Wednesday, 23 May 2012


THINKING OF GOING TO MEXICO FOR DENTAL WORK?  Here's my experience and costs.
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.
This is about all ther is to the town---perhaps 5 blocks long and 4 wide. It depends on tourism and medical work for its life.  Word is--It's safe.
THE FAMOUS PINK STORE-----biggest one here---restaurant, gifts etc.
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.
I needed an 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
Meet our hero dentist: Maria.  She understands both sides of dentistry--technical expertise and patient relationship.  (Tel# 505-220-5798 ) Now I will make good on my title question:
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.

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?
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