My cousin Chris tells me that I’m sort of the Yuri Gregorian of the family when it comes to trying to do everything on the cheap, and I’m the first of my generation to venture down to old Mexico way for a set of Dentures. (Right off I want to tell yo so far I am satisfied with the results…. sore…. and unable to wear my dentures for more than a couple of hours due to swelling of the extractions but still I know I should be able to wear these puppies as soon as the soreness stops.)
After checking out what the thieves at Western Dental want to charge for a set of dentures, somewhere in the range of $9,000 without a dental plan, the thought of going down to Mexico and getting a complete set of dentures for under $300 + some dental work bring the cost to about $450+/- complete was attractive.
There must be 100 Dentists in Algodones. Each of them has a website and all are eager to pitch to you for your business. The offices I saw once down there were all clean and they all used sanitary equipment. To be honest I could not see the difference there to any office in the United States.
I chose Dr Fidel Valdez. DDS.
Dr Valdez graduated from Autonomous University of Guadalajara in 1990.
He completed an Advance Dental Program in Orthodontics at the division of graduate studies and research of the College of Dentistry at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2001.
He completed a course on dental implants with Dr. Stern in Mexico city in 2004. as well as an advanced course on dental implants BTI technology in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2005.
Currently he has successfully completed an advance course on osseointegrated dental implants at the college of dentistry at the Autonomous University of Baja California in Mexicali, Mexico.
In addition Dr. Valdez has taken other courses on cosmetic dentistry, buccal prosthesis, and oral surgery.
I called his office and made an appointment . That was a simple call to the doctors toll free number. A friendly English speaking fellow came up on the line took my information and gave me a rough idea of how much money to bring. Simple as that I had an appointment.
Well according to the Customs / Border Patrol you now need a passport or a passport card to reenter the United States. Before I crossed the border I stopped in to the Customs Office and talked to the duty Lieutenant. I explained to him what I intended to do, and asked if I was able to go across with the ID I had and was I going to have problems coming back. He assured me I was fine and have a nice day in Mexico.
I was able to use my Drivers License and Birth Certificate to get back into the country but it was a major pain in the ass. I had to listen to some 25 year old punk with a huge chip on his shoulders and a Glock tell me I needed to follow the rules. F*** him and his mom, his dad, his sister and brother and his little dog too, including the fleas on both his dog and mom’s back. I ended up pulling the “Lets talk to the Lieutenant card” and he shut the F*** up and let me pass. (Thank God.)
But less I digress (I’ve always wanted to say that..), getting back and forth across the border requires a little more tact than I am used to expressing without a passport, so the next time I go I plan to have that Passport Card in hand.
I walked across the border. Algodones butts up to a Indian Reservation. The Indians have a huge parking lot that can handle several thousand cars and trucks. Parking is $5.00 a day and it is fairly secure as it is a fenced area with security guards. They also have a cool looking hotel casino at the beginning of the road to Algodones.
Los Algodones is really a nice little border town. The security in town is high and you feel safe when you walk the streets. Everyone is friendly and helpful. Most everyone speaks English. The local police are everywhere and are friendly and helpful. While I was there I saw a contingent of Mexican Army conducting a road block. Don’t know what they were looking for and was glad I didn’t have to deal with them.
The locals tell me there is very little crime.
My experience with the Mexican Dental Business was favorable. My Doctor did a great job of extracting my remaining teeth and doing some oral surgery that I needed to be able to be fitted with dentures. So far no complaints. All this for a total so far of $270.00 for the upper plate.
Western Dental said that it was going to cost me $2700 with the dental plan we have been paying for years. for a set of dentures. They said it would cost $9,000 with out the dental plan. They are either on drugs or they are highway robbers or both. American dentists should be strung up like piñatas and beat with sticks until they burst. Thieving bastards.
The town is like a cross between a swap meet, sideshow midway and Main Street Disneyland. Dentists, Pharmacies, Eye Doctors, Taco Stands, Shoe Shine Boys and Titty Bars. A Knott’s Berry Farm with hookers. Ugly hookers but hookers none the less. It is both exciting and sleazy. The people are warm and friendly. Everyone has an angle. It is what pure Capitalism is all about. I loved it!
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