A dental day

The young periodontist’s office downtown in the state capital.

I MIGHT HAVE titled this post A Tale of Two Dentists because they are so different.

One is a woman. The other is a man. One is young, the woman. The other is not so young, late 50s. One is a periodontist, the woman. The other is just a normal dentist. They are both good-looking, intelligent and talented.

One has a very noticeable office that screams at you in yellow and orange. The other has an office that you would not know is an office had no one informed you.

There is no sign outside, and he does not even advertise. My dentist is strictly word of mouth, so to speak, and he’s talented enough to pull that off.

The two of us had a dental day on Tuesday. She had an appointment with the periodontist, and I had an appointment with the dentist. She has an issue, but I only needed a cleaning, which I schedule about every five months.

I also was at my dentist a week earlier when he took impressions for the implant I will get next week.

Three months ago, I wrote here about my need for an implant. Beats a bridge, I say. Those are for old folks, not me.

Dental care, like healthcare in general, is — as one never wearies of pointing out — one of the many superlative reasons to live South of the Border.

On Tuesday, everything was paid out of pocket in cash, and we were not bankrupted in the slightest.

One more week,  and I’ll have my implant, losing the pirate smile I’ve sported for the last three months. I rather enjoyed the snaggle-toothed grin.

And perhaps I’ve frightened children.

My dentist’s office looks like any suburban street corner.

17 thoughts on “A dental day

  1. Your dentist’s office reminds me of my dentist’s office in Mérida. I had a root canal and he softly sang Spanish love songs to me the whole time he was working in my mouth. It was the best root canal experience I could ever imagine.


  2. Yes, you can not beat Mexican dentistry for sure! I had many teeth crowned over ten years ago in Los Algodones, Baja, and still not one single problem. At that time the cost was maybe a tenth of what they would have ripped me for in the States. Always enjoy reading your blog … keep it up.


    1. Señor Kane: Thanks for the feedback. You won’t be moderated in the future. Well, unless WP screws up.

      Excellent dental care is available down here for excellent prices. That is not to say that one does not have to be careful. Crappy dentists abound, alas, but so do first-rate ones. Gotta rely on recommendations from people you trust.


  3. Felipe,

    A trip to the dentist was one of the many positive experiences we had on our recent exploratory trip to Ajijic. Our NOB dentist had told my wife she needed three cavities filled. We both also needed our regular cleanings. So I thought it would be good to get this done while we were in Ajijic as an easy test of quality, cleanliness, etc., of the local dentist trade. I got a recommendation from another expat and made our appointments. Everything about our trip to the dentist was positive. First off, the dentist told my wife it was premature to fill the three cavities. Doing so would have done more harm than good. Isn’t honesty a great quality!? We each had our cleanings, and I went ahead and splurged and had my teeth whitened (not movie star white, just got rid of the coffee stains). Total cost, around $110 USD! The cleanings were only $15 each. The last time I had my teeth cleaned NOB it set me back almost $300!

    The dentist we went to had the latest equipment, and her office was spotless. As an added bonus, she was rather easy on the eyes too;-)



    1. Troy: One thing that jumps out at me is the Ajijic dentist saying that filling the cavities should wait. I never heard of such a thing. I can only assume there are some uncommon, extenuating circumstances in your wife’s case.

      A whitening, eh? I’ve considered that, but I’ve heard horror stories about it too, especially down here. Maybe I’ll ask my dentist about that. I want to look like a movie star.

      My cleaning cost the peso equivalent of $45 U.S. What the Ajijic dentist charged for your cleaning seems remarkably low. I would be a bit suspicious of the quality, but you were there, and I was not.


  4. One of advanced age should take care of teeth, especially if they are original teeth. My last cleaning with four x-rays and the polishing of teeth/removal of tartar was $137 USD in the USA. I try my best to keep my own teeth and with an electric toothbrush it’s not too hard to keep the tartar at bay. Tartar is the evil demon of the mouth. The dentist also explores the inside of my mouth for signs of any cancerous effects, i.e. mouth sores, lumps/bumps on the palate that may need further investigation and so forth. And the hygienist doesn’t talk while working.


    1. Carole: One of advanced age should take care of teeth, true. But so should one of young age, i.e. everyone. In Mexico, dental care is not a priority for many, probably most, of the population. It’s common to wait till there is a painful problem, and then just yanking the tooth out.


  5. “Strictly word of mouth.” I like that.

    My dental implant took longer than I anticipated, but I am extremely happy with it. I now can chew the fat far more efficiently.


    1. Señor Cotton: Word of mouth indeed. Alas, I cannot take much credit for that because I wrote it before realizing the double entendre, which is when I returned and typed “so to speak.” I’m a little slow on the uptake at times.

      My implant work has gone swimmingly. The post took to the bone, or perhaps the reverse, exactly as hoped. After taking the impressions last week, he said he’d be ordering my new tooth all the way from Mexico City. Just one more week to go on that.

      It was due to my implant that we decided that my wife should do the same. Unfortunately, she has five teeth instead of one that need to be addressed. Currently, she has two bridges way in the back. It was the thinking of getting her implants that sent her to my dentist who then sent her to the periodontist. It’s going to be a long and fairly pricey process for her. Such is life.

      Chewing the fat! Ha!


    1. Ms. Shoes: She does not have sore gums. She feels just fine. Well, until the work done yesterday. She’s sore due to that today, but it’s temporary. There were no symptoms. It turns out she has a chronic problem that can only be controlled, not cured, and it has a fancy name that I do not recall. Thus, my use of the word “issue.” It is also a “problem,” of course, but not one that was troubling her.

      As you well know, I am neither a leftie, a libtard or a collectivist. My IQ is too high for that.


    1. Don Cuevas: Well, who knew? I’ve been using him for about three years. And he’s not just on the ground floor. The upper floor is his too. He owns the whole building. My implant work has been done upstairs. And I’ve had other work done upstairs by Silva too.


  6. So, pray tell, how did you find this fabulous dentist? What would you recommend we Gringos who are currently Mexican dentist-less do to ameliorate our sad circumstances?


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where we are far from our normal, Bostonian dentist who is very very good.

    P.S. My trick for finding my current dentist was to ask a very upper-crust woman who I used to work with. Upper-crust Americans really care about their teeth, at least in my experience.


    1. Kim: I found this dentist due to the recommendation of an upper-crust Mexican, the inimitable Ms. Shoes. It was a very good recommendation.

      As for what those of you who lack a good Mexican dentist can do, the answer is — at least in your case — move to Mexico. I realize your current circumstances make that a challenge. But one day.

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