What It’s Like To Get Dental Work In Mexico

We’ve only heard great things from other cruisers who have gotten dental or healthcare work in Mexico, so one of our main goals this season was to tackle some dental issues while traveling below the border.

But while some of our American friends and family looked at us like we were crazy (come to think of it, the same confused faces when we announced our plan to sail from Washington to Mexico. Huh.), our fears of a Mexican dentist was significantly lower than the cost of an American one.

We were recommended Dr. Benjamin Valle of Unident by friends of Chris’ who live in Puerto Vallarta. “He’s great and super nice and gentle,” they said.

Turns out, they were right.

Thank. God.

Though we were dreading the hell out of dental work (who doesn’t?), I was prepared for the doctor to take one look at my mouth and declare all my teeth must be pulled saying, “We must start over. How do you feel about dentures?”

But as soon as “Dr. Ben” began carefully cleaning my teeth, I felt happy to finally get work done.

Even when he announced I needed four fillings replaced.

Even when, mid-filling, he announced I actually needed a root canal, too.

Dr. Ben injected a local anesthetic, choosing one that didn’t raise my heart rate (because that can happen, I hear), and got to work.

I was in the chair for about two hours, listening to music and taking weird selfies to send to Chris. After the root canal, the doctor put in a temporary crown. Chris and I returned a week later to get our custom crowns installed.

Four cavity fillings and one root canal cost me about $1,500 U.S. dollars. The initial cleaning and x-ray cost $60 U.S.

It’s been three weeks now, and my mouth feels great.

It turned out to be a rewarding experience. One that makes you feel like an actual adult like getting a new drivers license, paying a parking ticket, or voting.

Dr. Ben is super kind, gentle, and quite funny, too. “I know what people think about Mexican dentists,” he said. “They think we wear sombreros and work in palapas with dirt floors.”

Good one, doc. Somewhat true.

Here’s a photo journey of our experience. No palapa or sombrero anywhere to be seen:

“Smile, Chris!” A peek at the waiting room as I walk back to the dentist chair.
The room where I laid for two hours, gettin’ my grill worked on. Sparkling clean.
An x-ray of my teeth after the procedures. Yeah, yeah, judge as you wish.
Selfies I was sending to Chris in the waiting room.
My bill. All prices listed in pesos. The exchange rate was about 18.50 pesos to the dollar – much less compared to the States!
Chris gettin’ some action form Dr. Ben! (That does not read as funny as it is in my head. I’m leaving it anyway.)
Super cleaning machine to steralize dental tools.
The face of a relieved individual! Teeth cleaned, filled, and crowned! Pretty sure it’s cheaper to fly to Puerto Vallarta for a long weekend at a hotel and get dental work than it would be for a regular appointment in America. Just sayin’!

So, are you planning your Mexican “dental vacation” yet?

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