A dental case

I MADE IT more than 72 years with the big-boy teeth the Goddess installed in me when I was a kiddie.

Never lost a one, neither to decay, accidents nor bar fights.

I joined the Air Force at 18, and one day early on I was ordered to report to the dentist. I had no idea why. When I got there, he told me that he was going to yank my wisdom teeth.

When I protested, he sent me on my way with my wisdom teeth intact. I still don’t know what that was about.

Keeping my wisdom teeth contributed to the wisdom I possess to this day, the wisdom to move to Mexico, the wisdom to marry a Mexican, the wisdom to vote for Trump.

Well, the long run with my own teeth came to a halt on Friday. One had to be pulled, and I was faced with two options: a bridge or an implant. I chose the implant, of course.

Bridges are for old people like my grandparents.

I sat in my dentist’s chair in the state capital, totally ignorant. I had not even Googled tooth implants. I was flying blind with faith that my good dentist would do me right.

And he did, both on price and service.

I was reclined in the chair, except for a brief break, for two-and-a-half hours. My mouth was deadened, so I felt nothing. Actually, I saw nothing either because a cloth was over my head, executioner-style, leaving just my mouth accessible.

First, my defunct tooth was broken into parts and removed. Then a post (yipes!) was screwed into my jawbone. Then a temporary fake tooth was attached to that post.

The permanent tooth will be installed in three months after the jawbone has firmly grown around the post.

I expected the area to be inflamed and ugly from the abuse when he was finished, and I was worried about what would happen when the anesthetic wore off.

When I walked out of the office almost three hours later and peeked into my mouth with the car mirror, it looked totally normal, as if nothing had been done. Later, the anesthetic wore off, but I never felt any serious discomfort.

I’m writing this 24 hours later, and I feel fine. I am taking a week’s worth of antibiotics. The whole shebang, excluding the antibiotics, cost about $750 U.S.

Like all things medical here, I paid out of pocket.

Life is good, and I can chew.

29 thoughts on “A dental case

  1. Felipe,

    I did lose my wisdom teeth to a dentist while in the military. I was in the navy and had volunteered to be in submarines. All submarine volunteers were required to have their wisdom teeth removed. I’m guessing because there was a high probability of them causing a problem at the worst possible time.

    However, despite losing my wisdom teeth, I never served one day on a submarine. Ended up on an aircraft carrier instead.

    $750 for a dental implant is a bargain! I’m guessing it would be closer to $2,000 NOB.



    1. Troy: I kind of wish I had joined the Navy instead of the Air Force. I recall my young thinking process at the time. How did I prefer to die? In a plane crash or drowning? Drowning lost. Those were the only two options. I never considered the Army or Marines. As you never served on a submarine, I never went up in an Air Force plane during my Air Force “career.” Not even once. Funny how things work out. I did spend quite a lot of time inside Air Force planes, but they were always sitting on the runway.

      Yep, the cost of the implant was quite good considering what I would have been charged above the Rio Bravo. I’m proud of myself and, as noted, the dentist did a stellar job.


  2. Here’s another tooth fairy tale. While living in Las Cruces, NM, a few years back it was a usual thing that the ex and I motored to Palomas, MX, just South of Columbus, NM, for dental needs, contacts, some meds and a few really good enchiladas. I was advised that all my wisdom teeth had cavities and should exit, so we did it all right then in one setting, plus took one lower molar with a crown that had cracked leaving the tooth damaged and decayed.

    It was not a wonderful experience. One hangover, the guy left a large part of one tooth on the left bottom … pretty sure it’s attached to my left big toe.

    All that for a modest $240 US. It was a bargain but not without pain in the aftermath. Still, I would do it again.



    1. Ricardo: I would be hesitant to use border town medical facilities, but I know lots of folks do it successfully. And, of course, there’s the enchiladas.


  3. I had an appointment last year to get my dental implants repaired and his office was closed. One of his business neighbors came up to me with tears in her eyes and told me he had been assassinated.

    The authorities never solved the crime but I’ve always assumed it was because he got shot by another unhappy customer who believed in the bible verse about an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

    It doesn’t pay to cheat your customers where I live.


  4. I had mine removed at about 19 to prevent crowding in the dentition as they grew in. They had not emerged at that time and they were dug in so they had to be cracked and removed in pieces. All four at once. Just a little blood on the pillowcase overnight. One daughter has soft bones and she has had abcesses under teeth. When they do the removals she had to have bone grafts and the whole time from beginning to the end installation of fake tooth was about six months. About $6K.


  5. My hubby needs dental work, I think it would be worth it for us to get it done in your neck of the woods rather than Canada. See more of Mexico while fixing your teeth. Win win.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelagh: Depending on the extent of the dental work in question, it can definitely pay to fly down here. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I would be a little apprehensive about border towns, but many folks do that, and it works out for them, apparently.

      But coming farther into Mexico, preferably via air, is much better, I think.

      But don’t you Canucks enjoy “free” medical care?


      1. We have free medical care in Canada but good luck finding a doctor. Mine retired last year and now I’m stuck going to a clinic. Probably have to wait in line too because lots of other folks are in the same predicament. I’ve got a great dentist in Cancun for any major work and I’m thinking about looking for a doctor here as well and paying out of pocket. Canada’s socialized medical system has been eroding for decades. For some operations you must wait 18 months to see a specialist and another 18 months to get the operation. Good luck with your tooth.


        1. Brent, Brent, Brent, you do not have free medical care in Canada. There are no free rides. It appears free because you don’t, I imagine, pay the doctors directly. But Canadians are paying for the medical care. They’re just paying with higher taxes. It’s paying via a detour.

          I enjoyed reading your take on the Canadian system. You’re certainly not the first person to point out its very serious defects. When will people learn that government does not do most things well? And the longer government does a thing the worse it gets. The U.S. Medicare system is rife with fraud. Social Security is a mountain of waste.

          More government is rarely the solution to problems.

          Yes, do your dental care here, and most other things too. We get it right!


        1. Shelagh: Ahh, live and learn. Who knew? Not me, clearly. I’m surprised that the “free” Canuck socialist medicine does not include dental care. Shocked even. But I cannot help but repeat yet again. There is no free ride. There is no free medical care in Canada. It’s just that you pay via a roundabout route. Higher taxes. And, according to Canucks who are not infatuated with socialism, often poor service. Not always, of course, but often.


  6. I had the same procedure done about 5 years ago. Cost me about $4,000 AFTER insurance covered their portion. One tooth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good Lord Almighty, Mark! You really need to move back to Mexico. We await you with open arms. Bring your girlfriend … or not. They’ll be plenty of others here to step into your beefy arms.


        1. Mark: I don’t think anybody calls it that anymore because Gringos are all over the place, about 10 times more than when you were here. Literally, a ten-fold increase. But the good news is that it’s still nothing like San Miguel.


  7. I’ve had three implants in Mexico and the last one went south. The first post didn’t “take” and they had to do a bone implant and do the whole thing again. With the waiting periods etc. it’s taken about a year. I go in next week for the final fitting of the crown. See how that goes.



    1. Señor Lanier: This has been my first, and so far it’s been a piece of cake. May it continue so.

      Bone implant? That does not sound fun. I send you buena suerte with this one. Let’s be optimistic.


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