Viva la Mexico Dentistas

Well.  It’s done.  I am happy to report that I have survived my dental appointment in Los Algodones, Mexico.  So, listen up all you gringos.  Here’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!

Los Algondones is across the border from Yuma, AZ but you must re-enter CA to get there.  In CA there is a big parking lot and you get the opportunity to spend $6 dinero to park.  We did that and walked across the border.  Easy peasy.  There are signs giving you all the rules you must follow.  The funniest was the sign that proclaimed, “Guns are illegal in Mexico”.   Funny and yet…not so much.  No NRA in Mexico.  AZ, on the other hand, is way into guns.  We saw a guy in the RV park today walking by with his gun (it was in the gun carrier).

But I digress.

When we crossed the border, we walked about 2 blocks to the dental office.  From there they “shuttled” us to their other office.  The Rubio Dental Group.  We made appointments there based on recommendations from friends of friends.  When we arrived, we checked in and moments later, Mr. J, was escorted into the innersactum.  After he emerged, he was provided with an estimate of work suggested.  No go.  They wanted to cap everything in sight.  Said whitening wouldn’t help.  So that was that.

I, on the other hand, have a mouth full of trouble called teeth.  The teeth gods were not with me in the genetic-material-that-matters department.  So, I had a tooth #25 that needed help.  The “skin” had broken off last summer so I needed a new crown.  But wait.  There’s more.  When the BIG Doc Lopez opened things up, there was decay and the nerve was too close.  He recommended a root canal.  I agreed.  It would be a good test.

The office was immaculate and filled with gringos from Montana, B.C., and points north.  The office had all the modern equipment including digital X-rays.  Everyone wore the latest latex gloves and mouth/nose masks.  Everyone spoke english.  But during the work, espanol was used.  So, I had no idea what they were talking about.   Probably sports.  Oh, and Dr. Rubio got his dental education at UCLA.

After the Big Doc Lopez took off the crown, he sent me across the street to the root canal adjunct.  Dr. Dominguez owned that office.  First I had a young woman dentist that “prepped” me.  Then Dr. Dominguez got involved.  He did the heavy lifting while singing to the voice of Ray Charles (in ingles) which was playing.  There were three dental chairs.  I was in room 3.  Everything was open and I looked out on a garden.  Quite pleasant.  When Doc Dom was done with me I was told to return at 1:30.  About a hour break.  So, we found a restaurant and ordered guac and beer and I had tortilla soup and Rayman had a chicken quesadilla.  Muy bueno.

But wait.  While waiting for Doc Dom, we met a fellow who showed up the same restaurant and I invited him to join us.  What a character.  He had a flu shot a few years back and the shot paralyzed him.  Then he was hit over the head by an intruder in his house and the guy kicked in his teeth.  Hence his visit to Mexico for dental treatment.  Rayman wasn’t particularly interested but I was mystified that one person could be so unfortunate.   He definitely had the stories.

So after we finished our lunch we returned to Doc Dom and I had a fourth dentist work on me.  He was a young guy.  When he stopped doing stuff I was directed back across the street to the Doc Lopez.  Impressions were cast.  That’s the only thing that really hurt because by this time the novocaine had worn off.

What was Rayman been doing all that time?  Being on his iPad so much that he received a message saying that he had accrued more than a $100 in international charges.  Say what?  So while we were waiting I called AT&T and they reduced the charges if I agreed to a $30 international charge for a month.  Perfect.  Sold.

The other thing the Rayman was doing was stewing and worrying.  Not about me.  About Beau.  OMG.  Beau was back in the air conditioned RV alone.  We have never left him for more than 5 hours.  Today we managed to break that record.  And Rayman was feeling guilty and his guilt feelings …well, let’s just say, it caused some friction.  When I return on Monday for the crown, he may want to stay back with Beau.

Although… there is shopping in Mexico.  And good food.  And good margaritas.  And music with lunch.  Mexico is fun with their barkers, “Looking for a good dentist?”  “Need drugs?”    There are beggers but not many for a border town.  The Big Purple Store is a farmacia.  It is huge and painted purple.  We checked out our drugs.  No deals there.  Big pharma has figured it out.   Spain is the place for drugs.

So:  Key Learnings

Go early.  These dentists specialize in getting you in and out as quickly as possible but this a Mexico, land of manana.  Everything is hurry up and wait.

Take cash.  Or checkbook.  Dentists have waits of avoiding taxes, I assume.

Plan to eat there.  Food is wonder.  Inexpensive.  And people watching is great!!

Lots of old geezers from Canada and the U.S.  And the ones we spoke with all have all been going there for years.  It is a heck of a deal.  Old crown, new crown, decay removal, root canal for under $800.  Just sayin…Anyway, this Mexican dental deal is a well known secret…and so far so good.  And there are 400 dentists in this one little town.  I’m told that Tijuana has 2,000 for the same reason.  People come to Mexico for their teeth, their eyeglasses, their meds, their booze, and their varicose veins.  Even botox injections are offered.

Plus there is Yuma.  Boy has it grown.  It has a Marine air base so flying planes make interesting viewing.  Every train on U.S. soil must come through here…constantly, it seems.  The freeway is close to every RV park.  And this is the strange thing.  This RV park does not provide picnic tables at each site.  And everything in Yuma has been cemented or graveled over.

On the plus side, we have a great swimming pool here.  And there are small casitas you can buy at this RV park.  RV parks are starting to provide permanent housing too.  Mixed use, I guess.  Interesting concept.  Will investigate and report back.

Okay.  Got the lowdown.  The people here at The Palms will sell you a piece of land and you can build what you will.  Need an extra garage?  Just build one thru their pre-selected builder.  Install an outdoor kitchen?  No problemo.  Build a 1400 square foot house next to you RV pad if you so desire.  There are lots of permanent structures.  This is something new to me.

Yuma is the least interesting thing about this trip.  We did manage a few rounds of golf (cheap) and fast.  And we appreciated that.  And their Fry’s SuperMarket is very good.  I found sesame paste there!!  That’s for the baba ghanoush I plan to make with my barbecued eggplant from the other night.   The theaters are nice and you don’t freeze when you go to a show, so that’s good.  And there is that In-N-Out.

Back to Mexico on Monday for the crown.  Assuming all things go according to Hoyle, I think we will head home a bit early by heading to the ocean.  Think San Diego.  And once in CA at the ocean, well, we will enjoy the  moisture in the air!!!  And once our bodies and skin are rehydrated, its points north to home!!





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