3 weeks ago a root canal treated tooth went bad. It was done in Santa Fe 5 yrs ago. I checked prices here---was outraged----decided to go to Mexico---100 miles away.
The closest Mexican town is Palomas---3 miles from Columbus, NM. So down I went---trailer and all to this end-of-the-world town. (residents say it themselves) It's unique in many ways and I will report later.
Settled into Poncho Villa St Park. (my permit from last year is still valid so I camp free---if you need electricity add $4 a night) Turns out Lynn (caravan member) needs treatment too so she joined me here.
Together we cross this border in search of a good dentist.
Optics and dental are the mainstays of their economy.
FIERO DENTAL CLINIC ----(6 chairs) lots of dentist--The biggest--most impressive clinic here---clean---well run--friendly. firstname.lastname@example.org
I needed an APICOECTOMY ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apicoectomy) for any hope of saving the tooth. Needed an oral surgeon---he came on monday--and here he is doing the deed. Cutting off the top 5 mm of the infected tooth---removing the bad stuff---filling in the hole with goo that integrates with bone. A translator stood by the whole time-----easy peasy. (also took the picts---they seemed surprised and flattered that I wanted them) I'm sparing you the gory ones.
Operation's over--felt no pain---he shows off his stitchery.
I'm very impressed with this surgeon/doctor---he worked with confidence and sensitivity---doing a difficult operation. Total charge: $350. (Dr Alonzo Ramirez--tel# 915-497-6884 )
Since I'm here--will wrap up three more dental loose ends---a crown --- a root canal with post and replace an old filling. meet Maria---an excellent--english speaking young dentist with great chair-side manners. Lynn and I both selected her. Lynn had extensive work done and had priced her work before leaving NC. -----Shocking comparison: Same work done in the US: $7,500. In Mexico she paid $1,400. Savings $6.100
Root canal Mexico: 280 root canal US: 900
Post: 75 Post 150
Crown: 190 Crown 550
filling: 60 Filling 95--250
Apicoectomy 350 Apicoectomy 750
total 955 2,445 difference 1,490
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: Permit me to rant about the outrageous discrepancy in dental prices. You would expect slightly higher prices---but this is ridiculous. Why can't American dentist be happy with a really good living ($100,000 plus)? Why do they shoot for a million? Capitalism is not working in the dental business---because of protectionist trade associations. I guess it won't be competitive till more people do as I do. Our whole nation suffers incredibly ---real pain--they postpone preventive treatment because Dentist charge so G--Dammed much.
COLLECTIVELY-------, DENTIST,LAWYERS, UNDERTAKERS ARE GREEDY AND EVIL THAT IS WHY THE PROBLEM MUST BE SOLVED COLLECTIVELY----BY LEGISLATION.
Individually they may not be evil. But hear me dentist of America---your pricing structure is unfair and you participate in a world of needless pain and ill health.
The deeper truth is that high priced dentistry, like high priced funerals, and high priced legal service is a CULTURAL DISTORTION we have "slipped into"--We need to vote ourselves out of it.
Meanwhile, I will vote with my wheels and go to Mexico.
Wonder how the most enlightened country in the world---Norway deals with dentistry?http://www.slate.com/articles/life/the_american_way_of_dentistry/2009/09/the_american_way_of_dentistry_2.html