentists there. I googled the dentist I went to and didn’t find anything negative. That’s why I’m writing here.
    I wanted to have all my mercury fillings replaced, so I contacted Hal Huggins’ organization, Huggins Applied Healing. He’s written books and champions himself as a man of integrity. So I purchased his program and used the dentist he referred in Tijuana, Ezekiel Lagos at biologicaldent.com.
    First, Lagos admitted to trying gauze pads from China after I had a bad reaction to them that literally burned a hole in my cheek. He said he was going back to the ones he’d used before. He told this to me with my sister standing beside me. He now denies ever having used Chinese gauze, calling us both liars.
    Second, 3 weeks after I returned, the fillings started falling out. I didn’t have the money to go back again or to deal with it here, so I waited and more fillings fell out. It turns out that more fell out inside the mouth that I wasn’t even aware of. There was decay underneath the fillings, confirmed by an American dentist. The American dentist states that without question, they “were not done correctly.” It’s possible inferior materials were used, too. All of the 13 fillings are having to be redone. Two may now require crowns.
    I wrote to Dr. Lagos, who was defensive, dishonest and is blaming it on malabsorption. I assure you this is not possible in a matter of weeks. It wasn’t a pre-existing condition as I had no problems with fillings falling out or even getting loose before I went there.
    I called Huggins Applied Healing and they said they would call me back. They never did, and presumably continue to recommend Dr. Lagos. I will leave it up to you to decide if this is the kind of integrity you want in your providers.
    I was a Quality Assurance nurse for a hospital and clinic for many years. When a provider automatically blames the patient if something goes wrong, that’s a very telling sign. Lagos may have satisfied customers, but if you are the one who doesn’t have a good outcome, it’s helpful to know how that provider will respond.
    I still believe there are good providers in Mexico. Just exercise caution and look for these kinds of posts online.

    • Tio Foncho says:

      I read your story about Dr. Ezequiel N. Lagos and did some research. He is a quack and does not have a license to practice dentistry in Mexico nor in California, where he lives. I checked with the Mexican Secretary of Education, which issues professional licenses, and there is no person with that name who holds a dental license in Mexico.

      You can read more here: http://fulano.info/forum/thread-9826.html

      • libertatemamo says:

        Very sorry to hear about your bad experience. Sadly, based on Tio Foncho’s reply it looks like you saw a poor dentist without the proper qualifications. Tio’s tip to check with the Mexican Secretary of Education for licences is an excellent one (thank you Tio!).
        Again, sorry for your poor experience.
        Nina

  41. James says:

    Dra. Kenia Sanchez Diaz at the Guadalajara Dental Clinic, Algodones did all my lower teeth which included 4 implants and a bridge. I neede a dental surgeon to remove some of an old broken tooth. 2 visits and $1200. That was 2 years ago and I have no problems. The fillings from my Canadian dentist are all falling out tho. Paid Much more than $1200 for those. The dentist here quoted me $3500.. for one implant! same guy did my fillings :(
    I´m done with him.
    I hear cuba is good too

  42. […] planned (including my yearly dermatologist visit), but that should take care of us until we get back to Mexico for our annual dentals early next […]

  43. Peter says:

    I don’t have a lot to offer except my wife and I have used the dental services in Algodonas a number of times (along with travel buddies) and have found the dentists there to be very good. We have not had anything major done so can’t comment on such. Our dentist down there has moved on so we will be looking for someone new this winter. I will compile names, good and bad from what is listed here. This is very timely for us…Thank you Nina

  44. […] and research if you chose this route, but it can save you a ton of $$. Last year Paul and I went to Mexico for our dental work and got some basic work done for ~30% of the price we would have paid in the US. This will likely […]

  45. […] for everywhere. There is no city or country in the world that can claim it is 100% danger free, but with a little research you can know how to stay safe no matter where you are. You can find a safe area and expect your […]

  46. Patty says:

    Anyone recommend a cosmetic dentist in Algodonas
    ? I think I will need caps on three teeth, just my take, but nonetheless looking for good credentialed cosmetic dentist.

  47. Kay says:

    I need upper and lower full arch dental implants, preferably same day. Any suggestions for a dentist?

    • libertatemamo says:

      For dentist suggestions I recommend you read Part II of my series, but before you do I wanted to point out that having full dental implants done in a day is simply not feasible or reasonable. It takes time to do implants, and time for the mouth to heal. If a dentist tries to sell you on doing it all in a day, I would run the other way! Plan *at least* several months and several visits for what you want to do.
      Nina

  48. chas keller says:

    thanks for all the info in your blog. I am in need of 2 or 3 caps and have a quote from my current dentist for 850.00 ea. so all things being equal I would say Mexico is a good deal. Is there a list of dentists in Algodonas on line?

  49. carolyn says:

    I have been to Los Albagones (sp) about 4 times. We have used Jabal dentistry. We had bridges, root canals and crowns done there. I also bought designer eye glasses from them. Have been happy with their service. Used Dr. Hector and Dr. Alex.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thanks for the feedback! I didn’t have those guys on my list so it’s nice to hear a positive review of them.
      Nina

  50. Dee McCoy says:

    Everyone is talking about implants-which I can’t afford even at Mexico prices; anyone have experience with getting full dentures, upper and lower, with the dentists in these locations?

  51. Bob says:

    Still looking and reading reviews for implant work in Los Algodones.
    One question about your Part 1 and Part 2. Why two parts?
    What one is the most up-two-date?

    Something I just found out about “WhatClinic.com”… Was reading every comment/review and could not find one poor/bad review on any dentist. I then came across this posted under one persons review.
    Sani Dental Group has chosen not to publish this review text. The score of the review is included in the average ratings above.
    Do you think someone is cheating???????

    • libertatemamo says:

      Errr…well if you actually read part I and part II you’ll see that part I is about general myths and truths while part II details our personal choices and experiences. Both are up to date, but cover different topics.

      And regarding the reviews on whatclinic? Well your guess is as good as mine. As I said in the post I recommend looking at *several* different sources as well as getting personal recommendations (if you can) before you make your choice. Online reviews are not always genuine -> goes for every business, even US ones, so you have to take them with a grain of salt. The more sources you can find (including blogs, personal comments, forums etc) the better. My posts are meant to help people to find & make those choices, not to be a definitive guide.

      Nina

  52. Casey says:

    Hello, thank you for this post. I have to have 7 teeth implants as I was not born with these teeth. I simply can not afford to pay the tens of thousands it will cost me to get them done here in the US and will end up putting myself in a bad spot financially just to do it. So I have considered other options. However I am terrified. Has any one else had successful implant experiences in Mexico?

  53. rjt1000 says:

    I had a bad experience with Mexico dentistry in Tijuana. The dentists were fine, and the work was fine, but it was obvious the clinic was hurting for business, and was pushing unnecessary work. I went in for a few fillings and a cleaning and they came up with $6000 in recommended treatment, a lot of which was obviously not needed (such as replacement of a perfectly functional two year old crown). When I refused the extra work, they charged $150 for what was supposed to be a “free evaluation”. I had to fight to get this charge removed from my bill. The office manager forced me to log onto my internet account to prove they had agreed to the terms beforehand. Fortunately I had kept their emails on file.

    This was a frightening experience in a foreign country. What if they called the police and claimed I was making a disturbance or refusing to pay them? It flashed through my mind that I could end up in a Mexico jail.

    Even in Mexico, it takes a lot of dollars to operate a high tech clinic with many employees. On the day of my visit, they only had two customers. They don’t pay the bills by doing a few fillings and cheap cleanings.

    I’m still a believer in the potential for over the border dentistry, but I strongly suggest doing your homework before choosing a clinic. I made the mistake of picking the flashiest internet ad. This clinic (White Smile Center) operates much like the worst of American chain dentists.

  54. rjt1000 says:

    One more consideration. At the clinic I went to, the internet prices were false advertising. For instance, cleaning was advertised at $35. When I got there, it became $35 “per arch”. At $70 for cleaning it’s not much of a savings over US dentistry. I was overcharged for every item on my bill. If I refused, well then I could just pay the $150 evaluation fee for nothing.

    For me it was only a small amount of money. But the other customer of the day really got taken. They quoted her $15000 for implants. After she was approved for credit, the price jumped to $20,000.

    In general I would recommend knowing exactly what you need from the Mexico dentists and get prices confirmed before crossing the border.

  55. David Raines says:

    Hi Thank you very much for the fantastic work you have done here.
    I have been in Hospice Care twice once in 2001 and again in 2007 and one of the byproducts of having had stage 4 cancer (lymphoma)is that I lost almost all of my teeth (Long Story) I have 6 teeth left and I was having something going on with my gums anyway upon going to a really great Dentist (The only one I have ever met that I can say that about unfortunately) and upon looking at my teeth he said I am sad to tell you but if I was you I would not put any more money into those teeth as they all have decay. I went to an implant referral and well I just cannot afford it – I went to another dentist in Ocala Fl and they have a new thing called Dentist-Dental Discovery – General and Implant Dentistry‎ Adwww.ocaladentaldiscovery.com/‎
    (866)433-6284 and the people were very nice very high class office onsite labs Etc. their solutions for me on the low end was shy of 10K and on the other end shy of 22K neither of which I can afford.
    So my question is do you have someone I could go to that has a good long standing reputation on implants with an on site lab? And I am assuming if I sent them the quote the sheet that has the exact teeth that need work and what they need Etc. – I am thinking I could get them extracted here at the dental college and heal etc then go get the implants there and save not having to stay or make 2 trips.
    Any input you could give me would be greatly appreciated. And again thanks for all the excellent work you’ve done here as I would not really know how to begin to research – Loving Shalom ~ David

    • libertatemamo says:

      I don’t have any experience regarding Implants in Los Algodones, but you could probably try and send the quote to some of the dentists that have been listed here and in the comments. I do hope you manage to find a solution.

      Nina

  56. Elwood says:

    A month ago I had two implants done in Los Algodones. A week later they both swelled up and as we were already one our way back to Canada I waited to see my own dentist. He immediately sent me to a oral surgeon who opened the sites up. One implant was floating in infection. I now have substantial bone loss so also had bone grafting done. Both implants have now been removed and the cost is horrific! Not to mention what I paid in Mexico. The surgeon here said he believes it was caused by lack of sterilization. Well I am now paying the cost for a dentist that was referred to me!!!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Very, very sorry to hear of your terrible experience. Would the share the name of the dentist you used in Algodones?

      Nina

    • Babsi says:

      PLEASE post the name of the dentist who caused you to have an infection at your implant site!. I just returned from getting 2 implants and am optimistic that they were done well. I thought that Dr. Luis Medina, who did my implants was very careful about keeping things sterile.. . You said that your infections showed up a week later. This posting site NEEDS that doctor’s name so people can avoid him.

  57. Sabrina Frankenberg says:

    I’ve been researching quite a bit and I’ve been referred to Dr. Salinas at 280 Saratoga in Los Algondones.
    Also someone was asking who the Mission Tx Dr name and I believe it’s Dr.’X’ Aguirre. He practices in Progreso too. I’m waiting on a quote from him. He comes from a long line of dentists, his father taught at some university… anyway… stay away from Stetic Dential Implants – read horrible reviews. They give great customer service on the phone but don’t be fooled. I also wasn’t impressed with Mustre in Progreso even tho they have great reviews and following – customer service on phone sucks.

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you so much for commenting about Stetic Denatl. I was considering them until i found out you cannot do implants in 2 or 3 days as they have promised me.Their customer service is very personalable and answer all your questoins, but one give references. There are lots of bad reviews and good ones about them, i confronted them about the bad reviews they told me one girl took a dremel tool to her teeth after having implants done and she was a self mutilator they told me her name and everything! Not professional. I asked for pictures of previous work and never recieved them. The promise of implant dentures over one weekend for both top and bottom for $3600 sounds great but it’s exactly what it sounds like too good to be true!Thank you so much for doing this Nina I’m sure you have saved many people many troubles and tons of money. I’ve pretty much decided to go ahead and spend $14000 here in texas, too many horror stories for me.

  58. Laura says:

    I also need a retreat and crown that my dentist messed up about 12 yrs ago and my husband needs an implant. We live in texas and feel this is the only option, as insurance only covers one major trip to the dentist before you have exceeded all your “benefits”. Please let me know how your retreat went, the cost and the doctor’s name. We don’t speak any Spanish and are very nervous about having to do this

  59. Babsi says:

    I just returned from 5 days in Los Algodones. I had 3 crowns re-done, 2 in gold, a root canal, and 2 implants. I had had a scan done in North Hollywood, CA, and took it with me. The implant specialist, Dr. Luis Medina, studied it before starting the implant work. He is from a family of dentists and was referred to me by Dra. Lupita Monge who did my crown-redos. He , Dr. Luis Medina, was superb! His honesty and skill is superior to that for which I had paid consult fees in Los Angeles. A Woodland Hills, CA dentist had extracted a molar, and I saw the pieces and said that I thought he had left some pieces inside my jaw. He insisted that he had gotten it all, and although I asked twice I was told that the X-rays showed that there were no pieces left behind. WELL, Dr. Medina saw a piece on the X-ray. It had had a root canal and had the piece of metal still in it. He had to call in a specialist to remove that residual piece of tooth from my jaw bone. I will never know whether the L.A. dentists would have just put the implant in on top of that piece of tooth or whether they would have removed it as Dr. Medina did. The place where that tooth fragment had to be removed required some bone grafting. He then put in the implant. The recovery on THAT implant required my taking Vicodin for a day and two nights, followed by Tylenol for a day and 2 nights. Now, 5 days after the work, it is not painful. The other implant went flawlessly and wasn’t even painful for recovery. Today, 5 days after all the work, the self-desolving stitches are falling out little by little, and I am not needing any pain meds. Dr. Medina’s assistants are excellent. His office is tiny and immaculate. His equipment is all new and up-to-date. He took X-rays frequently during the procedure to be sure every step of the way wass done correctly and safely and at the right angles. At one location he drilled the hole for an implant that had been recommended by an implant specialist at UCLA and two dentists in L.A., but when he put in the test post and took the X-ray he found that it was too close to my sinus, and he recommended that I not put an implant at that location. His honesty is over-the-top. He could have put in the implant, taken my money ($700.) and let me suffer or have the implant fail some time in the future. He lost money on that and didn’t charge me for it. In 6 months or more, after the bone has had a chance to adhere to the implant I will return for the crown work. I am 77, in case you care to know. I highly recommend Dr. Luis Medina. . . .tell him that I sent you. . . . I think he will remember me with that piece of old tooth down in my jaw that had adhered to my jaw bone. PS: I felt VERY safe in the tiny, friendly town of Los Algodones. I have always loved Mexico, but in the past few years have stayed away due to fear of dangers, but Los Algodones is a peaceful place.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thanks so much for reporting back on your positive experience with Dr.Medina. Very happy it worked out for you!

      Nina

  60. Babsi says:

    About crowns. Dra. Lupita Monge did my crown re-dos. She took off the old crowns and gave them to me. She removed all the decay and took impressions. The next day I returned for placement/cementing of the crowns, but she didn’t like the way the lab had done them, and she sent them back. She then chose a different lab. They negotiated the price on GOLD and deducted a part of the cost by melting down my old crowns and using them to make the new, BEAUTIFULLY crafted ones, and they even returned to me a scrap of gold that was left over from the molds. SUCH Honesty really impressed me.

  61. John says:

    Absolutely incredible post.
    Just came home from the dentist in Tempe Az. after being quoted 3300 dollars for a bunch of different things, but without the insurance that I have it will be double that, and I am leaving my job and losing the insurance.
    Feeling as if I might have made a poor decision leaving this horrible work environment, I opened up the first google hit for “Mexico Dentistry” and found this.
    I am relieved to hear that I will not be forced to walk around with a mouth full of bad teeth the rest of my life, and am delighted to hear that with proper research and some investigation beforehand, good affordable dentistry is available just several hours from my house!
    I have particularly enjoyed your responses to the folks who ask the same questions you’ve answered a dozen times, and applaud you for remaining still more patient with the three or four complete idiots who must have been drinking or smoking the wacky tabacky when they posted.
    Kudos! And thank you!

  62. J Shay says:

    Has anyone heard of Dr. Gladys Flores Carrera , dentist for Bio Care Hospital, Tijuana, Mexico or Dr.Jesus Carlos Ornelas, Tijuana? Both are biological dentists. There is also Dr.Ezekiel Lagos.

    Thanks

  63. Laura says:

    There is some info about Lagos on this blog, you’ll have to read thru it, but someone found out that he doesn’t even have a license to practice.

  64. Laura says:

    We just got back from Nogales, Mexico for 2 dental implants and had a very good experience with the Dental Periogroup, and Dr. Espinoza. The office staff are very nice and their English is very good. Dr. Espinosa is very thorough and very clean. He cleaned my teeth before he put the implants in! None of my other dentists in the US have done that! I had only planned on 1 implant but Dr. Espinosa suggested 2 because I had had one fail (which was put in by my dentist in Colorado), thinking it may have failed because it had too much weight on it from the 2 teeth above and doing 2 would make each one have less impact. We are a week out, and so far so good. I am trying to keep my teeth clean, brushing and flossing after each meal which is very important. We chose Nogales over Los Algondones because it was closer for us coming from Colorado. Juarez was even closer but I could not find any reviews on Juarez. There was one review for the Dental Periogroup on this blog, which helped me make my decision. The total cost of both implants done in Nogales are going to be 1/2 the cost of just one done by my dentist in Colorado. We are going to go back, and my husband is thinking about getting some work done too. We can only be down there for a week at a time, and so we try to get a little hiking in and make it a vacation.

  65. Laura says:

    Here is their website with all the information: http://dentalperiogroup.com/

    They usually got back to me in the afternoon, and after the initial phone call we just communicated by email, and everything worked out fine.

    And like I said, it was a really really good experience, I hope you have the same! There was a couple in the waiting room while I was waiting there, the wife was having a lot of work done, saving them a good $50,000, and they were commuting from a town close by, and they were very happy as well.

  66. Margie halsell says:

    I am just beginning my search for less expensive dental care than us. Very interested in the outcome of your crown work.

  67. Ruth H says:

    Has anyone when to Tijuana..to Trust Dental Care.
    I would love any feed back..
    I have been researching, and have liked what I have found..
    Dr. Cirenia Aparicio, is a Cosmetic Specialist. she is who I am
    looking at for my dental care..
    If anyone have any reports of using them, please post..

    • rjt1000 says:

      It’s just my impression, but Trust Dental Care looks like the typical Tijuana dental factory. They try to make it appear you are dealing specifically with a named experienced dentist (in this case Dr Cirenia)But when you get there it’s a rotating staff of recent dental school graduates. One of the websites says Trust has 4 dentists.

      That said, if you know what you need before going it could still be okay. I believe these clinics have the facilities and expertise to do quality work. But I would be hesitant to accept their suggestions for treatment.

  68. Ruth H says:

    Thanks, rjt1000, for the reply..

    Do you know of, by experience, or word of mouth, a good dentist there?

    It is kind of scary, and stressful, trying to decide which dentist to go to..

    Tijuana, it is just the closest and easiest for me to go to…
    I live in the central part of Calif. I can drive to SD..
    Most Clinics there offer transportation, back and forth over the boarder.

    I do know what I want..
    I need 1 to 2 crowns..
    I want to have my 6 top front teeth fixed to have a pretty smile, I have always had ugly eye teeth. I want veneers, the Cerec Omnicam System, is what I think I want used to make them.
    Has anyone had dental work, and teeth done using this system?

    I am glad I found this forum…
    I had been researching, and other than reviews on the Dentist websites, it has been hard finding independent reviews.

  69. Barbara webb says:

    I think Tijuana is scary, so I went to Los Algodones, and I think it is safer. I had three crowns done by Lupita Monges. She was reconmmended to me. She has her own tiny dental office and sends the work out to a lab and installs the teeth the next day. My work required a root canal, so I went to a different place for that work. I had two implants put in by Dr Medina. He had to call in a specialist to dig out a piece of tooth that was carelessly left behind when an extraction was done in Woodland Hills, Ca by a dentist who trained at USC. I thought Dr Medina was better qualified and honest than my California dentist. He also put in some bone grafting at no charge. Dr Medina and Lupita Monge both speak English and have English-speaking assistants you can speak to on the phone with a US phone number.

  70. rjt1000 says:

    I only have experience with the one clinic (WhiteSmileCenter) and don’t have any information on better alternatives. It’s hard to research, because the corporate clinics know how to work the internet. On the plus side for “Trust” I only see one negative review online over a billing issue. Starting in 2014, bad reviews started popping up for WSC.

    I think knowing what you want and need is half the battle. I let myself get pulled into WSC’s “comprehensive evaluation”. After sitting there for several hours, it would have been easy to just say yes to their suggestions. Big surprise they were able to do $6000 work of work that day, if I would agree. The atmosphere sure changed when I turned them down!

    Maybe you could see if Trust is willing to set up an appointment to do the Crowns/Veneers without getting too aggressive about a complete evaluation. If they really push the evaluation first, it could be a bad sign.

    The transportation over the border at TJ seems to work okay. Med related transports get to skip the line. Otherwise it would be hours to get back into the U.S.

    I have a U.S. done Cerec crown and it has been fine for 3 years now. This is the one WSC wanted to replace for no good reason.

  71. Ruth h says:

    After more research..I have found that Dr. Cirenia Aparicio Miranda is also a licensed dentist in Calif.
    She also passed the AACD with one of the highest scores ever.
    So I am feeling better an better about going to Tijuana for dental care..At Trust Dental Care.
    I am saving money, and hoping to go in August. .
    That also gives me more time to research. .
    Like the above poster said..I also have found only one negative post about Trust Dental Care, an that was a refund issue. .
    That I understand, from reading was one of two sisters, After giving consent on the work to being done, and authorizing payment to be made, they backed out of having the work done.
    That complaint was posted on YouTube. .
    I will be watching here.. hoping someone posts, with firsthand knowledge. . About this Dental office..

  72. rjt1000 says:

    As part of your research, you might give them a call and see if Dr. Cirenia will be doing your work. The answer could be interesting. At Whitesmilecenter, they give out the name of the owners brother as the licensed dentist associated with the clinic. He is licensed and works in Ca. and has fairly good online reviews. But there’s no evidence he actually works at the WSC. Given we are talking about Mexico here, I wouldn’t count on truth in advertising.

    • Ruth h says:

      I asked, and my contact person, said that I could have her as my dentist. . My appointments would have to be arranged to fit with her scheduling.

      This definitely is not an easy decision. .

      I so wish I could find a few people with their own personal experience, that I could actually talk to..That has went to Trust Dental in Tijuana.

      Even reading this blog, there are those that h had bad experiences, even going to places they thought were good.

      But I am not giving up. .I will continue to research, and ask questions.

      • Tina Martin says:

        Loved your info on dentists in Mex. Got any suggestions(I’m a newly retired gal)who unfortunately had to sell my Class A RV a few years ago. Now I want to find a rental RV or trailer or little condo/house to rent in the San Felipe, Baja coastal area for 4 to 6 months. Got any info on that area of Baja or any rental info? I will continue to follow your blog. I hope I can find another affordable RV of my own in the next year and start rolling again. I miss it.

      • rjt1000 says:

        Here’s some more comments on Trust Dental. The negatives catch my attention because it’s some of the same things I found at WSC.

        http://rateadentist.com/reviews/California/SanDiego/TrustDentalCare

  73. I’ve been going there for long time and in the last couple of years switched dentists, but only because I considered the first one too old school. Both are trustworthy and do fine jobs. The female dentist does a better job as far as a cleaning is concerned. The male dentist is a periodonist and also did a good job but he is now in teaching and he often did not meet his appointments on time so that was a bit frustrating. Now, that I read this article of yours I like the information you wrote about the dentist in Mexico, I will surely book for appointment as soon as possible to try it there. Thanks for the info!

  74. Dianna Cervantez says:

    Does anyone have any experience with Dr.Dahlia Dental in Tijauna?

  75. Deb Klemkosky says:

    I’m another patient of Dr.E’s, Dentalperio Group in Nogales. I am so impressed with this man, I have a life long dental horror story that lead to the need for full restoration. So far, Dr. E has done lower implants, a sinus lift and massive bone grafts. I’m going back in Sept for the upper implants. IDK how he does it, but I have never had one second of pain, swelling or even one slight discoloration of my face (the sinus lift involved knocking four holes in the dental ridge with a surgical hammer and chisel). The man is truly gifted, as well as, HIGHLY educated.
    He is so gentle, caring and really goes above and beyond. The quality of his work is outstanding (he guarantees his work for 5 years). I’m very happy with his work.
    Dr. E also corrected a problematic crown, that my husband had done by a dentist in Chandler, AZ. He is also impressed with his work. My friend is really impressed with him. I took her down for a second opinion. She was told by a local dentist she “needs” to have a 6 tooth bridge replaced and two implants, for the approx cost of $7k. Although she takes very good care of her teeth and was unaware of any problems, she was told the support teeth were failing. Dr. E looked at her bridge and support teeth and told her NOT to have the bridge replaced, the support teeth were healthy and doing so would cause more damage. The man turned a patient away, for the sake of her dental health not his wallet. How many dentists do that?
    I can’t say enough about this man, he is wonderful.
    If you decide on going to Nogales, go a bit early and have lunch over at LaRoca. Impressive place that serves farm fresh/five star quality food that makes you count the days to your next appointment.

    • Vicki says:

      Thank you Deb (and Laura)for your reviews of Dr E in Nogales. I live in Tempe and plan on setting up appointments for 3 implants. Where do you stay while in Nogales? The US or Mexican side?

      • Laura says:

        We always stay on the US side in Nogales, AZ. 10-15 minute drive to the border, park at McDonalds (you may have to pay $4 to park, sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t) and then walk across the border 4 blocks to the office. I have always felt very safe, everyone is very polite altho sometimes the vendors are a little pushy.

  76. Christine says:

    Thanks so much for this thread. I was quoted $19,000 for my dream mouth at my regular dentist in northern California (or just $7700 to have the minimum done in terms of fillings and crowns). Instead I went to Castle Dental in Los Algodones. Had 6 zirconia crowns, 4 porcelain on metal crowns, several fillings, whitening, cleaning – total of $3310 – same exact work in that $19K quote.

    Prep for upper teeth was done on Monday, prep on lower teeth was done on Wednesday. All teeth were fitted and placed on Thursday, then cleaning and whitening.

    Work as as gentle and thorough as any dentist I’ve seen in the states. I highly recommend Castle Dental – they are awesome.

    I’m glad that I went in the summer. Temperatures weren’t much worse than at home (I live in a hot area of the country) and my wait to come back across the border to Yuma was basically 0 minutes as opposed to the 2 hour wait you might see in the winter.

    I stayed in Yuma and took cabs most days, plan on $25-$30 with tip each way. Talk to people in the breakfast room of your hotel, you might catch a ride (throw them some $$ for parking and gas to be considerate).

    There is a bus that I didn’t use.

    Or rent a car. I stayed at the Best Western on S. Castle Dome. They said that Enterprise rents cars at $19 a day (figure lots of taxes and fees of course). That might have been a better route.

    But seriously, even with hotel, plane, etc., obviously I saved a TON of money.

  77. Michelle Wilson says:

    I am planning on going to Los Algodones and I didn’t really see any recommendations for porcelain veneers. Of course, there was a lot of comments to scan over. Can anyone give me information on dentist that specializes in veneers? I got two front broken teeth and desperate to repair them. Thank you.

  78. Melissa says:

    I am currently getting braces in Cuernavaca, Morelos and yeah it takes some time they don’t put the braces all in one day I just got the top part of the brace glued but I didn’t get the wires on and I do wish they would’ve finished the top part but they are the professionals and they do know what their doing and you do save a lot if money getting any type of dental work in mexico my braces cost 3000 pesos which is 30 dollars and this dentist is really good you just have to find a good dentist to do your dental work but if you want to save money then I do recommend to go to mexico Just find a good dentist !!

    • Ruth h says:

      What dentist did you go to for your braces?

    • Dianna Cervantez says:

      Where do most on here go for crowns? And also braces that I may get on my 6 bottom teeth because with age the middle 2 are turning in I have no idea where to start can someone direct Me?

  79. Nina Koepcke says:

    Based on your recommendations and the positive remarks on Trip Advisors, I selected Dr. Roberto Arce of Smile Shoppe in Los Algodones, Mexico to repair my bridge. Here’s my experience:

    Just want to add my experience with Dr Roberto Arce of Los Algodones . I went in yesterday because I felt I need my bridges replaced. Dr. Roberto reassured me that I do not need to have any of my crowns replaced; but he had to build 2 of my core buildups; which he charged $150.00 U.S. each = $300.00 and cementing my bridge back in place which is $100.00 U.S. and $10.00 per x-ray for each tooth. The total cost was $420.00. His prices were much higher than what I was quoted by a dentist in Phoenix. I had a quote of $110.00@ for building up the cores and $80.00 for cementing back the bridge. To add insult to injury, he charged me $20.00 for a 500 ML bottle of Perioxidin which the Purple Pharmacy at Los Algodones sells for $17.00. Dr. Roberto Acre gouged me because the summer season is slow and he had to make up the difference for lack of patients. I would double check your price before attempting to use Dr. Roberto Acre. As far as his work is concerned, only time will time. Beware of PRICE GOUGING….I was stuck in his chair and felt I had to have the work done!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Very sorry you had a bad experience, but really appreciate you reporting back to the rest of the readers. Smile Shoppe did not make my list of recommendations (Part II).

      Nina

  80. Vicki says:

    Hello….I just found out I need several crowns and root canals. Yikes! Even with some dental insurance, it is way more than I can swing. I do NOT want dentures! I have yet to receive the estimate as they were pushing to get started with four teeth and did not give me a whole mouth estimate. I guess my point of writing to you is to say thank you! I’m a little nervous about going to Mexico but realize it is my only option. I will keep you posted (and also ask questions from everyone if need be). Again, thank you for this blog.

  81. Jon B. says:

    I am looking for a quality implant dentist in Los Algodones. Any personal recommendations? Thanks!

  82. Maggie says:

    Looking into having implants done in Mexico.I live in New Mexico and the price here at home is prohibited.Thanks for this blog,very informative.

  83. Mary says:

    I just found out to have a root canal and crown is 2300.00. I stood up said thank you paid the office visit and stated goggling. THANK YOU!!!!!!! I am self employed and dental insurance is not something we have in Florida at least that covers much. I am heading to Mexico

  84. Eric says:

    I’m looking for any recommendation from personal or trusty second-hand experience for my daughter to get an quality implant(no adult tooth) in Matamoros, MX. My father lives nearby in Laguna Vista, TX, so we can plan a stay for 2 trips(3 months apart) to visit and get the work done. My good friend from Reynosa already recommended her specialist who did 2 implants for her sister. But I’m still checking for someone reliable in Matamoros, or maybe an option in Reynosa. Thanks!

  85. brenda says:

    Does anyone have experince with Dr.Valdez from Dental Lazer? He also works at the clinic next door.He puts in implants but then you are seent to dr. # 2 for crowns or dentures.I’d like to hear from anyone else about this dentist or this clinic.
    Thanks

  86. Jim Nelson says:

    Nina: We plan on heading down to Los Algodones in January for some dental work. Where did you stay with your rig on the U.S. side?

    • libertatemamo says:

      We always boondock out by Ogilby Road. But there’s also boondocking by the Casino (the road out to Los Algodones) and a few RV parks in the area if you want hookups.

      Nina

  87. mks281 says:

    I need one, maybe two implants and a root canal redone (infected, I’m on antibiotics). Anyone have experience with dentists in Cancun? I think the clinic is Ocean Clinic advertised as a US trained dental clinic.

  88. Carolyn Collins says:

    My friend needs extensive dental work done. She has an excellent doctor in Los Albagones(sp). But she is afraid that if something was to go wrong when she gets home, what to do! Her dental work involves dentures with screws holding them in or a procedure called an 4 in 1. Has anyone on this site had something like this done in Los Algodones?

    • Babsi says:

      Regarding implants I would contact Dr. Medina. He 2 implants for me, and now I will return soon to finish the job. I think he is very meticulous and conservative. He speaks English and so does the assistant who answers the phones and works with him. Luis Medina’s U. S. phone number is 928-227-1040. Implanting the screw was $700. each. There was a piece of tooth left in my jaw bone by a butchered extraction that was done in Los Angeles. I had to pay $200. for a different dentist to remove that piece of left-over tooth. Then Dr. Medina had to put in some bond grafting material to fill that hole.

      Dr. Medina put in the implant and closed the area with stitches. At UCLA my daughter in law had some implants, and at UCLA they put an implant that has a cap in it that remains exposed during the healing process while the bone is growing onto the implant. When she is ready for the next step they will unscrew that cap and put in the piece that will hold the crown. In my case he will have to cut open the area that he stitched closed. That is NOT the most modern technique, but it is still used in the US and Mexico UCLA is more advanced. You can read about these techniques on the Internet.

  89. samantha says:

    Ok, I amn in desperate need of implants for my front teeth. I do not remember the last time I was able to smile. Please if you know a dentist that is able to do the type of work and do it right i would like to know or tell me a few dentists that can.

  90. Scardy Cat says:

    I am in need of dental work with the following factors:

    1. I am petrified of dental work. I am brave ONLY if I am “asleep”. I don’t want to be a baby, but it’s a fact. . .are there any Alg. dentists anyone would recommend for such patients?

    2. I need 3 extractions, a lower partial and full upper plate done. A dental office with a lab on site makes sense to me for expediting, but not a deal breaker.

    3. Also, I would be flying in. Any experience from folks traveling via plane assuming I choose to launch from Yuma?

    Any comments concerning my “issues” would be very much appreciated.

    • Babsi says:

      If you live in Los Angeles I can recommend a superb doctor to do the extractions. I wouldn’t do them in Mexico because even in Los Angeles I have had a super extraction and then from a different dentist a butchered job.

      If you need to be asleep for dental work I would not recommend Los Algodones. What if something went wrong? Joan Rivers comes to mind.

      If you just need false teeth then I think you would be happy with Los Algodones. On this site people can recommend some good dentists.

      I had two implants put in by Dr. Medina, and I think he is skilled. I have now given the implants enough time to have attached to my bone, so I will return for the remainder of the work.

      If I were to “fly” to Yuma I would try to stay at Quechuan Resort. That is the closest place to Los Algodones.

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