Brush after meals, floss daily, visit the dentist once a year… these are the rules of dental care as I remember them. So a year after kicking the old boss (and insurance) to the curb, we found ourselves in Mexico once again and in need of our annual dental cleaning
We started asking around if people liked their dentist. At a dinner party an American-Mexican couple gave us a strong recommendation, “We’ve been to many dentists in town over the past 25 years, but this one is the best! But he doesn’t speak English…” We also had many other recommendations for English speaking dentists, but we enjoy a challenge
It took us a few days to get around to making an appointment. Speaking Spanish over the phone is harder than in person, since you can’t read body language or play charades to figure things out. The overall process was straight forward though, and we made two appointments for the following week with relative ease
We walked 10 minutes from our rental house through a residential neighborhood to get to the office, which looked exactly as you would expect a dental office to look… the door had a tooth on it and there was a small reception area and waiting room.
The dentist came out to the reception and greeted us personally. No wait, no hassle. We walked with him to the back room as he asked a few basic questions, “When was your last cleaning?”, “Do you have any pain or problems?”
With that, the dentist went to work. I was confused for a moment, because my dentist in the US almost never does any work (except cashing big checks.) At most, he might spend 5 minutes with me after a dental hygienist performs all of the manual labor.
Some of the language was not that familiar to me. For example, I didn’t understand when he said “Put your chin down a little”, but I just followed his gesture. As an added bonus, I now know the word for chin. But generally I understood his requests, “Open your mouth”, “Tilt your head to the right”, “Bite down”, “Close your mouth a little.”
The dentist chair, all of the tools, and the techniques and procedures were similar I’m familiar with in the US. In fact, it could have been a dentist office in the US, except without the wait, attitude, and expense. 45 minutes later I had that extra fresh mouth feeling and was given a clean oral bill of health
No wait, no hassle, and all of the service provided by the dentist himself? Sounds expensive. But no. We paid our bill in cash, 400 pesos in total (~$30 USD.) By comparison, an informal survey of friends came up with an average cost in the US of $160
The experience was definitely better than I expected. There is really no reason not to get dental work done in Mexico. English is optional
Thank you Senior Dentista, see you again next year