If you are like most Americans who cross the border daily searching for a Tijuana dentist you want one who is an expert dentist and affordable.
Need a cleaning? You can get that at home but you can't get advanced dentistry in the US for a reasonable price anymore. Dentistry in the US is fast becoming something only the rich (or well insured) can afford with some dental procedures becoming as expensive as plastic surgery.
When you cross the border into Tijuana from San Diego you are immediately saving 50-75% on your dental work. Whoa. Stop shopping prices and start shopping quality.
You have to be careful in Tijuana (or in anywhere in any developing nation) when selecting a dentist for your important dental work as most dentists in TJ are non-certified general dentists. And they'd love to have a chance at doing your dental implants or cosmetic dental makeover.
Find a Board Certified dentist and you will get your dentistry made right the first time. And the cost will be within a nickel of a non-certified dentist.
But you have to know where to go to get the work done right because if you let a non-certified general dentist in Tijuana under the hood - you may have to get the work done over again if you are unlucky.
Understand that approximately 85% of the dentists advertising for specialist work in Tijuana (or anywhere in Mexico) are not trained and certified for any specialist work. That includes the majority of the dentists listed on all those dental tourism agency websites with clever names like DentureAdventure.com and Denti-ago.com Read this paragraph over again as it's a real WTF statement.
To become a Certified Dentist a general dentist needs 2-6 years of additional formal schooling necessary for certification in a field such as oral surgery, endodontics, periodontistry etc.
The very best dentists in Mexico (or the US) are Board Certified Dentists. They studied for and passed a grueling specialist board exams consisting of written, oral and lab demonstrations administered by a review board of specialists in their chosen field.
Board certified dentists in Mexico cost the same as general dentists in Mexico, so there's little reason not to go for a true certified dentist in Mexico when you need important dentistry in Mexico. Remember- non-certified dentists are only trained in dental college for normal cleanings, fillings and normal non-surgical extractions.
Q. Why do Board Certified Dentists in Mexico cost the same as less educated non-certified dentists in Mexico?
Ans. Because of the unethical (illegal in developed nations) competition by all the non-certified dentists for the same patients who require a specialist. And that's good for the patient! It keeps prices down. But to get low prices and high quality - you need to find a board certified dentist and they are less than 1% of the dentists in Mexico.
Ignore the non-certified general dentist's glowing website testimonials, the leather sofas and marble floors - ask if they are board certified specialists in the procedures you require? If they answer "No," but they've done 1,000's of crowns and bridges or they took a (quickie) weekend course for a "diploma" from an implant manufacturer - run.
Often they have lots of certificates on their website and salon wall attesting (in Spanish) to their attendencia to a dental convention or seminar on dental implants. A few seminars do not equate years spent learning specialist dentistry in dental specialist college. And implants are surgery requiring years of study of issues involving bone, blood, nerves, vessels, gum tissue, oral diseases and more - that non-certified dentists attempt to learn on the job on you. Same for crowns, veneers, cosmetic dentistry etc. Get a board certified specialist dentist when in Mexico for the best results. They cost the same anyway.
Make it easy on yourself and search for a board certified dentist in Mexico and get the work done right by a fully accredited dental specialist for the procedures you require. General dentists and board certified dentists in Mexico typically cost the same so why take a chance with one whose credentials and experience are unknown. Board Certification is your best guarantee of quality in Mexico.
You can obtain free estimates, consultations and 2nd opinions from Tijuana board certified dentists, resumes, referrals, make appointments and get dental travel Information from the Board Certified Mexico Dentists Association. Their service is without cost.
By David Mandich – Healthcare consumer advocate
He welcomes your questions about dental tourism and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org