Getting Dental Work In Mexico Part II – Our Los Algodones Experience
My last post dug up some great discussion, both good and bad, about experiences in Mexico. For those of you who are interested I highly recommend reading all the comments so you can get a feel of both sides. Dental work is not always black and white. There is a chance, even with a good dentist, that work will fail and there are people who have bad results with dentists that otherwise have good reviews. And then there are truly bad dentists and truly bad work. This is all part of the equation and one reason you always have to decide on what is the best care for YOU.
With that aside I figure it’s time to update you on our own personal experience in Los Algodones. Now I fully admit that this is going to be a somewhat limited review since there is no REAL way to know how good my dental work is until it stands the test of time, and that could mean a couple of years from now. So what I’ll try to do is give you an honest assessment of our impressions and go from there.
1/ Where/What Is Los Algodones?
Los Algodones is a small 5-block square border town just south of Yuma, AZ (right next to CA/AZ split) that is pretty much dedicated to medical tourism. It has over 300 registered dentists, a slew of pharmacies (for cheap prescription drugs), multiple eyeglass doctors (cheap glasses), places to get inexpensive hearing aids…and probably a few more specialties I don’t know about. People come here mostly for dentistry and prescription drugs, and there are significant savings for both, compared to the US. Dentist work is ~1/3 of US prices, and prescription drugs are up to 50% off.
2/ How Do You Get To Los Algodones?
Take Interstate 8 just West of Yuma, AZ to the Andrade Mexico (Los Algodones or Rte 186 exit). Travel south on Route 186 for 7 miles to the Mexico border. At this point you could take your car into Mexico, but the vast majority of people just park on US side and walk over. There are large parking lots for both cars & RV’s run by the local Indian tribe right before the border on US side. It costs US$6 to park for the day and takes ~5 mins to walk across to Los Algodones. All the dentists are concentrated within a small radius (just a few blocks), so you can easily and safely walk to your dentist without any issues whatsoever.
3/ What Should You Bring With You?
Two things you must bring are your passport and cash/checks. There are no customs checks going into Mexico (you simply walk in), but there are some limits to what you can bring with you (see HERE) and you will be required to pass customs coming back into the US. Most of the dentists in Mexico take either cash or check, so bring your money with you. Many dentist offices will also take credit cards, but there is typically an extra charge and if you plan on eating lunch in town cash will serve you best. EVERYONE in Los Algodones takes US$ so there is no need to bring pesos unless you want to.
4/ How Did We Find Our Dentist?
When you enter Los Algodones you will be inundated by street “peddlers” asking you if you need a dentist or prescription drugs. Although they can be quite persuasive I recommend doing your research and making your choices beforehand. I spent alot of time asking around on forums, internet and doing searches. Some of the things I looked for were:
- Certified in Mexico with continuing education in Mexico or US
- Well-established (in-business for a long time)
- Universally good reviews
- Specialty training
- Modern equipment
- US memberships (American Dental Association, American Implant Association). These are not critical, but they’re nice to see.
A few resources you can use for your search:
- Online reviews such as What Clinic and Dental Depatures. These are by no means comprehensive, but they can help narrow your search.
- RV forums such as Escapees, iRV2 , RV.net
- RV Now: Jim Twarmley’s 5 Part Series on Mexico
- RV buddies, friends, family, locals…
A few names popped up from this search. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a few of the ones I found and why I liked them:
- Dr. Eva Urena – She is a one-woman show with 20 years experience and is a member of several US-based associations. Her reviews on WhatClinic were 100% as were any other reviews I could find on the forums.
- Bernal Dental Group – This is a bigger dental group that seem to have very modern equipment. Not many “official” reviews, but they get many, many mentions and good reviews on the RV forums. Their name almost always comes up as a choice.
- Sani Dental Group – Again a bigger group that looks like a modern outfit with good reviews. They often come up on the forums too.
- Others I’ve Seen Mentioned – Dr.Rubio (more expensive than others, with many positive reviews online, although commenter Tina did not have a good experience here), Dr Marquez (recommended by some other RVers), Circle Dental (again, a larger group but the name comes up often)
5/ What Was Our Experience Like?
We decided to go to Dr. Eva Urena for all our care. I’m going to tell you up-front that despite all my bravado I am a dentist WIMP, so I always look for the worst in any dental situation. Paul, on the other hand has sensitive, but otherwise perfect teeth (always has, the bastard) and is rather more blasé about everything. Here’s what we thought:
Paul’s Experience -> Great. Loved Dr. Urena and the cleaning. I have sensitive teeth and told her up-front. She was careful and did not hurt me at all. Fabulous experience! Cost for cleaning: $30
Nina’s Experience -> Good, but with some reservations. My experience was 2-part since I got my crown removed & teeth cleaned at Dr.Urena, but was sent to a root-canal specialist for the root canal re-do.
- At Dr. Urena: I felt Dr.Urena was careful and explained things well. She speaks decent English and was open about the risks I might have replacing my crown and what could happen once it was removed. Her office is sterile, all her equipment is sterile and her assistants were good. Another positive point is she has no street “peddlers” and does not overbook her office as many other Mexican dentists often do. Our appointment was on-time and ran smoothly. My cleaning was faster than I would like, but she did get all the stains off and my teeth looked good afterwards. My new crown will be installed on Monday so we’ll see how that goes. Overall I liked her and am happy with her so far. Cost for porcelain crown: $300
- At Dr. Ivan Gaspar Cuevas: My root canal specialist was obviously in high demand and the entire experience felt a bit too rushed for my taste. He had a somewhat heavy reliance on X-rays (took 4 to re-do my root canal) and worked fast. My mouth is now free of metal (great! he installed fiberglass posts), seems fine and is healing well, but personally I prefer a slower approach so I know exactly what is going on. Probably all will be fine, but I should have researched this side of the procedure before I went (I did not, shame on me) and if I were to do this over I would probably go somewhere else for this portion. Cost for root canal: $160
Alex & Ellen’s Experience -> Alex & Ellen went to Dr.Urena the day after us and had a good experience (cleaning only). They met folks in the waiting room that had been going to her for many years with good results. Cost for cleaning: $30
5/ Other things to think about Before You Go
Although I researched my dentist thoroughly before our trip, one thing I did not look at properly was the root canal side of my procedure, even though I knew (beforehand) that I probably needed to have it re-done. The lesson learned here is to know exactly what procedures you’re planning to get, whether your chosen dentist offers all of them and to read up on the newest technology before you go. As an example one of our commenters in the last post, Tina mentioned the need for a torque test on any implants you get done -> an important step in the implant procedure that you want to make sure your dentist follows. Read, research and know what you’re getting into.
Another important thing to check, especially if you are going to see one of the bigger dental groups, is who will physically do your work. Some of the larger offices (e.g. Sani) have multiple dentists in one place and unless you ask/specify beforehand you may not get the dentist you expect. This may be fine as long as you know and have recommendations for that particular dentist, but it’s best not to leave it to chance. Make sure you know who is scheduled to do your work.
6/ Coming Back Into The US
You will be required to pass customs as you cross the border back into the US. This means a passport check plus a declaration of what you bought in Mexico. There are no hidden charges for purchases (legal prescription drugs, eyeglasses, tourist buys etc.) under a total of $800 , but if you buy alcohol or tobacco, or you exceed these $$ there may be taxes or duty at the border depending on how much you bring back (which often negates any savings). Certain items such as narcotics, food, plants, animals, and products made from endangered species are prohibited. Know the rules before you go. We left Los Algodones at ~1PM and it took ~20 mins to get through the border line.
Hope that gives everyone a good overview of our own experience. Feel free to comment or add questions I did not cover. We are by no means experts so this is continuing education for all of us 🙂
Update On My Los Algondones Dentist Appt Jan 22nd, 2013: I got my new crown installed yesterday morning and I am very happy. This crown is 100% better fit than my old one (which always felt too big & awkward in my mouth), feels perfect and looks great. Dr. Urena did an outstanding job making sure the fit and look was just right. She even sent out the crown for some re-work in the AM to re-file the inner side and improve the fit. No-one can tell which tooth is the crown unless I point it out. We’ll see how this holds up, but for the moment I am very, very happy with the results.
Update On My Los Algondones Dentist Appt March 7th, 2013: It’s been several months since my new crown was installed and I’m still very happy with the results. The fit and look are great and my mouth & gums had no issues with recovery. I’ll update again next year, but for now I’m extremely happy w/ the entire experience.
Update on My Los Algodones Experience Jan, 2014: My root canal has been fine, but over the past year my gums had changed around the crown (they’d drawn back over the past year leaving a small gap underneath). I knew this coming in because I’d noticed some food getting stuck under the edge of the crown over the past few months. Dr. Urena confirmed my diagnosis when I got in to see her and offered to re-do the porcelain crown for the lab costs ($100) for a better fit. I took the offer and have been happy with the results.
Update on My Los Algodones Experience Jan, 2015: My crown from last year is holding. This year I had a regular cleaning ($35) I also had a few old, small fillings which had fallen out so Dr. Urena re-did them for $50 each.
Update on My Los Algodones Experience Feb, 2016: Sadly, the seal on the crown I had done in 2014 failed and I started to notice some pain in my tooth last year. I was not near Los Algodones at the time so I had the crown re-done (re-sealed) by a US dentist which has held well so far. My other work (original root canal & fillings) are all still OK. I have to admit I am very disappointed that the seal on my crown did not hold, especially since it was re-sealed in early 2014. This particular crown has always presented problems for me (dating right back to the original time it was done in the USA many years before I went to Mexico) so I am not sure how much of this is a crown/mouth/gum issue (for me) and how much is a reflection of the work I had done by Dr.Urena. At this point however, given my experience, I am OK w/ the cleanings, fillings & root canals I had done in Mexico (none have exhibited any issues), but I am not clear I would go back to Dr.Urena for another crown.
Post Edit Updates (2015) – Other Bloggers Who Have Written About Los Algodones
In the past few years several other bloggers have written about Los Algodones and their own experiences there. Many have also had work done with Dr. Urena, but others have chosen other dentists. Please click below to read and enjoy:
- Cheap RV Living -> Bob has several excellent blog posts about Los Algodones. Click HERE, HERE and HERE.
- Tales From The Scenic Route -> Thanksgiving At the Dentist In Los Algodones, Mexico
- Island Girl Walkabout -> Molar City
- Life’s Little Adventures -> Algodones, Mexico: Another Dental Experience.
- Watsons Wonder -> A Day-Trip To Los Algodones
- Winnie Views -> “Dental Camp” At Algodones
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this blog post may be affiliate links, so, if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a commission. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. WheelingIt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
The Lowe's RV Adventures says
Quite a smile despite missing a tooth temporarily. I cant add anything more in this great post except to say we were happy with our experience. Good luck on your next visit.
Theres plenty of room at Dome Rock and the festive mood has began.
Lookin’ forward to it! We should be there by Tuesday.
Hi. I’m considering going to Algodones for root canal/crown work. It looks like it’s been 2 years since your initial experience. Has everything held up well?
I just updated my blog post with my Feb, 2016 review (see above). My root canal and fillings have all held, but sadly the seal on the crown I had done in 2013 failed (for the 2nd time) & I’ve had to have it re-done (again). Definitely disappointed with the seal problem & I don’t think I’d go back to Dr.Urena for another crown at this point.
I am now having problems with dental work I had done with a Dr. Hector. This back in April of 2013. All the margins of my caps are not meeting my gums. This has caused infections and also teeth to be redone. I would not go back to a dentist in Algodones. As far as eyeglasses, have been happy with this service.
I went in October of 2014. I had five root canals by Ivan Gaspar. He is fast!!! However, I love that because I want it done. He consistently looked at x -rays throughout and was very thorough. I just went to my United States dentist today and he commented on what a great job he did on my root canals. I haven’t had a problem since.
For all my crowns, fillings, and a bridge I went to Luis M. Escobar next to Ivan Gaspar office. I think he is a nugget of gold in that area that few people find because they are going to the “big name” places. He speaks English like it was his first language. He is kind, considerate, and explains things very well. I found him because I use to work in El Centro, CA and many of my friends (all RN’s) went to him and recommended him. I can see why they recommend him. Two years later and I haven’t had one problem with their dental work.
I now live on the east coast and plan on going back to have another root canal done on the other side of my mouth, as well as another bridge. I’m going to fly out and stay at the Hacienda hotel. I’ve stayed there before and loved it. The food is delicious.
If you don’t mind a fast paced root canal then Dr. Ivan Gaspar is the way to go. He knows his stuff and does a great job. For all other work see Dr. Luis M. Escobar. You won’t be disappointed.
Is a passport required to cross in to Los- Algodones from Yuma? Thanks for all the info, very helpful.
There’s no passport control going into Los Algodones (you just walk in), but there’s passport control on the way back into USA. So you need your passport for the trip back home.
I know these are old posts, but if you do not have a passport, don’t let it keep you from going. I have been there twice in 2018 without passport. They CANNOT keep you from entering if you are a citizen. They may chastise you a little (not all of them) but that’s all they can do.
First, thank you for these most informative posts and the follow ups.
I live in central Florida and will be researching travel costs to Yuma. My gums are awful. I hate going to the dentist. I grew up in a small town with few dentists and only realized in recent years that both my sisters hate it, too. I remember it as being very painful. My anxiety about dental visits is something I consciously work on, with deep breathing and positive self talk. Of all the things I’ve read, your comments about Dr. Urena most appeal to me in terms of my easing my discomfort. I do not speak Spanish. I am heaing impaired due to neural (nerve) damage when I was a child, so I rely a lot on lip reading. I have no clue what someone wearing a face mask says. From reading posts, it sounds as though I should plan to be there a couple of weeks. Is this correct? We are not RV people, so that means staying in a hotel for a couple of weeks. I am less concerned about that expense for the hotel than I am about safety and having a ballpark idea of how long I would need to be there. It would determine travel mode (I could save the flight money and drive, for example) and whether anyone could accompany me. Is it preferable to research renting a house or condo? I live in the heart of central Florida tourist areas and if I were to visit here for multiple weeks, I would not stay at a hotel., but I confess I have no clue about Arizona in general or Yuma in particular.
After having procedures done, am I going to be ok walking back across the border and driving back to the hotel? I love alone time and enjoy my solo car and train trips, but admit to feeling anxious about starting major dental work (or any major medical work; I just especially hate dental work) while traveling alone. I would appreciate your feedback on my concerns. Thank you.
I can comment on my dental experience in Tijuana, Mexico in in 2013. I went there to get a “Snap-OnSmile” so I’d have pretty teeth for my sons upcoming wedding. I had been told by several different U.S. Dentists that my teeth were too *far gone for repair and I needed dentures. Well, I was not prepared for nor could I pay for a full set of dentures, hence the Snap-On Smile. After seeing the dentist in Tijuana he said, “No problem, your teeth can be saved.” I was elated to say the least!
I had to have 4 root canals with 3 of them in one day (I almost didn’t make it to the 3rd one of the day, but I didn’t want to face the same experience the following day so I sucked it up and did it), I had numerous crowns, fillings, one implant, cleaning, etc. The total amount I paid for all my dental work was $3500 USD. That’s 70-80% less expensive than any dentist in my home state oF Oklahoma, USA for sure!
My only complaint is that they don’t have laughing gas in Mexico and the prescription “painkillers” are nothing more than ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc. Now, if you’ve been to Mexico I’m sure you know about those “Faux Pharmacy Storefronts” where you can buy Roxycontin, Lortab, Percoet, etc “illegally” keep that in mind!! I was so thankful that I had my own U.S. prescribed pain Meds with me due to a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) I survived in 2010 otherwise, I would have been in the “Faux Pharmacia” because IT HURT! My dentist was great, very clean office, equipment and staff. All spoke fluent English. As a 45 year old single woman, I would not suggest staying overnight in Tijuana though…I was lucky enough to have a step sister who lived in San Diego so I just drove the short trip across the border each time. Oh yes, the top caps he didn’t get near as white as I wanted. I’m now in the market for full implants top and bottom in Movie Star White White White! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
*too far gone – One of the seizure medications I was put on post TBI, causes rapid tooth decay
Lana Hartley says
Where did you get your dental implant?
How has it held up to now, 5 years later?
What made you decide to go to THAT doctor?
Ive never been to Mexico, but I have a friend I can stay with in San Diego, and I am starting my research for an implant dentist.
Jen Gibson says
Not really dental related, but what did you do with Polly while you were gone?
Well we have our buddies Alex&Ellen with us here in Yuma, so we left the pets w/ them for the day. We have left Polly alone in the RV for up to 4 hours, but prefer to take her with us, or stay closer. Since we were going across the border we wanted to make sure she wasn’t alone. Nice to have RV pet-sitting buddies 🙂
We are heading to the purple pharmacy on Monday morning for my husband’s prescription–maybe we’ll see you and you can test that new crown on a delicious shrimp taco? 🙂
And if you ever need doggie-sitting, feel free to get in touch–we have four, including one border collie–we have a place out in the foothills. We also have a full hookup site and you are welcome to visit. It would be fun to talk RVing and DOGS!!
We’re going to be in Los Algodones VERY early (around 8:30AM). Not sure if we’ll be hanging around after that, but let me know when you’re going to be there and perhaps we can meet-up.
We had to take all four dogs to PetSmart for baths today (phew!) so after we dropped them off we just kept going and went to Los Algodones to get the prescription today. Very quick in and out! Actually it’s not our favorite place to hang out anyway, so we were wondering if you’d like to stop by our place in the Foothills on your way back for a visit?
You are welcome to bring Polly too if she is with you–we are very easy to find and it’s pretty much on your way back to Q if you are heading back on Hwy 95. We’d really enjoy meeting you and you can check out our full hookup site in case you would like an ON the grid break in your routine. 🙂
Sorry we missed ya this time around in Yuma! We ended up having a rather busy last day and then charged our way up to Q. We would love to meet w/ you next time we pass thro’ town. Thanks so much for the lovely offer on a site too!!
Oops, just saw your new post–you’re out by Ogilby Road? Not Q. OK, but you are still invited to visit–if not tomorrow than just let us know what works for you.
No problem Nina, we understand–we’ve ended up with some unexpected business this week too. But we hope you’ll get in touch next time you are in Yuma–would love to meet you and the invitation remains open.
Only 20 mins to get out of Mexico is good. I’ve waited in line for hours but that was later in the day.
Glad your relatively happy with the work done so far.
Very true. I was actually quite surprised at how quickly the line progressed coming back into the US. I gather it can get longer later in the day, but early afternoon it was super fast.
Betty Graffis says
When I left the dentist office there, they handed me a small piece of paper and told me to hand it to a police officer near the gate..so I did. That little piece of paper is well known to the officers and it sent me to the front of the line clearing customs instead of the very back. My understanding is the Dr.s and Dentists there do that quite often after medical/dental procedures. New full set of dentures and new glasses Under $300. Not bad.
Thank you for sharing your experiences here. I really enjoy your blog.
Interesting. Didn’t happen to us, but I guess we didn’t get that much done either. Thanks for reporting back on it.
Hello Betty! My name is Bill Farr and my wife and I will be Los Algodones in March. I plan on getting a full set of dentures. You mentioned in the blog that you had the same services completed. Are you happy with the results? How long did it take? Who did your dentures? The note sounds like a winner.
Bill, did you get dentures in Algadones. We are looking to go in Jan,2014 and am looking for a dentist for dentures. Any suggestions?
Kathy Stokka says
I’m also looking into going to Mexico for Dentures, I’ve never had them, and would really like your advice, and your Mexico’s Dentist name? I’m very scared, but I really need something done with my teeth……I see that your from Washington State, I live in the Bonney lake area………
Kathy, did you go? I live just out of Tacoma and desperately need a LOT of dental work. I’m thinking of going to Mexico, but am scared! I’m seeking some specific names of good dentists down there. Thanks
Hi my name is carol im from waahington state too. Im intereted in going to mexico for dental. Did you. Go. I dont even know where stay you should get ahold of me. Go together.
Hi Betty, can you recommend a denturist in Algadones. This is merely replacement dentures as mine are worn out. Thanks
Great summary thanks for the details. We luckily have dental insurance but who knows. I’m filing this away because life is uncertain at best! :-)) You should know that we paid $500 even though we have insurance for what you paid $460 for so the bargain is very real.
Yeah, the prices down here are *definitely* a bargain. I was quoted $900 as a special cash-only price for just the crown portion at a dentist in San Diego. That didn’t even include the possible root canal (which I knew I might need). So, Mexico is definitely at ~1/3 of US prices. For $460 total I got rid of ALL the metal in my mouth and a new crown. Not bad.
Thank you for all the great info Nina. You mention getting all the metal out. I have three remaining Hg fillings I am looking forward to finishing the “metal out” process with. Were they careful with you as far as masks so you (and they) are not breathing it as they drill and also not getting it down your throat where you need to swallow?
All the dentists wore masks while they were doing mine. I did OK with everything, and I’m really a wimp at dentists.
You are too kind to go down there and come back with these on the spot references, after Donna’s request for information about Mexican dentists. You have given us one of the best and most comprehensive reviews of the entire process that I have seen anywhere. The only thing missing seems to be your tooth. Thanks for sharing.
I’m glad I could give you some extra info for your big trip down here next month. Sure hope you have a wonderful experience and I’ll be looking forward to your write-up too.
Joe Anderson says
For all the good info, if we can get this house sold we’ll be on the road and the dentist is one of the first places we will go. I found some of my pictures of the big CNC lathe I designed when I was living in Sweden. Click on this link to see them. https://picasaweb.google.com/116619647935058571891/MachineDesigns?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCLKU0IHYkMCXwgE&feat=directlink
Regards Joe & Murlene
Sweeeeeeeet!!! Thanks for sharing!!
Donna K says
Thanks for a very informative post. Appreciate all your research and candid comments. I’m wondering if you visited any of the pharmacies and if you have any recommendations. Good luck with the remainder of your work.
Donna, I’m sure Nina will chime in, but we always use the purple pharmacies in Los Algodones. You can’t miss them because there are several of them and they are all…well…PURPLE! 🙂
We checked prices and availability in a lot of the pharmacies there, and consistently find the purple pharmacies (Liqui’s) to have the biggest selection. The prices are really comparable all over town so in our opinion it’s not really time effective to run around to all of them looking to save a dollar or two.
If you are in one of the “purples” and they don’t have enough of a specific medication, they send a runner to one of their other stores to get them if they have them.
Just be sure you always check the packaging for the expiration date–it’s stamped right on the end of the boxes–that the boxes are sealed, and that it is the dosage you want.
You are allowed to carry 3 months supply of each med across the border–but if you want six months, just get a bag of 3 for each of you if you are with a companion, spouse, etc. We have done that many times to get six months of my husband’s prescription.
They of course have different rules for controlled substances, and are also cracking down on antibiotic sales all across Mexico due to the over use of them among their population–so you may have to have a written prescription for them, I’m not sure how they are enforcing that in Los Algodones since the law changed in Mexico a short while back re: antibiotics.
We use the big purple pharmacy a few blocks in on the left (you pass one immediately on the left when you cross the border, but we always go the NEXT one on the left, which is about one more block as the street curves to the left. You can’t miss it).
I like this one because it is also attached to a small grocery store they own, which has some fun stuff including free samples of various liquors.
You can use US dollars, pesos, or write a check in any of their pharmacies.
Hope this helps. Have fun!
I think Tina answered better than I could! We have no prescriptions so didn’t look at any of the pharmacies, but I have heard the Purple pharmacy name come up several times (it’s actually the one Paul is standing next to in the 1st pic) so I think that’s a good tip.
Thanks Nina, appreciate your comment. But even if you live a “drug free life” you can go into the little market part and get your free shot of Tequila! 😉
Good way to stay healthy…LOL
I have bought antibiotics at Liqui’s twice in the past month without a prescription.
Interesting. I’ve heard you can do that (specifically for antibiotics), but this is the first real feedback I’ve gotten on it. Thanks for the info.
Karen Fischer says
We have recently discovered your blog, and enjoy it very much! 🙂 I read you dental experience in Mexico with great interest, as I have JUST (last month!) retired from the dental field (34 years’ experience), and are also now fulltime RVers. Over the years, I have seen bad dentistry in the US, so I am not afraid to try Mexico for dental treatment. Thanks for the info!
Happy to have you along for the ride…and CONGRATS on going fulltime. I’m just like you. I have no qualms about going for care in another country. My next goal is to find a primary care doctor in Mexico…we’ll see.
Douglas Hinman says
Hi Nina, your comments about the number of xrays for your root canal, I just had a root canal done in Bend, OR, they took 3 xrays before hand to give them a clear picture of where the roots were I think. total cost$1200. I think I will go to mexico for root canals from now on!!! Now I need crowns! thanks for the good info about dentists down there, we are planning on seeing some next time we go south. Doug H
Thanks for the feedback. Actually when I mentioned this to someone else they said exactly the same thing so I guess my dentist didn’t really use anymore X-rays than any other dentist. When it comes to dentistry I’m just overly analytical and critical, I know hehe 🙂
Debbie Buskirk says
We will need a cleaning soon. Prior to your post I would have NEVER ventured into Mexico for treatment. Your post was very reassuring. We may give them a try. thank you!
Excellent! Do let me know how your experience goes.
DO NOT USE SANI!! I had work done there and had problems the next day. I paid several thousand dollars no had bridge work done on top. They rushed the job, forced me to extend trip by 2 days and still I left worried. In less than a year the bridge FELL OUT! They didn’t do the root canals they charged for, the posts were eroded when the bridge came out and I’ve been told by several American dentists they didn’t perform the bridge install right. They took too much tooth away and it didn’t make a seal. Which caused problems before the bridge came out like food underneath and more toothaches than before I went in. I just went back and checked tourism building. Its first building when crossing border, they show complaints on every business there. Sani had 3x more complaints than anyone else. I would not recommend anyone to use Sani at all!! If you can afford it, use Dr. Magaña. He is on left side next to purple pharmacy. He is more expensive but he “runs” the dental work down there. The street peddlers told me they would lose their job if he caught them stealing potential patients. My aunt had work done. He took his time, did the work himself(very important! Most use trainees or younger dentists after they collect the cash) and has been practicing in same location since 1969.
Good to know. Thanks for chiming in about your experience.
Diane A. says
I am going to have to agree regarding Sani. My experience there was less than satisfactory :(. I had 8 crowns done including my four front upper teeth as well as several filling replacements.
My experience is that:
1. They will attempt to upsell you more crowns and/or fillings than you actually need.
2. My dentist was (I found out too late) not only extremely young but poorly paid – so much so that he could not afford a car and had to bicycle to work. Much too late I suspected he was either a student or very recent graduate.
3. One of the dentists working on me was paying FAR more attention to a soccer match on television than my mouth.
4. Two years after the work had been done two of the rear molar crowns have cracked and I will be going back to have then redone – to a different dentist of course! I am considering the Bernal Clinic at this time.
In addition to the above the front teeth crowns did not match my original teeth. They are significantly wider than my original teeth which gives me (in my opinion) a fake appearance. Several of the crowns were positioned poorly and took me many months to get used to – those were the ones which eventually cracked.
I would not recommend Sani to anyone based upon my experience.
Thanks for sharing your experience on Sani.
Followup : I’m in bed this evening in Yuma after my first visit to Bernal. One of the crowns done by Sani Dental 20 months ago and one of the teeth which was filled by Sani had to be replaced. Both were infected. One crown required a root canal and the other filled tooth required extraction 🙁 due to a full radial crack. Each tooth procedure was the result of bad dental work by Sani leading to eventual infection.
I “saved” a little money up front by going there but in the end I lost a tooth and will now have to pay down the road for an implant. I am ending up paying more than what Sani charged me in repair work less than two years later. Sani Dental is DEFINITELY NOT worth it.
Raquel Garcia says
Thanks Delano, for alerting people about the bait and switch Sany Dental group operates. I also had a horrible experience. Your first stop with Mikel Estepan who gives you the diagnosis, and a string of unnecessary dental work, then you are referred to basically an intern who does not know what she is doing. I had two front upper teeth replaced which I did not want to do at the time, which according to the dentists here in the U.S. they did not have to be removed as there is another procedure anyway I ended up with two Burro front teeth. I wanted to have two porcelain crowns replaced well they grounded a third tooth which was not supposed to come off, the crowns they placed were so bad, my outer gum was practically folded and the inner gum totally exposed. I had pain day and night, could not go to work for one month because the pain was so severe, took 800 mg Ibuprofen every 8 hours for 30 days. I emailed Sany Dental one and a half week after the dental work, they did not respond, I emailed again a week later, they did not respond until one week later. We made an appointment to return, I asked for another Dentist. Well on the way there I began reading some reviews about all Los Algodones dentist which I should have done initially, I was terrified, to make a long story short what should have cost $480 is now $3000. My husband also was told by Estepan of needing 11 crowns, well our new dentist told him that he only needs 3 crowns. When I first went to Sany Dental before they did any work on me, I told at least 25 different families about this dental clinic, well I had to call all and notify them not to go because in my opinion they are the most dishonest dental place I have ever experienced. I would not recommend Sany dental to my worst enemy. In my opinion they shoot themselves on the foot, if they were honest, they would have people line up outside their door.
Agata Nicols says
Would not recommend Sani Dental. They just want to sell sell sell and don’t really care what you came for. I specifically asked for a deep cleaning appointment for two people with two dentists at the same time. I was told, no problem there are 30 dentists so they can do the procedure at the same time, I was told it will take about 2 hours. My appointment was at 12:30PM. I arrived at the border at 12:15, was told to wait for pickup although clinic was just two blocks away and had to wait in the sun for 15 minutes or so and would have walked there in 5. Registered and even though I submitted my own x-rays only 2 months old I was told I have to have an x-ray. When I inquired about a LANAP procedure the person (Dr. Santiago?) who was doing the consultation told me this was the best for me and that it will not require me to have my gums cut as deep cleaning would. I asked him if he should perhaps check my pocket depth, which he did in about 5 minutes without really probing that much. My gums usually bleed and I just had them checked by two hygienists one in US and one in Canada and I had several pockets over 6 and a couple over 8. The doctor (or consultant) at Sani Dental was reading very quickly 443 334 etc, this wasn’t at all a normal probing, my friend who also booked a deep cleaning as advised by US dentist was quoted for her crowns, bridges and implants without even a mention of cleaning or checking her gums for health and when she decided to only have cleaning done, she waited about one hour and got a regular $30 cleaning done that does not even come close to a regular cleaning in US. It was already 2.5 hours after the initial appointment time and I was told that my LANAP can be done in 90 minutes and it may take 2 hours, at which point I said I just want deep cleaning done so at least I won’t waste my trip, nobody was available at this clinic so they walked me to another Sani outlet where I was told it will be half an hour, I wanted to walk away and then he said maybe only 20 minutes, needless to say an hour later, at around 4:00 PM my friend was done with her “regular” cleaning and I wasn’t even started, so I decided to walk away. I asked for electronic copies of my xray as the printout we got for $60 USD was not the best quality and was told I will get it by email tomorrow. I had to pay $60 for the x-rays I didn’t ask for. I wasted the whole day and came out with nothing. Is this clinic even licensed to do LANAP? I asked what kind of laser and couldn’t get an answer, there is not even one diploma of any of the dentist anywhere. I am very disappointed with this clinic and will certainly try to warn as many people as possible about my experience.
I have recently been told I need three (3) root canals at a cost of over $4,000 so I really appreciate all your good reviews and recommendations on your blog. These three root canals that I will need are due to the sloppy work of an American dentist in April of 2006. So maybe I will have better luck with the dentists in Mexico. I will be sure to submit a review if I do get work done in Los Algodones.
DO let us know how your experience goes. I wish you the best of luck with everything!
I have been going to Los Algodones for about 7 years now. I have always gone to Dr Gabriel Garcia (why do people hesitate to give the name of their dentist?) BUT NOT ANYMORE!! He was great in the beginning, but in the last couple of years his office has completely changed. He used to take great xrays, high tech pictures, explain everything he was doing….Now, he has another MAN, I don’t even know if he’s licensed, slip into the chair and start working on a root canal. No introduction, no explaining who he is. And all of a sudden it seems EVERYTHING is a needed root canal. I kept getting the feeling that something was shifty, like if he was going to keep a root canal guy there, then maybe he promised him so many root canals a day or something… Anyway. The X-ray machine is gone, the quality work is gone too. He actually took a picture of my molar with a hand held camera! So that he could show me what was wrong….I couldn’t see anything in that pic. Very sad since he used to be a trusted dentist. My new crown looks like it was made by a child.
So! I need to return to get my next crown finished and am not sure who to go to. Some suggestions please??? I’m leaving in 4 days. 🙁
Thanks for the forum!
Very sad to hear, but I really appreciate you sharing your feedback.
I really liked our dentist Dr.Eva Urena. She was very personable. She will send you out for a root canal, but will do the crown in house. The Bernal Group also seems to get good reviews.
I sent Dr Urena an e-mail 10 days ago but never heard back. Does her office use e-mail? Makes me hesitate when a Dr’s office doesn’t check their e-mail in this day and age. Thanks.
Hmmmm. Don’t know. I arranged my appt by phone so never tried the email route.
Thanks very much for the recommendation! I called her office and they set up an appt for me for Fri morning. I said I was hoping to leave for home on Sat, so the receptionist called the lab for me to see if they could do my crown in that time, called me back promptly to say yes. I’ll let you know how it goes. For anyone else reading these posts, it really helps sharing your experiences, good and bad, including the Dentist’s names, so that other’s feel a little less frightened about going. Not bashing a dentist, but giving an honest account of your experience is so helpful.
Be careful when reading the posts tho, I have seen some forums where they have been compromised by either the dentist’s office or friend’s of the dentist portraying themselves as clients.
Excellent. DO let us know what you think of your experience with her. Like you said sharing is a good thing and helps others to make their decision.
Does anybody know anything about Sani Dental Group?
I was also wondering about Sani Dental Group. They’re the ones I’m leaning towards. I will most likely need a root canal and I’d like to know if they do it in the office.
Also, did you need any pain medication after your procedure? I was wondering if they prescribe medication if the person has extensive dental work done, and needs the medicine.
Delano posted earlier not a good review about Sani. I have been trying to get a quote from Dental Americano but no reply
I posted our Algodones experiences but wanted to update with information that is current as of July 2013–we have a friend in Yuma (a local business owner) who decided to use Sani for his dental implants. He was already in an upper denture and wanted something fixed. Long story short, it has been a complete nightmare for him. They convinced him to try their new procedure with 4 implants to hold an entire upper denture. After a very painful insertion of 4 implants (according to him) the temporary denture they made him (denture on top of new implants) looked like something out of a bad cartoon–he could not talk, eat, or chew normally, and was spitting when he tried to talk. We saw him with this in place and it was pretty bad. He went back after a week and told them he could to tolerate it, and when they went to adjust it, one of the new implants came out with it. Now he is in his old upper denture, with 3 implants trying to heal underneath it (not ideal), and still needs a new 4th implant redone. Truly a nightmare experience for him, plus he said it was very painful. Continue to do your homework before you decide what to do and where to do it.
Sorry to hear it. DO you know which (specific) dentist your friend used at Sani? My understanding is that it’s one of the larger clinics and so they have several different dentists in there?
Diane A. says
This is the problem with Sani. They use MANY different dentists which vary from time to time, season to season. There is no consistency or reliability on whom you may get or the quality of their work.
Once they have your money in hand – which they do up front prior to any work beginning – my experience was that their attitude towards me changed quite a bit in that they seemed less attentive to me – much less. I went to Sani in August of ’12 and will have to go back to a different dentist to get 2 (possibly 3 ) crowns redone.
Nina, I went to see the person I wrote about here, and asked him if he remembered his dentist’s name so I could tell a friend who to avoid. He is literally so terrified of dental work he kind of goes on “automatic” when he is there, and he says he does not remember the name of the dentist. I kind of prodded a him a bit more (“Are you SURE you don’t remember?”) and he says he really does not, but that it was a woman dentist and he saw the same dentist each time. And it was definitely Sani Clinic. Sorry I can’t get more details than that.
Thank you very much. That helps a lot
Jane Thompson says
I was actually in that same clinic (Sani Dental), and my experience wasn’t like that at all… I have several implants placed by Dr. Barragan and I loved it, well, as much as you can love going to the dentists , lol.
Everyone in the clinic was very kind and understanding, there was one lady in front of us complaining for everything and they had to deal with her, I was afraid Dr. Barragan were upset but he was great, very professional.
I’m not sure what happen with Delano’s treatment (and I’m not saying it’s not true) but I am very gratefull with Sani Dental and I don’t think is fair for them to have people thinking they are not a professional dental clinic.
Thanks for the feedback. I find there’s very varying info out there and it’s always good to hear from folks who had a face-to-face experience. In “general” I’ve heard good things about Sani Dental, although you will certainly see negative comments too. My understanding is that they have several dentists there (is that right?) so it makes sense to ask for a specific person. In the larger clinics asking for specific dentists (by name) rather than just making a general appointment is definitely recommended. Seems your experience w/ Dr. Barragan went well.
Does anyone have information on where to get hearing aids, and I was also hoping to get my leather car upholstery repaired. I haven’t found any information on these things.
Five months ago, I had an excellent experience in Algodones getting a deep cleaning and cavity filled. The dentist was extremely kind and competent. I will post her name soon–let’s see if this post goes through. Thank you so much for this blog and all the comments.
Su Devan says
I came upon yr blog while looking for information on getting dental work in Mexico. I have an implant and after much looking into – I’ll need to be there for about 3 wks or so. Since I do not do RV – I’ll be paying for lodgings and if I factor that inot the cost – would it be wiser to have it sone in Seattle where I live? I could use some feedback.
Have not looked into local lodging, so can’t really answer you. My recommendation would be to check out local prices. You may find that some places offer weekly or monthly deals that still make the trip worthwhile. Do let us know what you find out.
Diane A. says
A lot of people stay in the motel 6. Since I’m usually pretty miserable during dental work I decided to treat myself and stayed at the Yuma Hilton which (still) runs about $100 an evening and I have to tell you that the place is FANTASTIC! Comfy beds … incredible service and people, great restaurant so you don’t have to travel around for food and a fun bar in which to drown your toothy sorrows 🙂 I highly recommend it if it fits within your budget – a great place to just squirrel away and heal up.
Excellent tip. Cheers for the feedback.
You can check the adds, craigslist, newspaper for short term rentals. I remember getting a 2 bedroom 1 bath older (1970’s) mobile home for 3 weeks and I think it was about $300.00. Motel 6 is about $50 a night for a single. Look in the foothills area for a rental. If you go too far into the Snowbird season, you will pay more for rent. I think the Casino @ Algodones exit is about $100.00 a night. If you are going to fly, I recommend using another airport other than Yuma. Every flight to/from Yuma is about twice as much as a normal airport. Southwest fly’s into San Diego(about 2hr 45 min away) and Tucson (about 4 hrs). They do have some sort of a shuttle to and from Phoenix. I see em driving around town all the time.
Cheers for the info! Nina
Thx! I’ll see what i can find. Su
Love to know the reason of picking “Los Algodones”, instead of Mexicali, Tecate and Tijuana.”
For us quite simply because it’s on our usual winter route and has good RV boondocking on the US side. Many other places you can go in Mexico for good care
My daughter is in need of dental work and was looking into a Tijuana dentist named Dr Guillermo Lim’on Avila in Tijuana he also has a clinic in San Lucas and Cabo it says he’s board-certified I was wondering if anybody had any information or any reviews she’s very nervous about going and has been saving for a very long time would really appreciate any information thank you
Wayne Randall says
My experience at Sani Dental Group was almost perfect. They have many specialists, all staff is very friendly and their lodging service at their hacienda hotel in Los Algadones was a wonderful experience, I could recommend this dentists and hotel to anyone, I had two all on four treatments done six months ago and I’m very happy, is nice to have a fixed teeth again 🙂
Thanks for sharing your experience!
Nicole Silverstein says
What a beautiful new smile! Congratulations! Looks like you had a great job in Mexico.
I just want to share my experience, I didn’t have my dental implants done so close to home, I chose a Clinic a little further south in beautiful and sunny Cancun. My husband wanted to go somewhere for vacation and I really needed work done on my teeth, so we decided to go to Cancun.
I can say I’m absolutely happy with my decision, Dr. German Arzate form Cancun Cosmetic Dentistry is A-MA-ZING. We called the clinic before we left for the US and we already knew how much we would be asked to pay and for how long I would have to stay there. There were no nasty surprises, no scams, nothing!
Here’s their website: http://www.cancuncosmeticdentistry.com/dental-implants-mexico.html
Thanks for sharing your experience! Have never been to Cancun, but heard many good things about the place. Looks like dentistry is good there too.
Those of you looking for feedback on specific providers, make sure to read the comments after Part 1, too. That’s where I posted since I hadn’t found Part II yet.
Good point shonya1121. Comments are getting spread out between the 2 posts.
Great write up. I would seriously consider Mexico for any dental work my insurance plan would not cover. A quick search with Google Maps Streetview shows there are dentist offices on every street corner.
Yup, there is pretty much a dentist on every corner. It’s choosing which one that’s the hard part.
WOW ! What a great blog, just happened upon this page by chance as I was looking for Dentistry in Los Algodones. Had a friend who had crown work done there and had a great experience and thought I should go down. He was traveling in his RV and was staying in Yuma and needed work done and went without any reservations. He couldn’t remember the Dentist and did not do any research, scary especially after reading your part1 section. I would love to hear from anyone who could highly recommend a Dentist preferably a specialist with lots of implant experience. I saw the one comment about Dr. Mario Garibay and was wandering if any of your other readers have used him for implants and to hear about your experiences and if any of you have used other Dentists in the same area “Los Algodones” for implants and what your experiences have been and to mention their name.
I am in need of 8 implants and 12 crowns.
I have not personally had any implants done in Mexico, but maybe some of our other readers will chime in with their experiences.
not sure if I can be still helpful as your comment is from last year. I got my implants with Dr. Mario Garibay and he has done a great job. A friend recommended me this dentist. He also got implants with him and was satisfied.
I know this is late to respond about Dr. Mario Garibay, but I just finished up extensive dental work with him 12 implants and I think it was 17 crowns. I highly recommend him. He has a small office and yes he doesn’t have a CAT scan machine in his office (sends you two blocks away to get, no biggie) and he sends the lab work out, BUT he does excellent work. I have been recommending him to everyone I know. I never could of afforded the implants in the U.S. way to expensive. I am so happy that I found Dr. Garibay. I like the small office where he actually gets to know you and you’re not like on an assembly line. I am exceptionally satisfied with my dental work!!
Hey Donna I was so happy to see a recent post on this subject! I am just now looking into getting some cosmetic dental work: veneers vs crowns etc. can you tell me more about your experience with Dr Garibay? Can you tell me where you stayed and your comfort level crossing into Mexico etc? Please feel free to add anything you feel pertinent to the experience. I’ve had cancer and my treatments have effected my teeth and I’m hoping to get some work to feel like myself again. Thanks in advance!
I had no problems crossing the border. There is a huge parking lot, which charges $6 a day. You park there and just walk right across the border. There are tons of people standing around asking if you need dental, eyeglasses or hearing aids. Just say no thank you and keep walking. They don’t bug you after you say no thank you. I stay at the Best Western in Yuma and book my room through “last Minute Travel Club” and it was $69 a night. Breakfast is included and its a hot buffet style (scrambled eggs, bacon, biscuits, gravy, cereal, toast, bagels, sweet rolls, fresh fruit, yogurt, juices and coffee.
Dr. Mario Garibay has a small dental office, but he has the same equipment you find in the states. He uses high quality implants. You need to read up on implants and what are the best ones to use. You don’t want to go the cheapest route because those companies may go out of business. His prices on his website are what he charges except I got a bit more of a discount because I was having a lot of dental work done. Feel free to contact him and get an idea of what it’ll cost for what you’re having done, tell him I recommended him. BUT, also check out a few of the other dentist people here have mentioned so you can compare prices.
I just paid $3000 for a root canal, post and crown in Seattle WA today so I’m researching Los Algodones dentists (again) and I found this video featuring some of the local doctors and facilities http://www.smileagain.mx/ (granted it is a promo video) Many of my friends (perhaps coincidentally they tend to be wealthier individuals who could afford to have their work done stateside if they wanted to) go to Mexico for all their dental work and they all are very happy with the results but I have to admit I’m still chicken to go fearing I’ll be the one to get the bad dentist! I’m in AZ often and when I lived in Surprise AZ I remember buses leaving daily to take patients to Los Agodones. I think I’ll go down in person in December to look at the facilities myself and I’ll report back.
When you come to the area ask around for specific recommendations. That’s usually a good way to start. Many of the RVers we meet in Yuma are “regulars” to Mexico for dentistry and will happily give you a recommendation.
We also went to Los Algodones to get our dental work there. We spend our winters in Yuma and friends from our RV park recommended us a dentist in Los Algodones and it was just GREAT. The work he did on both of us was PERFECT and we are very happy now with our new smile :D.
His name is Dr. Mario Garibay and that’s his website: http://www.softdentalcare.com
Thanks very much for sharing the link for your dentist (and for the feedback).
I went to Dr. Eva Urena this week and was happy with the treatment I received. One extraction, bone graft, stitches, xray and meds plus two other fillings, cleaning and exam totaled four hundred something.
Outstanding! Happy to hear you had a good experience!
Just wanted to let you know that 4 xrays on a redo of a root canal indicates that the dentist is being careful, making sure that he’s got all the previous gutta percha out, making sure he’s cleaned and filled to the apex of the tooth, and making sure his final result is a well sealed tooth with no gutta percha extruding and that the seal is not short. The only way a dentist can see into a tooth is with xrays. Sounds like he was doing a good job.
Well, that’s good to know. Everything is still fine a year later so I assume the job was well done.
Oh my gosh! Nina….such a wonderful service you are providing here on your blog! I must admit that dental work in Mexico would not have been top on my list to do, but thanx to you and all your wonderful followers it WILL be as soon as we hit the road. At this point, we are still home bound but next year hope to join all of you on the road….can really hardly wait. In the meantime, hanging out on your blog with all the exceptional information you and others offer will be tucked away for future reference! THANK YOU ALL!
So happy my blog is helpful to folks. That’s exactly the intent. Good luck on your road-plans!
I’m about to start my dental trip. I did look at Los Algodones and other places in MX but I decided to head down to Costa Rica. I leave first week of January and will be there for a couple weeks. I started a very simple and amateurish looking blog to chronicle my journey in case anyone wants to follow. Nina I hope it’s ok to post my blog url but if not I understand and thus no hard feelings if you decided not to allow this post.
What a wonderful discussion. I need 6 implants done. Any discussions anywhere about getting dental treatment done in Tijuana ? I’m in Los Angeles and both Los Algodones and Tijuana are closeish but Tijuana is an hour closer. Also I thought a major city would be a better bet ? Again a great discussion.
I’ve heard of people going to Tijuana for dental work with good results. Don’t have any names to give you, unfortunately, but you I would recommend checking into it some more. There are possibilities there, for sure.
Marty Thomas says
I saw your posting from Dec 2013 about finding a dentist in TJ. Did you find a dentist, and if so, will you give me some info? Altho I have found TJ dentists and have contacted them for prices, I don’t know how to check their credentials.
Thx for any info you can give me.
Came across your blog looking to see if Mexico dentists are for real… les expensive and good dentists. Read all of the above…thank you for all the info. I swear, I have seen more dentists than I ever wanted to my whole life! Good and bad,! I NEED lots of work done, not even sure where to begin. My dentist in Montana lives in the big gorgeous house on the hill I swear, due to 40 years of my payments to him and 6 kids who have great teeth, but I am the one with problems! This is the first year of our new life in a motor home! Yup, sold our house and now wintering in mesa. Our new found friends here in the rv park told us about Los Algadones. I had no idea one could go to Mexico and get waaay less expensive good work done there. Just paid $400. For a redo on a filling in Montana…I think there is problems with it…had a root canal done on it years ago but couldn’t afford a crown..no ins. So had it refilled… needs an implant..We are newbies to this retirement thing, on a fixed income, soooooo…I am reading EVERYTHING I can on this subject, and really hesitant about Mexico. Our park neighbor did mention Dr. Gabriel Garcia as his trusted dentist down there, but I see a review here that is not so good…hmmm I’ll keep reading, but dental work is eminent:( dont know anyone much here in Az. Just hi and bye to the local rv rz. 2 dogs to worry about if we do go to Los Algadones. Thanks for listning!
Nina, thanks for sharing your experiences. I found your blog from searching for dental work in MX. First I was thinking of Tijuana, but now I have changed my mind to Los Algodones. The only problem is it does not sound like too many people cross the border for dental implants, which is what I need. I am 6 hrs away but will keep researching. Thanks for the blog.
Actually tons of people go for implants in Los Algodones and almost every dentist there (including ours) offer the procedure. We haven’t needed any ourselves, but have met many others who’ve had them done.
Someone named Wendy mentioned Dr Ivan Gaspar and Dr. Luis Escobar, but did not mention what town they are in. She also mentioned Hacienda Hotel. There was no “reply” button on her comment. If it is a legit comment, I would be interested in knowing what town. Of course, as with all sites, it could be someone marketing for that hotel/those doctors, but if so seems they would have mentioned the actual location. lol. Wendy, if you see this, where are those doctors located?
All are located in Los Algodones, Mexico.
Have read both part 1 and part 2 lots of good info. I sure do appreciate all the time you have put into this.
I am looking for implant work but there seams to be little info about implants. I have 5 now (US dentist) but am a little sick of the $3000 each and $1600 for crown. I have looked but it seems that there is not very much info on what Dentist do the best work in Mexico. I want to stay in Los Algodones area because I am staying in Desert Hot Springs about 143 miles. Not RVing at this time but if needed will hotel over night. Any help will be very appreciated. Just interested in IMPLANTS…..
I would suggest starting your search with the same dentists I’ve listed in the post above. They all do implants and advertise them as part of their services. Have a look at their sites and google on the net for more feedback. Hope that gets you started.
Wow. What a loooong read. I read both I & II. As others have stated, this was an excellent review of dentistry in Mexico and is a great base for others to comment on. I need extensive work and the only reason I found you was I’m going to Mexico for the first time and was looking up “things to do in Mexico”. Medical procedures came up. As I have a permanent 7 tooth bridge that needs to be redone, this entire blog was wonderful. My sister wants to get a bridge, but depending upon the cost she may be able to have her molars replaced with implants rather than pulling her front teeth. I am sending her a link to this article. You have done a large number of people a great service. Thank you.
Was in Yuma today went to Mexico to find dentist to Makenzie bridge for same tooth you had. Only saw your post tonight. Are you still happy with the last doctor and her bridge work. Do you have recommendation for root canal
Thank you for part one and two about dental work in Algodones. Based on your posts and the comments I decided to travel from Seattle. Dr Juan Bernal replaced two crowns and replaced a broken tooth with a crown. Time will tell, but so far, I am very happy with my care from Dr Bernal, his assistant, and Juan, who runs the office. Initially my appointment was to prep the three teeth on Friday and place the crowns on Monday or Tuesday. Dr Bernal let me know that he preferred to work on one side of my mouth at a time and I am so happy that is how we proceeded. Three crowns in a day might have been a little overwhelming for me. All the work was completed in three appointments, ending Tuesday. Plan on spending some time in the area. It was part of our vacation. Make an appointment http://www.dentalbernal.com , bring a deposit, have a street taco at Lupita’s corner stand, and a cheap pedicure. Know that the hotels in Yuma fill up on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We followed one of your commentators advice and moved to LaFuente Inn for a change and we’re very happy. Also, Buffalo Wild Wings is a great place to watch the playoffs. The cost of the dental work was 14% of what I would have paid in the US.
Excellent! Thanks so much for reporting back with your experience and results! Good extra tips on where to stay and food too.
Kathy, 14% is just relative…can you share the total cost?
Also anyone find a bog/conversation pit about the activity/services in TJ….I Orange Co so closer could be better.
Great site her….thanks.
I recommend calling a few dentists for quotes. They are happy to do so in English and most have US phone numbers. Cost wasn’t the most important factor for me. Time played a factor as we were also paying for a hotel. It has been four months and I visited my US dentist for a cleaning. She recommended I take extra care cleaning near the crowns as the margins are rough. I continue to be satisfied with Dr. Bernal’s care. 3 crowns & 1 build up in MX = $680. US cleaning with 20% discount = $152.40
Thank you for all the valuable insight and for sharing your experience. My husband is needing to have his bridge repaired & I now feel confident about going to Los Algodones after reading your blog. We will try Dr. Urena based on your good experience with her.
Melissa Y says
I want to go to Los Algondones to do dental work. Never been to Mexico. I live in San Diego. I need a recommendation as to what dental doctor I should see? I need to do one dental implant. And probably more. Also, should I travel with company? Is it necessary?
You can choose any of the dentists that have been recommended in the post or the comments. No need to travel with company. Getting in and out of Los Algodones is super easy and very safe. I would not hesitate to go there alone. You’ll meet thousands of other folks doing the same thing too. Just remember to bring your passport.
Carmisha Dean says
Thank you soooooo much for all if the informative details of what things may be like if going to Mexico for dental work. For people like me, who are afraid to travel because of the unknown and can’t afford the expensive dental work here in the US, your detailed explanation of everything is heaven sent and gives more a perspective on what direction I’d like to take.
What a great resource. I wish I had thought to do research before I got a bridge done by the female dentist at Happy Smile. My sister in law got 20 caps done and both men in our group got full dentures. Within a day, the dentures chipped. They were redone and chipped again ( both). After 5 visits to the office, my husbands dentures were finally ok ( there went our holiday of a week!) . They are good to this day, almost a year later. My sister in laws caps started to come off and she has had to have them all redone! My bridge is ok, but it is not tight and I am thinking that I will need to have it redone. I should have followed my instinct the first time I sat down in their dentist chair and noticed how dirty everything seemed to be. Beware. In their defence, they did say the problem was with the lab, but I think after 2 chipped sets of dentures,you’d realize a problem, rather that waitiing for 4 chipped sets. We were not happy and will never return. I am very sesitive about dental work, and when I was tearing up and fussing, the female dentist called me “loco” under her breath, not realizing I understood her. So very unprofessional. The honey the father of the family sells outside is good though at 10 $ a jar.
Gosh, so sorry to hear about your horrible experience at Happy Smile. Thank you for reporting back on it.
I just got back from a trip to los algodones for dental work.I had a crown done, which seems okay, though the gm near it is very irritated. I also tried to have implants placed, and that was a nightmare. one of the implants broke as it was being placed, and the dentist didn’t know what to do about it for a bit. It didn’t help that the small office was busy, with patients waiting, and that he was hurrying. He drilled it out, removed the other one, placed bone grafting material, and sewed me up, very hastily. He said it was his error, and said he would refund the price, though not immediately, as my check to them was pending, but not yet clear. So i am home, and i hope they will refund me, but who knows. My mouth is a mess, and though I’d have paid a LOT more here, at this point it seems preferable. I did go to a young dentist, and i think he is very good, but implants are so technical and the procedure so delicate… others have had very good luck, but i did not.
Clara. Very sorry to hear of your bad experience. Can you share the name of the dentist you went to see?
Hello,In Yuma heading to Algodonnes in the morning for dental work .. DR. GARATE. Have had good experiences with him in the past. Question if you read this tonight….Does Algodonnes run on Mountain Time like Yuma. I know they are in Pacific Time zone but seems to me last year we were an hour early thinking they were on Pacific time!
All the dentists in Algodones operate on Arizona time (i.e. Mountain time). It’s a good question actually because we didn’t know this first time we went and almost missed our appointments.
Dr Bernal in Algodones operates on Arizona time.
Lulu Perez says
You have no idea how much all your info has help me I’d 2molars extracted last June, Dentist charged$975.00 his labs $1980.00 (i had a gum biopsy) the second lab $380.00 I have no dental insurance, paid ALL cash,imagine that! now I need to remove 2 more and a tooth crown my hubby also needs a cleaning and extraction, can you kindly povide me with Dra. Urena’s address and phone #, we reside in Casa Grande,AZ.we are planning to go there this upcoming weekeend.
Thank You in advance for all your cooperation and all of the above info.
Lulu Perez home #520-836-0624 cell 310-291-1435 if prefered.
Here’s her info:
Good luck with everything!
How did your visit with Dr Urena go? Could you please answer these questions below. I was on the fence whether to go down there next month to see her. Thank you for your time and feedback. Have a good one.
1) dental work done
2) total visits required
3) total cost
Read my post for the answers to all your questions. I’ve given work done, what I paid and year follow-up info (at bottom of the post)
Does anyone have experience going to Dental Garate in Los Algodones? Also, if we stay at a campground in Yuma in our motorhome (no car), is there a shuttle bus to Los Algodones from some of the campgrounds? Otherwise we will have to rent a car which we would prefer not to. Thanks for your input!
You mentioned that you had a crown done in march 2013 and there was an update a few months later. So it’s a year now, is it still ok.
I need 3 crowns and a root canal. I’ve been warned and read bad reports on root canals there. Many have had to be redone. I’m tempted to have the root canal done in canada and crowns on Los Algondones.
Curious to know if your crown is holding up.
Sure. I went back to Dr. Urena earlier this year. The crown still felt fine, but my gum-line had pulled back while the tooth healed (not an unusual problem) which might present a problem down the line. Dr. Urena offered to re-do the crown for $100. So, that’s what I did. It feels good & I’m still happy with her work & the results.
Here’s the post where I went back to Dr. Urena this year:
I live in the San Diego area and was thinking about getting my crowns done in Tijuana. Can anybody suggest a dentist there?
If anyone needs to know a good dentist, know that i chose castle dental, due to the fact that they are actually a Preferred provider of my american insurance (guardian dental). The entire staff at castle dental was just great. Roberto was the dentist that saw after me, and he was just magical. I had an extraction and bone graft, one crown, 3 fillings. After anesthetics wore off, i had zero pain. I go back in 1 month excited to receive their comfort and support once again, for an implant, another crown and extraction of 3 wisdom teeth.
Castle Dental Website: http://dentistinalgodonesmexico.com/
Thanks for the feedback on your experience.
Hi Nina ~ this blog is so awesome! Thank you for taking the time to do it. I had a question about your link on what to bring with us to Mexico, and in that link it said something about having to pay $200 for a non-immigrant status? I am planning to go down to have an implant placed. The one that my regular dentist in CO put in failed, which was about $6000, and now they want another $6000 to do it again! So I figure what have I got to lose?
The Non-Immigrant Right (DNI) only applies to folks who are staying longer-term in Mexico. The cost listed in the link is ~200 pesos (it may be more now), not US$. If you’re just going in for the day you do not need to pay anything.
Last week we traveled to Los Algodones and I went to Dental Garate. Two crowns, and a lower permanent bridge replacing my partial were made. The first day was the prep work and the second day was to put them in. Overall the experience was a good one. No problem getting back into US as it was early enough in the day. We understand from talking to others if it is later in the day the lines can be quite long waiting an hour and a half to go through. The second day we left later than the fist at 1:30 and got right through. We drove our motorhome and stayed in Yuma, Arizona, at Shady Acres RV Park, rented a car to drive back and forth. Even with the price of gas, RV park fees, car rental, it was cheaper than having the work done in the US.
Cheers for reporting back on your experience!
Just read your two posts regarding dental work in Los Algondones, posted in March, 2013. You mentioned you’d do an update. If you have, how do I best find it. If you’ve not, would you consider doing one or sending me a update? I have had two implant posts done at a cost of $5k and am a month or so from being cleared for the crowns. It’s crazy expensive, the crowns alone are another $2k each. Additionally, I have a tooth which likely needs a crown (it’s breaking apart slowly and being refilled) which I would also pursue. I came to you blog for the dental info but find myself loving the whole thing. Regards and happy trails. Tman
It’s June 2014, and Yuma is hotter than blazes. I have a couple of root canals and crowns that I need to have done this month. I will give your dentist a shot at having them done, and pray for good results. Crowns are outrageously expensive here in Los Angeles. I will get a room instead of trailering down the 21 foot travel trailer for a few days.
BTW, is it worth filling up with ultra low sulfur diesel in Los Aldogones? Anyone have a current price per gallon?
I have faith in Dr. Urena… the crack in my molar is identical tooth, on the left side, in my mouth, crack almost appears identical too, in shape, outer side of tooth is gone, extending to the back of my jaw, to your symptoms.
Tina Martin says
Loved your dental info. Will share it with a friend who needs dental work. I lived in Mexicali in Feb. – May 2014 with a family I know there. I wrote some thoughts about day-tripping and was wondering how I could start a blog about my travels? Also, I am searching for a low-cost place to stay on or near the coast in Baja, either a trailer, RV or rental house/condo. Do you have any suggestions on cheap rent? I don’t need Hilton style, just a clean little place to call home for 4 to 6 months. Thank you for any suggestions you may have. Tina M.
Xrays, and 2 root canals… $780, June 10th.
endodontics root canal treatment by Dr. Armando Hernandez Mejia, referred by Eva Urena D.D.S. 619 866 6992. You can say Randy sent you. Bring cash, and know that Bank of America has closed up shop in Yuma, AZ, in May, so don’t count on getting cash out of them unless you like paying a banking fee for the convenience of using another banks teller. $2.50 here, $2.00 there, it all adds up. They sure like taking and storing your money, but like to charge you a fee to get it back from them… Just saying.
Can you please give me the contact information or website for Dr. Ivan Gaspar Cuevas?
I am based in Estevan Saskatchewan and would like to know if anyone can recommend dentist in Mexico for a full mouth restoration.I need 22 crowns and 4 implants.Very nervous as to who to trust
Can anyone recommend a good dentist in Los Algodones that takes insurance (Denti-Cal). I know there’s some dentists that have their billing in California. Please advise
Rodney Turner says
I went to los Algodones on 06/30/2014 to see Dr. Adolfo Cabrera. He was recommened by the father of a very good friend that has been going to see him for extensive work for the last 7 years. I would also recommend this dentist because of the great service I received so far. I would also recommend using the pharmacies while in town. I bought a bottle of 100 amoxicillin 400MG for just $4.19 without a prescription.
He was very professional and done a great job. His office staff were very nice and the dental offices were very clean. I had 1 cracked upper jaw tooth and 3 cavitys done. I also had a deep cleaning and all my silver fillings replaced with white enamel fillings.They took my dental insurance through Guardian and I paid nothing out of pocket. I am going back down to have another quadrant completed on Monday and will continue till all my teeth are complete. I will end up with nothing but white enamel filling and all the cavitys taken care of by my 4th visit. I really was very impressed with the service and he took lots of care to make sure I was not in pain. Good luck on your dental work in Mexico.
Anna loh says
Rodney, it’s been 2 years now since your visit to Dr Adolfo Cabrera. Are you still happy with his work? I have Delta Dental insurance … wonder if they take that too. Thank you.
What great information. So based on what I’ve read in the threads I’ve decided to book an appointment for a root canal with Dr. Javier Rochin who works in Dr. Bernal’s office. However when I called Dr. Bernal’s office I found out he is on vacation until August sometime. AND that he has another office now so he is not in Dr. Bernal’s office very often now. I’ve tried to locate his new office phone number but have had no luck online. Does anyone have any suggestions on when I might find Dr. Javier Rochlins office phone number? It’s great there are so many well informed people here… Thanks all!
Well after all information here I have decided to travel to sani dental in august for a full mouth make over.So far I have been given a price of 8000cad for roughly 15 crowns and 3 implants so thank you everyone and I will inform all how it goes
Los Algodones expérience up-date. In April 2014 I had 2 implants , three crowns re-done and a root canal. The three dentists who did work on me were very nice and seemed quite well trained. Now it is 3 months later, I returned to my regular US Dentist because I keep getting food stuck around the new crowns, and the gingiva is so tender next to one that I can’t chew in that area. It turns out that the implants were placed well, but with an antiquated technique that will require cutting open the area for the next step. The current technique used at UCLA and in Los Angeles area is to put a cap on top of the implant so when it is time for the crown, the dentist just removes that cap. . .no more cutting and healing. The bigger problem is with my crowns. It turns out that my expensive gold crowns do NOT fit at the margins, and food is going UNDER the new crowns and getting stuck around them and causing my gums to be puffy, sore and to bleed easily. Since the dentists in Los Algodones offer “insurance” that they will “fix” any problems, now , do I trust them to “fix” these crowns? To re-do them? I await your comments and the advice of my US dentist. ALSO, I had a scan done before I went to Los Algodones. The implant dentist put an implant in one area and then removed it after x-raying it. He said that it wasn’t a “good location” for an implant, but come to find out, it went right into a sinus. If I had had that work done in the US they would have moved the sinus up, let it heal, and then do the implant.
Just found out I will need my first implant, same tooth as yours. So upon your glowing recommendation, and those of other RVers, I am going to give Dra. Ureña a try in October. Note the eñe (ñ) in her name…
i have read both Parts I and II with interest and apprciation. Thank you! I have noticed that several people have asked for referrals from patients who have had veneers but I was unable to find any responses. I did read about one satisfied patient who had her work done while she and her husband were in Cancun. Although it is quite tempting to contemplate a holiday in this exotic resort area, it is not feasible for me at this time. Donsequently, I would greatly appreciate it if patients who have had veneers done in Los Algodones, Tijuana, or Nogales would please share their experiences, the cost, the name and location of their dentist, and how to reach her or him if they are satisfied with the results.
Kriya Monaghan says
Has anyone had veneers done in Tijuana, Los Algodones, or Nogales, please?
I found a user whose dental work was done by “Gabriela Bastidas” left an eMail address on tripadvisor Sep 05, 2011, 2:48 PM.
So I eMailed that address(fingers crossed) and ask “her experience years later.” I don’t have her permission to post the reply. So I just post the important part. I believe this is very valuable information to be shared.
I would not recommend the dentist I saw, Dr. Gabriela Bastidas. One of my implants went in at an angle, which I didn’t find out about until later when I went for a cleaning with my local dentist. This does happen also in the U.S. so it isn’t unusual. The porcelain crown started chipping so she replaced the crown. The 2nd crown didn’t fit correctly, and it wasn’t smooth. Although lots of people in the waiting room seemed to be happy with her work. I personally would not go back to her.
I went to Dr. Sergio Bernal in Rio Luis.
The following link provides info and pictures:
I had 11 teeth pulled, temporary denture, and a 4 tooth crown installed.
First I must tell you that at no time did I have pain or feel any discomfort.
He is very humorous. While he was doing an exam on my wife I asked the cost for her procedures he looks at me and says teeth are bad trade her off for a better women. While working on me I tensed up prior to getting shot he says relax your in Mexico now this will hurt like hell.
He is very efficient. I just walked in within 2 hours had my lower prepped for crown and impression upper and lower. Next day he pulls 10 upper teeth installs lower bridge and places upper denture all done in 1.5 hrs. Wife had 3 implants done. Total cost $ 2400.00.
I was quoted over $ 8000.00 for my work alone.
I can recommend him highly. His English is excellent.
He is located straight up the street as you enter 1 block on the left. Look for molar tooth on side walk.
US dentists need to visit here to find a better way.
Thanks very much for reporting back on your experience.
I took the chance and went to Sani Group, what a great way to go. I had Dr Paul who not only was very aware of my needs/fears he also explained everything before doing it and took a long time going slow for me to relax. He gave me a few choices that he recommend – pointing out the plus/minus of each and what would be $50k in USA is about $11k of 5 implants and 21 crowns.
David, How are you feeling about your Sani work, now ?
Has anyone had any work done in Guadalajara or Puerto Vallarta?? Going on vacation soon and need a few implants and root canals done.
Thank you so much for the informative blog. I am in search of referrals for LANAP laser gum surgery. My dentist in Montana wants $6000 for four quads. I simply can’t afford it. Does anyone have any experience with this? I have made one inquiry with Circle Dental and was told to see Dr. Barron. Thank you for any help.
Patti Stratford says
Awesome blog. Thanks so much for all the contributions!
My husband and I finished treatment yesterday at Sani Dental. I have mixed emotions….
My work: For the most part, I’m happy with what was done. I had 5 fillings on molars, which all appear to be just fine (thank you, Dr. Omar, a gentle man with easy touch and very reassuring).
The following day, I had a single implant …. so far, so good. A slight swelling, which is to expected. But not sore at all and I’m 3-4 days out from surgery. I’ve had another implant (in the US) and the site was sore for days. Again, I don’t remember the surgeon’s name but I think he did a great job.
Friday (yesterday) I had two additional fillings on both canine teeth and am pleased, for the most part. I’m sorry that I don’t remember the name of the female dentist who performed this work. What I’ll say is that she took her time, which I appreciated. That said, the first fill that she attempted to place was no where near the color of my teeth …. t’was a horrible yellow color so I asked for something lighter. She obliged and I’m pleased with the result. (Note: When I’ve had work done in the states, my dentists have ALWAYS taken careful measure to ensure that the fillings, crowns, etc., matched the teeth next to them, so I was surprised that she didn’t do this to start with). Still, all’s well that ends well.
My husband: Wow. Wish he’d had my dentists. He had 12 crowns and the initial grinding into his gums was torture. Is this customary? He had crowns placed the next day and they are yellow…not at all like his other teeth. Thanks goodness they are all in the back of his mouth! What’s with the lack of color selection? Further, no gave him the option of solid porcelain crowns so he has metal with porcelain cover…again, is this the norm? His crowns were sent to another lab and that was a time-consuming process.
My doc in the states has a CAD machine that makes all porcelain crowns on-site. Alas, it’s expensive, which is why we came to Mexico.
1. You’ll wait, even if you have an appointment. If you can avoid it, don’t come when the snow birds are in town (late October – February’ish); it’s a zoo because so many people are seeking treatment. Summer months are a bit less frenzied but still you’ll wait.
2. ASK: Know what treatment you need ahead of time, if possible, so you can make intelligent choices. Ask what options are available; don’t assume that what you are told is the only option. Listen to the doctors advice, then use what you know, too, to get the best treatment.
3. Prices are somewhat negotiable, though we didn’t have to ask for discounts — they were offered. 10% veterans, free laser treatment with an implant. Check Sani’s website for others.
4. Purple pharmacy: We frequented the one right outside the border. Great service, low prices on most of what we needed.
5. Best food: The restaurant just inside the border crossing. Ask at Purple for a coupon for a free margarita:-) We were there for lunch and couldn’t have been more pleased.
6. Dental Departures: We used Dental Departures initially to handle reservations. I was pleased with the info they provided and will ask for their help if we decide to go to Cancun for treatment (and yes, I know….do my research ahead of time).
Will we come back? I expect so. I will need an implant crown in March. Maybe Cancun instead so we can have a nice vacay, too? TBD.
If you want to contact me directly, feel free to do so. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to a healthy smile,
Thanks so very much for reporting back on your experiences. I have no doubt this will be immensely helpful to others.
Cina Nelson says
My comment is pretty well straight forward.
I did a lot of research & decided on Dr. Urena.
My experience was good & professional. Admittedly I was nervous as I have all crowns from the US , and was apprehensive that the work may not compare. I was told by a dentist in the us that I needed an extraction & an implant , the price for this would have been $5,800.00. Dr Urena did a crown in which my original tooth was drilled , a root canal done, a reinforcing post was installed, and the post was built up to hold the crown. So far so good the crown is a perfect match, it was minimally painless. Now if it can stand the test of time , we shall see.
My total bill was $750.00
Dennis McGill says
I need four upper front teeth replaced. My bridge fell out in my hand. The two teeth which were holding it broke off. Planning to fly to Yuma in early November. Will check out some of the dentist talked about here, and get an appointment as soon as I get travel plans made. Concerned/confused about how to carry a lot of cash.
Also, how long should I plan to stay the first time?
I have about a 100 questions, but these are enough for now..
Thank you so much for documenting your experience. I have horrid dental issues and am currently deciding what to sacrifice to be able to afford it..it’s to the point it has affected my health. It all started with bad dens work in my early 20’s..now I’m only 31 and need implants as my previous root canals need to be extracted and have already lost all my 2nd molars. The only way I could afford any of this would be going to Mexico…My family thinks I’m crazy…of course non of them are lining up to give me 30 k either.
I found a lot of great tips in your article and will start the research process now. Thanks again for your input
Cali g'ma says
Jeanne, what did you end up doing for your dental needs? I lost most of my molars in my 30’s too. Now I’m researching to have several implants done in Tijuana next month, or at least start the process. Looking at Dr Alvarez-Carrera…
Just wondering how your work turned out, if you’re happy with it still, and where you had it done???
want to get implant supported dentures(mini implants very rapid bone/ridge loss has led to impossibility of wearing traditional dentures. had some upper teeth toward back pulled years ago, had the same thing on bottom. but on opposite sides! bottom is a partial. they both are lopsided to make them look straight while they are in. forget eating anything but soft food. would like to make a vacation out of it. recommendations anyone? better to stay in the us and walk across or get a good hotel in mexico? hubby is not on board-is afraid of crime, infection and fraud. need to reassure him. thanks ps. have been researching for hours-your site the most helpful so far.
LOS ALGODONES DENTIST
I researched for days about Mexico dentists in Los Algodones and came up with a list close to 30 names. I then researched each one of them coming up with a final list of five. I have a place in Desert Hot Springs (DHS) and had plans to go to Mexico and visit each one of the five just to see what they looked like (I had quite a few concerns about Mexico dentists). When I arrived in DHS I talked to the gardener who cleans up my place every year and asked who he sees. He does not go to Mexico, I wonder why?
He directed me to another DHS resident who snowbirds from Canada every year. It turns out he has been going there for YEARS along with many of his Canadian neighbors and seeing Best Dental Care. I threw away all of my research made a phone call and went down a few days later. They have a 800 number, take charge cards (you have to pay 3%) and above all took my personal check. NO worry about taking a lot of cash.
Los Algodones is 8 miles south of Yuma, AZ so many hotel rooms in Yuma. Also on the USA side of the border is tons of parking for $6 a day all fenced in on an Indian reservation. It’s a VERY short walk to more than 80% of any of the dentist offices. At Best Dental Care when you call ask for Jessie who is the interpreter and speaks very good english. When you get to the border just call and he will come and take you to the office and also take you back to the border crossing. That stops all of the people from trying to get you to go to there dentist. Being by my self I felt much safer going back and forth. I did not eat, drink, or sleep in Los Algodones just straight in/out.
I went to Mexico to get implants (dental not boobs) and already had 5 implants done in the US at different times with two dentists. So I did know what to expect and the work done was just how it was done in the US.
Comparing the office to US standards is below par but no bugs crawling around, no dirt could be seen by me so I feel to Mexico standards this is a good office to visit. At least I had no problems. The dentist (Jose Figueroa) I feel did a very good job (its been 6 months) and I’m still alive and walking. The dentist I think understands English but does not speak it very much. Most questions I ask Jessie were being answered before he could interpret.
Before they even started I made sure the Dentist knew that my biggest concern was getting infected from non-sterilized equipment. Everything used was removed from sealed sterilizing bags and only one other employee came into the room without a full cover gown and face mask. The doctor said something and that never happened again.
NOW THE WORK I HAD DONE: After x-rays (oh yes the one x-ray that goes around your head (360 deg) called a Plano? Was done at a different office and cost $150 extra that was paid to the dentist. I thought it was funny that when the technician tried to do the x-ray the “city” had low electric power because of to much use from other people on there electric network. Had to sit for awhile before enough power was available.
After the exam the dentist came up with a full work list of what was needed.
I was thinking I needed a 6 tooth bridge with 3 implants. What the dentist came up with was pull 2 teeth, repair an old implant (abutment came loose) , install 2 implants and make a five tooth bridge using the 3 implants. (All this work on the lower right front of my mouth). I made an appointment for the next day. Stayed in Yuma that night had the work done 10AM and was home DHS by 6PM (163 miles). I only needed to use one pain pill that night.
The dentist had a VERY hard time removing one tooth (eye tooth) because some times when OLD PEOPLE need a tooth pulled some times that tooth can fuse together with the jaw bone. The tooth never broke but what a hell of a time pulling. Also at any time if you started to feel pain He was right there with a shot. He used 4 of those little pain med tubes over about 2 ½ hours of work that also included a temp plate that looks excellent. The total work includes pulling two teeth, installing 2 implants and a five tooth bridge installed for $4,500. In the US my last implants (2) cost $3,400 each and the crowns cost $1,600 each (that’s $10,000).
A little more information about implants….. The IMPLANT is what is installed into your jaw bone, the ABUTMENT screws into the implant and then the crown can be either be screw on or cemented. Some do all the work at one time, NOT ME. It has now been 6 months so I am heading back in Dec. to get the rest of the work done. I only paid for the work done so now have to pay for the crown work. ONE LAST COMMENT:
While waiting for my work a Man (USA) came in to see how much a 3 tooth front bridge would cost. They told him $450. He said He could get the same thing for $150 at another office. They said thank you for stopping, He left.
MY THOUGHTS …. What the hell do some people want (sorry)?????
YOU PAY FOR WHAT YOU GET!!!
You come down to Mexico and just crossing the border you already save at least 50% or more. I saved near 60% and still you want to save more. I bet some would not be happy if it was free. If your going to Mexico I would thing you would want the BEST and the BEST costs more.
SORRY I just think that is ridicules going to Mexico and looking for the cheapest price instead looking for the BEST. I HOPE THIS HELPS…BOB
I went to: Best Dental Care Between A & International st. Suite 2
Web site: bestdentalcare.com.mx
thank you, bob-i have already researched my situation and have talked to my dentist and had it confirmed that without a sinus lift and bone augmentation, i don’t qualify for implants which are screwed in. i plan on getting the small pins that don’t require sugery to place made with “hooks” on the ends which attach with a ball/.snap design. meaning the dentures will snap in and out. as long as they are firm and steady i’m good with it. i’ve gone so long now with ill fitting wobbly painful dentures whatever i can get that will keep them stable without the adhesive, which every brand i have used irritates my gums after a few hours, and keep them from rubbing a new sore spot every other day, i will be more than grateful. my dentist here have used my case for a study paper because the bone in my mouth has resorbed so incredibly fast. i only had the top pulled 2 years ago and have 10 years degree of resorbtion already. he told me that i was just one of the unlucky few.he works in a “chain” of offices and the company actually has an office in mexico. i see him tomorrow to discuss sending all my info down to their mexican office. i think i can get by with about a 6 to 7 thousand or less bill for upper and lower, needing only a new lower made there. this dentist lab made me a new upper recently taking into account the unusual shape of my mouth and gums and it is beautiful. a denture work of art. i;m looking forward to a cheeseburger then turkey for the holidays. best to you-wishing you happy holidays. ps.is there much to do for fun un yuma?>
Great info , thanks. If people cannot get to mexico check dental hygeine schools,etc. for low prices- around here the schools do a cleaning with exam and xrays for about $50- 1/5th-16th of what a local dentist gouges…. sorry,I meant to say charges. 😉
Mario Trevino says
Simply Dental Group is no longer reliable,they have a low budget Lab they use now with wavy not flat ,two toned odd shaped crowns.
If you complain they use the same lousy crowns and keep adding chemicals to them,they lie over and and say they are new ones.
Do not waste your time and money listening to lies from Lopez Gaspar or whatever trainee is there lying with him.
They just want your money and will have you return over and over not caring what you waste money on for parking,gas and the trauma of returning to wannabe dentists.These liars are thieves and morally sick individuals.Simply Dental is just another group of low quality trainees who don’t care about honor or dignity,all about the money! Shameful Characteristics.My dental work ,crown,need redoing,had them do the work 6 weeks ago.
Kriya Monaghan says
I understand your blog focuses on dentists in Los Algondones but I thought I would review a dental practice, and the associated cosmetic dentist, I saw in Noglaes, primarily because there is no blog for the site and it is very much needed by those of us who live nearby. I had veneers from Dr. Quiroga of Arizona Dental NOW in Nogales and although he did a good job he got the work because he lied and lied and lied again. Without going into all of the excruciating details, suffice it to say that prospective patients requiring any kind of dental care should avoid the practice (get their dental work elsewhere) whether or not they need/want cosmetic dental work. The office manager of Arizona Dental NOW is responsible for the behavior of ALL of his employees whether or not he is aware of Quiroga’s deceitful money-making practices.
Desilu DeJarnett says
What a wonderful post. I just stumbled upon it looking up dentist in Mexico. You did a wonderful job and was very informative I look forward to reading more and maybe find me a dentist.
Great post and very informative, thanks! I will be going to Algodones soon for dental work so this gave me some good info and leads on who to go to. Thanks again!
I just wanted to thank you for both articles! I just started my research for implant work in Mexico, although I live just 10 miles from the Tijuana border, these articles were exactly what I was looking for. Any ideas about Tijuana dentist? Or blogs relating to dental work there? Thank you again
Unfortunately I haven’t seen much info on Tijuana. I would love to find more since we often pass through San Diego and it’s such a convenient place. I have to believe there are plenty of good dentists down there. Wish I could help you more, but if you do get any good contacts please report back. I’d love to know about them.
Thanks for this very informative webpage! I’m trying to find a dentist in Los Algodones who does Zirconia Implants but they’re hard to come by. Everyone uses Titanium. I want my mouth to be metal-free so I DO NOT want titanium. Only one dentist, Dr. Mario Maribay (with “Soft Dental”), supposedly does Zirconia implants. So I’m trying to check his credentials but having a hard time finding them. There’s nothing on their website about being associated with ADA or any other dental associations. Do you have any recommendations? Thanks again!
Lynne (WinnieViews) says
Just returned from Algodones today & thought I’d give a quick update here before doing a blog post (my blog is soooo far behind real-time…sigh!).
Last year, I went to Dr. Ureña and liked her, so when I was starting to travel towards Yuma, I emailed her office to get an appointment scheduled for mid-Feb. 2 days went by with no response, so I tried calling. Her male receptionist answered right away, said they were very busy but that they might have availability in 2 weeks and confirmed that he had received my email. He promised to email me back that evening with a confirmed appt date and time. Never happened.
I got the feeling that demand due to these blog posts has now made her just way too popular even for returning patients (particularly in prime snowbird season of Jan/Feb).
Fortunately, after a bit more research, I happened to find a new dentist whose office emailed & confirmed an appt within a few hours. Dr. Yilka Gomez of http://www.HealthySmile.mx.
Like Dr. Ureña, she’s a small clinic where procedures are done by the dentist herself (and not passed off to junior non-English-speaking associates like the bigger clinics often do).
Today’s visit was fabulous. Not only did Dr. Gomez’s skills seem on par with Dr. Ureña, but her English was far better and I enjoyed her friendly and reassuring chairside manner as well. Costs seemed comparable– not the cheapest dentist in town, but reasonable for the high level of quality.
I got a tooth extracted and an implant placed. Extremely professional with a 3D CT scan to confirm sizing and placement before the work was done, a current titanium implant just like one I got in the US last year, and a temporary denture tooth to use while I wait the couple months for healing & the final crown.
Time will tell if the work holds up without complications, but so far I’m pain-free and quite satisfied!
Very good to know Lynne! It’s great to have another good recommendation down there.
Lynne (WinnieViews) says
Well, time & a trusted U.S. dentist & periodontist have revealed that my visit to Dr. Yilka Gomez was not such a good deal after all– I can no longer recommend her for dental implants.
I thought since I was in Chicago for the summer, I’d get a crown here for the implant Dra. Gomez placed last February. I contacted her office & got the size and name of the implant, and as it was a U.S. company, my U.S. dentist was able to order the abutment for the crown ahead of my appointment.
But once she saw my mouth & took an x-ray, that’s when the fun began! Dra. Gomez used an implant from a small company that uses an outdated method for implantation. Most implants in the U.S. today are installed flush with the gum line and then a “healing cap” sits slightly above the gum. After a few months of healing, this cap is easily removed so that the final crown abutment can be placed.
But the implant company Dra Gomez used recommended installing the implant BELOW the gum line WITHOUT a healing cap. I was never informed of this at the time I got the implant– I was simply told to come back in a few months for the crown. Well, the problem is that after a few months, not only does the gum heal and completely cover the implant, but so does a new thin layer of bone!
I had to pay just under $1000 for a periodontist to re-expose the base of the implant and install a proper healing cap. I now also need to wait a month for this to heal before I can get a crown. Needless to say, this implant will end up costing me way more than what I would have paid in the U.S.!!!
I still think Mexican dentists are great for simple stuff and basic crowns, but I will be VERY hesitant to get an implant in Mexico ever again!
FYI– when my US dentist wanted to discuss this with Dra. Gomez, suddenly, no one would return our calls or emails. Avoid Dr. Yilka Gomez at HealthySmiles for any implants!
16 months ago I had four porcelain crowns done by Dr Garate. I went to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned in my home town in Washington state today. The X-ray shows that the crowns were not put on down on the tooth properly and I have decay on the on both sides of the crown. I haven’t decided what to do yet. But, I am not happy. I need some other work to be done, but hate to go back to him.
I had 7crowns done one week ago. Love the look of my “new smile” but am getting concerned that I still have a lot of sensitivity and toothache-like pain. Had the work done at Baja clinic which was recommended, but I had a very young dentist. Also got new upper denture and my husband got new top and bottom dentures all of which we are happy with so far. The crown work was done over two days, the 2 hrs of grinding were hellish, I was so very nervous. The clinic was very clean. I had originally thought I would be getting implants but he told me I did not have enough jawbone left, so I will probably go back for a partial next year -if my gums ever “heal” from the crowns. Has anyone else had much trouble with this?
I’ve been following your website for quite some time now – thank you for everything you do and all the wealth of information.
Hubby and I have finally decided it’s time to retire and go see our beautiful country – FULL-TIMING HERE WE COME! Hopefully by next fall (latest), we’ll have purged everything, sold the house and found our perfect little home-on-wheels.
I’ve been researching as much as possible and the one thing we NEED to do, is get our dental work done. Los Algodones is perfect (from what I’ve read) – our only little “problem”, is that we’re going to be on the road with our 2 pooches. I’ve found a pet-friendly motel in Los Algodones (Hacienda), but unfortunately, they only allow for 1 pet (small) per room! We have one dog that we could take with us to the hotel, but our older boy (wonderful mix-Lab) is above the weight limit, plus, they won’t allow 2 pets.
I don’t know what to do! I was thinking maybe rent another hotel room in the Yuma, AZ area and hire a dog sitter for 1-3 days? Does anyone know if there are any dog sitters that would look after/stay with our pooch for so many days in a motel room? Or maybe a dog sitter that we could drop him off for a few days – I will not kennel him – he’s used to being around humans and laying on the couch/floor/bed – he’s not used to being confined.
The other question I have, is it easy to “walk-across the border” with our little dog (we’ll most likely park our RV somewhere in the States) – and walk back across the U.S. border …. what will we need to have (paperwork – dog papers) etc.
So you can definitely walk across the border (no problem at all) and you can certainly also bring doggie. You just need to be sure you have the right documents with you for entry into Mexico and (just as important) entry back into USA. The MOST important document is a valid rabies vaccination certificate and it needs to be within a certain time limit:
From this link: http://www.mexadventure.com/MexicoTravel/Pets_Mexico_to_US.cfm
“You need to provide a certificate of rabies vaccination obtained within 12 months of your trip, but no less than 30 days prior to re-entry into the U.S.”
There may be other requirements I don’t know about, so I’d recommend you call the border crossing office and ask them before you go (just to be sure), but I do know the rabies certification is the most important.
And of course remember to bring your own passport too 🙂
Hope that helps!
Pam M says
Has anyone had experience with buying hearing aids in Los Algondones? Trying to find information on Hearing Clinics and Audiologists.
I have used Virginia Castro DDS for about 18 years. Like you my husband gets cleanings and I get caps and crowns over the years but I have to say she has kept me with a full mouth of teeth. Unlike my 6 brother’s and sisters who have all had dentures.
Things changed for me 3 years ago after a hospitalization and home IV’s I could not make it to Algadones for my dental work. Long story short I went to the dental school close by our home in Phoenix as did my husband.
A cavity for turned out to be a tooth being pulled a bone graft that failed and then a crown.
When I went to my Dr Castro a few months ago I told her the crown of 3 teeth felt lose and she said after X-ray she couldn’t tell what was going on till she removed the crown-which she did and the 2 teeth acnhoring the crown were decayed and broken to the gum line. She sent me to Dr Garcia to have them pulled same day. He did for $70 but was TERRRIBLE-and office not clean and I had so many problems when I got home that I had to go to locao Oral surgeon who removed stitches and bone fragments –that was 4 months ago.
He suggested I wait then definitely do a bone graft before considering and implant of 2 teeth with crown on top. Well Dr Garcia really took more bone then necessary PROBABLY.
Anyway I had my bone graft done here in Phoenix last week and need to wait for this to heal till October when I can go for the implants.
I need a name of dentist in Mexico for an implant that someone has had good results with. Definitely not Sani from what I have read
By the way I have used Dr Edgar Hernandez over the years who has done painless root canals in case someone needs a root canal
Help would be appreciated along with potential cost for 2 implants. Dr Castro can do the crown at a decent price I know.
JoAnn – both my husband and I had implants done in Nogales, Mexico just south of Tucson by Dr Jose Espinosa at the Periogroup. Very very good, clean office, wonderful staff. Just Google Periogroup in Nogales if you are interested, that will give you contact info.
Denise Kleiner says
Just wondered how your dental work has held up? Did you have any crowns?
I’m staying in Tucson and looking for a dentist in Nogales instead of going to Los Algodones.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
You can check my comments made on Oct. 28, 2014.
It has now been 6 months and the implants (2) and 5 tooth bridge have had no problems.
The day that the bridge was installed the front of part of the bridge (about 1 1/2 teeth) chipped off.
Had to go back and they replaced that bridge with a new one without any extra charge.
I just had to go back in 3 days to have the new one installed.
I am now making plans to go back for crown work, same dentist.
So far I am satisfied with the work I received.
Thanks for all the great info. Where do you park your RV when you go to Los Algondones? I hope you’ll do a similar article on MDs. I want to do some general blood work and other diagnostics.
Since we go in winter we usually boondock on BLM land just west of the road to Los Algodones (you can do a search on the blog for our location), but if you prefer RV parks there are tons in the area, all of which are easy driving distance to the border. There is even a RV park that is walking distance to the border. The Casino right on the corner of Los Algodones and I-8 allows boondocking too.
Your blog is soooo informative..THANK YOU!!
Is it safe for a female to travel to that part of Arizona alone then enter Mexico, without a vehicle? I just wondered if it’s feasible to take a taxi to/from a hotel in Arizona to the border? I’ve never been to Arizona/Mexica and I’m not really comfortable driving on out-of-state unfamiliar roads…I know I gotta do it more to not let it bother me. 😉
Yup it’s perfectly fine to go alone. In fact I went alone several times when I had my crown down.
That makes me feel better. Btw, I didn’t realize you’d responded. I was expecting an email notification…thanks again.
The Bottom Line: Dr Eva Urena is competent and provides great service.
Based on what I read here, I first went to Dr. Urena in April 2015 for a “test run.” I had a cleaning (US$30) and asked for an examination/recommendation re: a loose/ill fitting 12 year old crown that a dentist near Phoenix had tried to fix. The cleaning was not as thorough as the hygienist in PHX but Dr Urena was much more gentle than the aforementioned graduate of the Ghengis Khan School of Dental Hygiene.
As for the loose crown, Dr Urena came to the same conclusions as the US dentist but added the caveat that nothing was certain until she removed the old crown which would be destroyed in the process. I knew that but appreciated Dr Urena’s thoroughness in explaining all the details.
I went back in early May when, of course, it was discovered the original post was in worse condition than expected. This resulted in “icky procedures” that required a few weeks recovery before the final crown could be placed. Due to other obligations, I wasn’t able to reschedule the final crown until late June, 6 weeks with a temporary crown.
On June 22, I arrived back at the office (I will never, ever again go to Yuma after May 31) and got prepped for the crown. The next day, the permanent crown was placed with more “icky stuff” requiring several Lidocaine injections and overall discomfort. We drove out of Yuma the next morning with a perfectly fitting new, all porcelain crown and a massive Lidocaine hangover.
It’s now been a week and all the Lidocaine has been flushed out of the system. Overall, I’m very happy with my experience with Dr Urena and her staff. Total cost was about $700 vs $2000+ in PHX. As a photographer, I was especially smitten with Dr Urena’s assistant Monica’s eyes (that’s all I could see behind the mask. She has the most beautiful eyes which made it easier for me to tolerate the “icky stuff.”
As always, YMMV but, for me, I am a Dr Urena fan. BTW, George, the receptionist, even drove me back to the border crossing so I wouldn’t have to walk the 1/4 mile loaded with Lidocaine.
Denise Kleiner says
Just wondered how your dental work has held up? Did you have any crowns?
I’m staying in Tucson and looking for a dentist in Nogales instead of going to Los Algodones.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
After 10 years of bad dentistry in Mexico, I have had it. Crowns that are not seated properly. It has cost my husband and me more money to fix there bad work.
We now go to Phoenix area to Half Dental. There prices are really half. They don’t lie about what you need. And there work is great. Offices are very modern with high tec equipment that you won’t see in Mexico. Look them up on line. Don’t waste your money in Mexico.
Thanks for your feedback. I looked up Half Dental and see them in Peoria and Tuscon Arizona. Did you go to one of these locations? I didn’t see one in Phoenix. Lastly, is there a particular doctor you saw whom you trust.. I’d like to know which office to call, especially since I’m from out-of-town.
Herman the German says
I need three three tooth bridges done. I am from the northeast but even with travel i figure my total might be lower in mexico (I have dental insurance). My question is does anyone have any experience how fast the three bridge can be done. Tow go on healthy teeth, one has one tooth with an existing crown.
Does anyone have experience with Dra. Aida Quintero in Los Aldodones? We were referred by a friend, but I cannot find any info on this dentist. Thanks.
Brian Ley says
We had used her for several years, had good luck then something changed around 2013 and her work and attitude became very poor. Last straw happened when my wife Needed to have a root canal and she never even showed up that day for the appointment after being assured she would be there after 6 hours we ended up going elsewhere. Her work the last year we used her has had to be redone.
My wife and I were in Los Algodones recently for a teeth cleaning at Reny Dental (Dr Aiti Gutierrez). My wife did not have a long wait to get in. I was not taken in until about 10min after her work. We were told the cleaning would cost $35 but both of us were upsold to a deep cleaning for $45. I asked what the difference was and did not get a response as the assistant performing the work did not speak English, however there was another assistant that did her translation.
The cleaning was ok, but I have had better as all she used was the sonic metal tip instrument. No teeth picks were used. They did polish the teeth with a buffing wheel.
Both my wife were told we have cavities and we needed our crowns replaced. In fact the one crown she commented on was less than 10 months old. Mind you she made these comments without X-rays or performing a good visual inspection.
I believe this part of their practice is pure BS, meant to upsell unneeded work. I’ve had better experience in Progresso MX across the border in TX.
We live in Arizona, so we know many people who go to Mexico for dental work. We have never done it because my husband has two different dental insurance plans which cover all of the costs for regular dental, and about a third of the costs for specialists. But our regular dentist recommended that he go to a periodontist because of what had been described as bone loss caused by deep pockets between two molars. The periodontist recommended two extractions with surgical uplift of the sinuses on both sides. This would be $5900 for the periodontist’s work plus whatever our regular dentist charged for the two implants. We decided to try los Algodones. Several people recommended Simply Dental, so we made appointments for the two extractions on one day, and then an appointment for the deep cleaning the next day. The Mexican dentist read the treatment plan from the American periodontist, took x-rays, and said that in his opinion, the two teeth were sound, and could last him 10 to 20 years. (My husband is 68.) He recommended just the root planing/deep cleaning. He called in a periodontist also associated with that group. He read the treatment plan, looked at the x-rays, conferred with the first dentist, and also recommended root planing. My husband opted for a regular cleaning and root planing for $240. We don’t know what to think.
I wanted to post an update. While we were at Simply Dental, we saw a sign that said that they would fill out insurance forms for patients, and then the patients send them in. He was charged $240 for deep cleaning of all four quadrants of his mouth. We have Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and the second company is Concordia. We sent the insurance forms in, and have been reimbursed by his insurance company for $192.
We both also had our teeth whitened, for $180 each, and we are very happy with the results.
Bob Julich says
We have read many of your posts over the years and really enjoy them. We are conflicted about what we are going to post regarding Dr. Urena because you, whose opinion we respect and many others have reported that you are satisfied with her dental services.
Two years ago we went to Dr. Urena. She provided numerous crowns and referred us to Dr. Hernandez to perform several root canals. The cost totaled more than $4000. It is very difficult for me to communicate with Dr. Urena. Her English is very poor compounded by my poor hearing. The two doctors met with me together to explain the complexity of the procedures that needed to be performed. I did not get everything but I got the zist and decided to go by their recommendations.
Shortly after leaving the Yuma area, I felt an irritation next to a tooth that they had been worked on. I chalked it up to tenderness from the procedure. It could only be that because I just paid over $4000 to have two professionals solve my problems. After time, another area became bothersome and after 2 years I decided that I would return to Algodones and see Dr. Hernandez for an evaluation. Upon examination he explained that there were complications with the work that had been performed and that I should see Dr. Urena again. I explained that I was uncomfortable seeing Dr. Urena but she was who referred me to Dr. Hernandez so he was in an awkward situation. Bottom line is that Dr. Urena wanted to make things right so I was persuaded to see her again. There were two choices given to me. Do more extensive work and not be totally assured of success or pull two teeth and install a partial denture for $350. I chose the partial denture because of the time and expense of the other option.
The whole procedure took more than a month. After leaving the area and for the last 6 weeks, food is being hard packed in two places between my teeth on the hook side of the partial denture, causing pain as I chew. I am reaming it out with a thin brush after every meal and the amount of food that is ejected is downright scary. Dr. Urena’s office was closed for a good part of January after which I contacted George , the receptionist. He said that I would need to return and stay for 2 or 3 days for the denture to be modified. He insisted that even if I arrived very early, I could not be accommodated in one day. I expressed my displeasure and received no real concern on his part.
There are other areas of concern. During my many office visits seldom if ever did the doctor explain what was to transpire. She hardly smiled and always seemed hurried. When she removed my teeth she used something like a hammer to pound away without warning. One time I was so startled that I rose up out of the chair. When I was considering another dentist, I called up the Escapee’s RV park in Yuma for a referral. They did not have such a list but did have a list of dentists not to go to and Dr. Urena was on that list. It is also puzzling that dentists in that area do not make an effort to learn the language that is spoken by the majority of their patients.
I am not happy to make this report. Maybe I was unlucky as many have reported positive experiences but apparently I am not alone. I had no intention on making my displeasure public after my first encounter, but twice is too much and my recent conversation with George sealed the deal.
Very, very sorry to hear about your horrible experience. I always prefer folks to be open and honest about their procedures, so I appreciate you reporting back.
It’s about 11/2 years when I had implants and 5 tooth bridge done at Best Dental Care and still no problems.
This Wednesday the 16th I had work done to replace 6 crowns from the late 70″s.
Also had to have a root cannel done at the same time. That visit lasted 3 hours sitting in the chair. I’m now going back for the new crowns Saturday. This work was done at a total cost of $1980.00. Still going to Best Dental Care with Dr. Jose Chavez Figueroa doing the work in the past and present. Sitting in the waiting room with me was a man who has been going there more than seven years. Also others from Canada. This time I am traveling with my RV and staying at the Sans RV park in Winterhaven CA. about 5 miles from the border. I lucked out also with their rates staying 3 nights for the price of two. It is already into the high 80’s and still very busy in Los Algodones. At 4 pm Wed. it took only 1/2 hour to cross. So getting back to the US early morning or late afternoon seems to be the best time to get back??
STILL VERY PLEASED WITH BEST DENTAL CARE……..
Bob Lewis says
Visited Los Algodones for the first time last week. Decided on Alamo Dental and had three extractions (first time of having a tooth pulled since childhood). One was a deep filling from over 30 years ago, the second was a broken molar tooth and the third was a root canal that had a cracked tooth. Dr Ortega told me that many of his patients do not even know when he has pulled a tooth and I have to agree. I also had a deep cleaning performed by Dr. Gabi Zavarote who also conducted 2 bone grafts on two of the teeth I had pulled. All in all it was a VERY positive experience and I shall be returning at the end of November for two dental implants. I would highly recomend Alamo Dental, & Drs Ortega and Zavarote.
Hi, I am looking at going to mexico for dental work. I need to get all my teeth pulled and get dentures. Has anyone had denture from mexico and if so from who?
Anna loh says
Meagan, there are lots of people on this blog who have had experiences with various types of dental work in Mexico; you just have to scroll through and read.
Jim Morrison says
Enjoyed the articles and all the comments. Something I haven’t seen reported anywhere I’ve looked are the “All-on-4” (or more) permanent dentures. I’ve been in full dentures for 5-6 years now and seem to always have problems with the lowers, have never felt comfortable except for short time after a soft lining has been put in. Has anyone had or personally know someone that has had the All-on-4 done in Mexico?? Or I guess for that matter even in the U.S. Would very much love hearing from anyone that has any information on this. Thank you. 🙂
Tracey Ball says
THANK YOU everyone! Thank you Nina!
GOD BLESS YOU! I just plunked down $500 with insurance for JUST a root canal. I need 3 total and that is not even including the crowns. My U.S.A dentist seemed to be in a rush and although the care was good, i felt like it was definitely an assembly line (there were 4 rooms going at once) I’m writing this as U.S. doctors can be equally rushed, seemingly uncaring etc. it’s everywhere!
Now my husband has mouth issues that we have been putting off due to cost. Nina, you just really saved our …mouths? LOL thank god we came across this article. We are for sure going to research the good reviews listed here and make our way down to Mexico to get help with our mouths! I’m sick of eating mashed potatoes!
Any NEW feedback on where to park our car and then stay the night would be great, regardless, thank you everyone for all of your feedback, it’s priceless!
Robert McLeod says
Very disappointed with sani! Returned after 6 weeks to get my “healing dentures” realigned, they were unable to realign the dentures and sent me home without a bottom denture. For 9 weeks I have not been able to chew anything and have no idea when or if they will be able to finish the job!? Beware…
I go to Algodones at least once a year maybe twice in a calendar year for Botox injections for pain management and / or the dentist. It’s a three – four hour trip and is very pleasant; the only bothersome part is the heat if it’s over 95. Never had any problems other than standing in a long line for customs depending on the time of year and, as I said, the heat. NOT your typical Mexican border town experience! The following link provides info: http://losalgodonesdentistsguide.com/about-los-algodones/
Joseph, can you tell me the cost for each injection? Thanks
I have been wearing a mandibular (lower front 4 teeth) cast-metal partial fitted by my US dentist for 8 years. Its clasp broke this week and I’m looking for options since I no longer have the dental insurance that covered my previous partial. I am not in need of any other dental work hence not too concerned about affecting my other teeth.
Please recommend a dentist for this work and approximate cost in Mexico.
Denise Kleiner says
In September, I went to have dental work done in Los Algodones. I did my research and concluded that Dr. Juan Bernal was to be my dentist. His e-mail is jBernalv@hotmail.com. His US phone is: (928) 328-8237.
Not only is his work and detail incredible, the office is spotless. His appointment coordinator is Juan.
Tell Juan Denise sent you from Trip Advisor.
Hi Denise! I’m leaning this way too. Could you say what dental work you got done (and prices if you remember – but less important). Thanks! Also how long ahead of time did you make appointments with him?
I had the front top 6 teeth crowned. I paid 500 per tooth for Emax zirconia. If you go in the summer until the end of September, you should be able to make an appointment anytime. I believe I made the appointment in July but he said it was wide open until October. I would just call and see how it looks.
Let me know how it works out.
I am not Wendy, but I wanted to say that we stayed at the Hacienda los Algodones in January. It is very close to the dentists and pharmacias, inexpensive, and clean.
As most of you I was elated to come across this blog as I explore my options. At the age of 35 I have found myself in need of a tooth extraction, posssible bone grafting, and implant. As I still absorb the news and next steps I am eager to find a reasonably priced solution. I assure you I too appreciate quality over quantity and strongly believe you get what you pay for. Yet, even with insurance I’m forced to seek such measures. I genuinely appreciate everyone that took the time to comment most importantly the follow ups. Funny I’ve only read through part I of this story and still came up with a list of 9 dentist.
As with most of you at this point we’ve all concluded Mexico is the most affordable choice. Meaning it’s not the expense (which I’m sure is a fraction of what we’ve been quoted in the U.S.). Moreso the…WHO narrowing down who/what Los Algodenes dentist is the most qualified, trusted, and reliable. Who has the least amount of unsatisfied clients for services rendered. Here are the recommendations I’ve taken down…
Listed in no particular order:
1. Best Dental Care Jose Figueroa
2. Castle Dental
3. Dr. Ortega & Dr. Gabi Zavarote
4. Luis Escobar
5. Mario Garibay
6. Juan Bernal
7. Adolfo Cabrera
9. German Azare (Cancun)
As most of you have all been healing since your procedure or anyone that may have not commented is there anyone on this list you’d insist I do NOT see? As I sort my travels from Northern CA (which that alone will be an expense) I’d feel more comfortable dwindeling down the list. I appreciate everyone’s help or additional suggestions/comments.
It’s been more than two years since my implants and crowns with no problems. My work was done at Best Dental Care using Dr. Figueroa. I would go back again…..
Too Nervous says
Dear Bob, thank you for your updates on your implants, it is much appreciated. Can you please put the contact details of the dentist that did your implants. God bless you.
I see Dr. Mario Garibay and the prices listed on his website are exactly what he charges, however since I was having a lot of dental work 12 implants (nobel Biocare top of the line implants, thats very important, don’t just research your dentist, research the materials they use) and I think 17 crowns. I am thrilled with his work.
I meant to say since I was having a lot of work I got a discount, but like I said I had a LOT of work. He’s wonderful and so is his wife, who works the office.
Hi Donna, what was your down time?
My husband went to a well-respected dental specialist office in Prescott, AZ. He was told that he needed two teeth pulled, a sinus lift, and implants, all of which would cost about $7,000. We went to Simply Dental in los Algodones, and he was told that he didn’t need that – that he should buy a water-pick type appliance, and use it regularly. Things have been fine since then. So you might want to get a second opinion – in Mexico on that work.
Hi Tricia-thanks for the suggestion. I’ve been going to my dentist for the past 13 years. He’s referred me to his Specialist a few times to retreat a couple of root canals over the last 5 years. Unfortunately, this time I cracked my molar (crown) and neglected it for 2 years until I felt discomfort. Needless to say my procrastination lead to an infection which has developed an abscess. The specialist performed a full cranium view to see if they could salvage the tooth. He also shared x-rays where I could see the blackish area surrounding the root vs seen in previous visits. He seemed genuinely dissapointed in sharing the tooth would need to be extracted.
I wish there was a chance my case was a misdiagnosis. But I’m thinking very unlikely.
First of all, I thank God for having landed on the WheelingIt.US RVer’s blog, where I learned (a) that my original choice for a dentist, Sani Dental Group, was NOT a good one, and (b) that Bernal Dental Group was a far better choice. Had it not been for the numerous contributors to this blog, I might have had a very disappointing experience.
As it was, though, I had a most favorable experience. I will try to keep this short, since the truth is I could write pages of adulation for Bernal Dental Group and their staff. Various observations, in no particular order:
I was there for a crown on molar #31, as my dentist in Scottsdale informed me that hairline cracks were beginning to appear on the surface. (And, like cracks appearing on your windshield, they’ll only grown larger and longer over time, so you want to save the original tooth before it gets to the point where there’s too much damage, and requires extraction.)
Starting with Juan Macias, the receptionist/scheduler/office manager: Very professional, personable individual, speaks English just as well as Spanish.
The practice: Small, clean, and state-of-the-art. Wait time is minimal, and everyone is on time. Despite the appellation “Group”, this practice is, in fact, comprised of just two highly-experienced dentists, Drs. Juan Bernal and Carlos Castanedo – not 10, 20 or even 30 dentists, like some other practices in town. They do NOT utilize the services of the “barkers” all around the streets of the town or other “agents”; they are very ethical people who rely on positive word-of-mouth for their business.
My dentist: Dr. Carlos Castanedo. He is personable, professional, absolutely up-to-date on the latest dental techniques and technologies, and generous with his time and knowledge. I unfortunately have a lot of experience with crowns (I have soft, weak enamel, just like my father did), but he was careful to explain what he was doing every step of the way. I am fluent in Spanish, and we conversed in Spanish most of the time, but his English is excellent; non-Spanish-speakers will have no problem conversing with Dr. Castanedo. I experienced no discomfort whatsoever during the build-up; he is very gentle. I could go on and on, but suffice to say that I was VERY satisfied with my interaction with him in every respect.
Dr. Castanedo’s assistant, Eli (pronounced Eh-lee): What a delightful young woman! She understands English well, but is timid about her pronunciation, and confessed that she is embarrassed to converse much with English speakers. In my case, no problem – I prefer to speak Spanish when I’m in their country anyway. She is extremely personable, loves her career, and soaks up every opportunity to learn – dentistry from Dr. Castanedo, and English from her patients!
Since I am fluent in Spanish, one aspect of my experience that made a very favorable impression on me was the respect and equality with which Dr. Castanedo treated Eli during the procedure. It is not uncommon in ANY dental practice – whether in the U.S. or Mexico – for the dentist to limit his conversation with the Assistant to “hand me this” and “hand me that” and “more suction over here” – nothing more. But I noticed Dr. Castanedo explaining to Eli what he was doing during each step, how the technologies function, and proportioning tidbits of dental “best practice” along the way. I and those in my church advocate strongly for women’s rights, education and equality, especially in Latin America, so it was particularly gratifying to witness a mature, positive professional relationship between Dr. Castanedo and Eli.
Now, all that said, we’ll see what my own dentist says during my regular visit in March, 2018, but at the moment, I can say that I have NO discomfort, and the fit and feel of my new crown is great. And, in a year or two, we’ll see how good the crown itself is, but that will be a commentary on the lab’s work. As for the Bernal Dental Group – look no further. This is the place to go.
Janet Kelley says
Read your info and experiences with the Bernal Dental Group, they sound outstanding. I am wondering how your last appt. went in 3/2018.
My husband and I are researching Mexico’s dentists for early next year.
Thank you for any further info.
Charles Schubert says
Hi – did you ever follow up with your regular dentist or get any feedback on the work done by Bernal?
Echoing others, huge thank you WheelingIt for this topic and so many other valuable write ups.
Just came across another to add to the mix. http://mobilecodgers.blogspot.com
“Found: A hero dentist in Algodones Mexico” Dec 4. Randy has a high regard for the Rubio group, a good experience he writes of here. Believe he’s been going to them for many years.
Denise Kleiner says
Awesome news! It takes posts like this to help make good decisions. and have confidence. Very happy for you!
Has anyone been to Bernal Dental in Los Algodones. that’s had mini implants and dentures done and how satisfied were you? Their home page says they take personal checks , but my correspondence with Juan said cash and cashier checks. Not sure about carrying large amounts of cash into Mexico. Also how honest of an office were they? Thanks for any info. you can give me or suggestions.
Denise Kleiner says
Dentist Juan Bernal is a great dentist. I’ve had no problems with my 6 crowns. He only takes cash. If anyone has any questions, I’d be happy to answer.
Thank you for your comments. I am not an RVer, so how long was your stay? I’m 8hr. from Yuma so a little concerned about lodging for a long length of time. I appreciate all the comments on every ones experiences.
Denise Kleiner says
I’m not an RVer right now either. I stayed in Tucson and had two appointments. Monday I drove from Tucson and Friday for the final fitting. If I had to do it again, I’d stay in Yuma. Plenty of nice chain hotels to choose from. It will all depend on your services. I did not do the same day service. I wanted the lab to do a good job on the crowns and not be rushed. If you do implants there will be several visits required. I would call Juan Bernals assistant whose name is Juan also. He speaks well in English and will give you an idea of the visits you will need.
Just wondering if Dr. Bernal prescribed any pain meds. after treatment? Read on another site that none was given after 14 extractions. Hard to believe that’s true.
Denise F Kleiner says
You can have the initial appointment and come back on Thursday. It really depends on what work is being done. Yes, I got pain med’s right from the office.
Denise, do you know if Dr. Bernal has an on sight lab and are his materials and replacement teeth high quality.
Read through reviews. I’m looking for a reputable dentist that can do a full mouth denture, snap in maybe? How long would I need to spend down there, how long does it take for your mouth to heal before you could get the snap in denture, how much approximately will it cost (I’m assuming having all the teeth pulled included in the price) and where are the better hotels to stay at while there?
Also, can you have an evaluation/treatment plan at a dentist where I live (Utah), and have it sent down to he dentist in Mexico? Then I would know how many appointments I’d need to schedule, once we find someone.
Time is a little tight, so being able to know how long we would be down there is good to know. Would there also be check up appointments needed? Thanks so much!
I’m going to Dr. Juan Bernal in Los Algodones next week having the same work done as you need. You can contact Juan ( Juan is fantastic) the office manager and he’ll send you a list of prices by email. http://dentalbernal.com/
I’ll let you know more after my first appointment.
I had my implants done last Thur. so far everything is great. Dr. Bernal was very gentle and the office was spotless and I felt very comfortable there . I go back in six months (healing time) to finish up.
Sharon Visor says
I found another bad dentist in Algodones, Dr. Gabriela Bastidas Castro. Had went to her for two years, obtaining dental implants, crowns and bridges. Started having problem, implant was infected, abscess reoccurring, had to be removed. She put in another, it appeared fine. But then my bridges had to be redone, they were to high, food getting underneath. She claimed to warranty her work, but after two repairs she wanted to charge me for her faults. Went to another dentist, he informed me that two of my implants were the wrong size. Dr. Gabriela had put front tooth implants in the jaw tooth. Stay away from this dentist, unless you want to continue having problems and repaying. Thus far Dr. Alex Ramos working out of Dr. Gullermo Marquez Reyes office has been pretty good. He put 13 crowns over my front top and bottom teeth. Love them but he is just gave a quote to work on my husband’s teeth. Husband need complete top teeth done, has 4 implants already and need to much. Dr. Ramos price is very high and we are shopping around. Take your time and select your dentist carefully, also ask for warranty in writing.
Jerry B says
WARNING: I found another bad dentist in Algodones. Her name is Herminia Marin C. and she has a young dentist doing improper placement of crowns. I had 20 zirconium crowns and there are voids above the gum line that I can feel when I floss. Every time I floss there is a bad odor because the voids hold bacteria. I just got this done in October 2018 and I know I have to find a good dentist to redo a number of crowns that were improperly cemented in, due to lack of enough cement to fill all the voids. The voids are areas that will allow decay of any exposed tooth base, no matter how well I care for my new teeth. I spent $10,000.00 for that botched dental work.
Also, This dentist left cement residues on my new crowns and did excessive grinding on the new crowns as well. She included “phantom” “super cleaning” charges of $150 for both top and bottom, yet she did not do anything to clean the cement residue from the tooth surfaces. DO NOT LET HER OR HER ASSOCIATES INTO YOUR MOUTH, BECAUSE THEY ARE SO UNSCRUPULOUS AND INCOMPETENT AS TO ROUTINELY PERFORM POOR DENTISTRY ON PEOPLE.
Also, she tried charging another man there $300 for teeth cleaning. He spoke to another client that was charged $15. He refused to pay for what turned out to be a very abrasive texture remaining where she had been scraping on his teeth.
Also, I never did get ALL of my x-rays. I took in a flash drive and received only six pictures – I went in the next day demanding all of the pictures and they loaded 17 more on the drive and told me that was all, however, when I went through the pictures I found that the initial lower pictures, showing the teeth before the root canals, were not there, so there is no question that I did not get all of my x-rays. It is illegal for a dentist to destroy the x-rays because they have to be turned into an international data base for identification purposes.
Tricia Powers says
I am an attorney, and I am dubious about this post. This person states: “It is illegal for a dentist to destroy the x-rays because they have to be turned into an international data base for identification purposes.” Huh? Yes, there is such a thing as international law, but it deals with things like trade agreements between countries, and human rights of refugees. It doesn’t deal with dental x-rays. And when he says that it’s illegal for this dentist to destroy x-rays, what does that mean? Mexican law? I don’t think so.
March2019 – Deep Root Teeth Cleaning Recommendation (from new personal experience): Having periodontal disease I needed regular deep cleanings but not had any for 2 years because of local dentist problems (California), then lost free (Medi-Cal/Obamacare) coverage becoming 65. I waded through various online comments for Algodones recommendations here and elsewhere, found few specifically referring to Deep Root Cleaning, but Dr Yilka Gomez was recommended generally and their website (www.healthysmile.mx) had a video confirming they did the ‘manual scraping’ I really wanted – others might not do so much or at all. I phoned Thur7Mar, spoke to (good English-speaking) Carlos, made appointment for Tues12 at noon. He said each quadrant would cost $80 (I hoped for some discount since I have several teeth missing!) On the appointment I was first checked by Yilka Gomez herself who advised my top teeth were OK so only needed regular cleaning ($50, saving me money) and lowers would all be deep-cleaned, for $80. Cool! They also picked up on my having ‘blood thinner’ high-BP medication (a recent thing for me, and I wasn’t aware of the relevance), which was no problem. They didn’t do Xrays and implied she could see all she needed to see. I brought my previous ‘periodontal chart’ from 2015 that was useful to her.
I was treated by DDS Davinka Vargas; I hate having the anesthetic injections but had two, lower left and right, then needed a central one partway through which wasn’t nice, but otherwise she did a great job, working hard and thoroughly, taking 90mins. No complaints! Recommended!
Thank you for the update on your dental work. IT’s one thing to read about the work done, but another years later with continual updates! It’s very appreciated. I’m looking into getting a root canal, even though most naturopaths (and Dr. Mercola) are adimant about not getting it done.
I’m from Canada and will be doing a road trip across the states again, have you heard of any Canadians having issues crossing the border back into the US?
Update on the root canal? if you had to do it over, who would you have gone with?
thanks again for the great updates even years later!
here’s to your (dental) health!