Monday, August 10, 2015

REVIEW OF LOS ALGODONES DENTAL CLINICS - From Cantinas to Cavities. Isn't there some other place? KPBS Radio News

Los Algodones Dentists Offer Cheap Dentistry in Mexico 

Reposted from KPBS Radio News

 LOS ALGODONES, MEXICO — The first time Mike Negle walked across the U.S.-Mexico border to Los Algodones, near Yuma, Arizona, he was instantly surrounded by salesmen who screamed they had the best deal, the best offer or the best price. They reminded Negle of hawkers in open markets in the U.S. who sold tomatoes or knock-off designer sunglasses. But these men weren’t selling tomatoes or sunglasses.

The sidewalk hawkers were selling root canals..
“There’s a guy standing right at the gate by the border,” Negle explained. “He says, ‘I got good dentistry, come with me,’ and he’ll actually walk you over to the dentist and then they’ll give you an estimate."
"And then when you walk out of that door, someone else will grab you up and take you to another dentist down the road, and then maybe they’ll knock 20 bucks off, maybe beat the price by some,” he said.
Tomato markets aside, Negle wasn’t used to doing business like this. Like most Americans, he’d always chosen his doctors and dentists not because of cost, but because of coverage — as in, did his insurance plan cover a provider or not?
Negle drives tractor-trailers. He has since 1984. Over the years, he admits to eating a lot of roadside food and not making a lot of trips to the dentist. So by the time he went to see his dentist in Fargo, North Dakota, he was told it would take $20,000 to quell his many toothaches. Instead, Negle looked for other options.
“Know where to find a good dentist in Mexico?” he asked someone he met on the road.
“Yes. Go to Los Algodones,” she said.
Which he did. Negle made eight trips in six months for a total of four root canals, four crowns, five fillings, a teeth cleaning, a deep cleaning, and laser whitening. He’s not done. Soon, he’ll also get two new implants and a permanent bridge.
This was going to cost $20,000 in the United States. In Mexico, it cost him $5,800.

The reasons for this incredible discrepancy in price are many: It is cheaper to live in Mexico. Mexican dentists don’t have to buy malpractice insurance and they generally don’t have to track down reimbursements from insurance companies. 

Essentially, the market sets the bottom line. Which means that along the border, it is a constant race to the bottom to lower and lower prices. 

LOS ALGODONES DENTIST REVIEWS & FORUM 2015-16 by Dental Tourism News Today.

Los Algodones dentist prices, quality and alternatives 

Read what patients say about dentists in Los Algodones and Mexico dental tourism from Certified Doctors & Dentists Internationale'


The following Los Algodones dentist reviews were submitted to Certified Doctors & Dentists Internationale during 2015-16.  

1.    From Steve S.

My wife and I have been going to Los Algodones for 12 years. Used to live in So. Cal and had a getaway place in AZ. Everybody we met in AZ went to Algodones. We have had major work done and have saved thousands. Never had a problem. Now we live in Hawaii and it is STILL cheaper to go to Algodones. 

In June I needed work that in Hawaii or California (prices about the same) would have been about $16,000. We flew to CA, rented a car, visited friends and had the work done by our dentist in Algodones. Dental work: $2600; flight (for both of us): $900; rental car: $500. Savings: $12,000.

When the snowbirds are down south, approximately 10-15,000 of them cross over for dental work. One time we had to go in the Winter (for a root canal) and it took us 2 1/2 hours to get back across the border. The line was blocks long. In the summer there is no line to get back.”

Cabo and Puerto Vallarta dentists report seeing patients from Hawaii, Maine, Alaska and Florida and everywhere in between.  And from one end of Canada to the other.  Los Algodones draws patients primarily from the Southwest and Midwest. And dental prices everywhere in Mexico are about the same with Cancun and Cabo being about 5-10% higher than the others due to the higher cost of living in a resort town. Tijuana/San Diego dentists are priced comparable to Los Algos dentists.  -ed

2.    Mad Mike

Absolutely NOTHING on this earth has skyrocketed more than the price of basic dental care in the US in the past 35 years. A filling that cost $20 35 years ago--now it it is 10x that amount (or more). I had a crown that cost $65 (and I still have it) back then. Now it is $2000.

WAGES have certainly NOT gone up that much in 35 years. Ridiculous. This is fast becoming a country where only the very rich will be able to afford basic dental care (and dental insurance usually only pays about a third of the cost). Just pure greed. You can't do it yourself, so they just (expletive deleted) you.

LOS ALGODONES, Mexican Dental Tourism Mecca (AP)

 By A. Galvin
LOS ALGODONES, Mexico (AP) — Mark Bolzern traveled 3,700 miles to go to the dentist. The 56-year-old Anchorage, Alaska, native left home this spring, made a pit stop in Las Vegas to pick up a friend, and kept heading south, all the way to Los Algodones, Mexico, a small border town teeming with dental offices.
About 60 percent of Americans have dental insurance coverage, the highest it has been in decades. But even so, the nation's older population has been largely left behind. Nearly 70 percent of seniors are not insured, according to a study compiled by Oral Health America.
A major reason is because dental care is not covered by Medicare and many employers no longer offer post-retirement health benefits. What's more, the Affordable Care Act allows enrollees to get dental coverage only if they purchase general health coverage first, which many seniors don't need. At the same time, seniors often require the most costly dental work, like crowns, implants and false teeth.
As a result, many are seeking cheaper care in places like Los Algodones, Tijuana & Puerto Vallarta where Mexican dentists who speak English offer lower prices for everything from a cleaning to implants. Dentists in Los Algodones say a large portion of their clients are seniors.
In the desert outpost near the border of California and Arizona, men in white shirts stand outside of offices with signs advertising root canals and teeth cleanings.
For Bolzern, seeing a dentist in Los Algodones meant a savings of up to $62,000. He was told the extensive dental work he needed — his teeth needed to be raised and he needed a crown on every molar — would cost $65,000 at a private dentist. He looked for lower rates, finding a dental school where the work was less expensive because it was performed by students. But it still cost $35,000.
He paid $3,000 in Mexico and has been back several times.