Saturday, January 23, 2016

Tijuana Dentist Reviews, Forum - Separating Certified Tijuana Dentists from the Pretenders - David Mandich Healthcare Consumer Advocate

Tijuana's upscale Zona Rio has fine restaurants, museums, galleries, clubs, first-class hotels, malls, casinos and some of the best board certified dentists in Tijuana.

How do you sort out the pretenders from the dentists in Tijuana who are truly certified for your crowns, veneers, dental implants, oral surgery and orthodontics? 

Are you searching for the proverbial Best Dentist in Tijuana? 

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. 

For the best dentistry in Tijuana avoid non-certified general dentists when in need of a root canal, crown or dental implants and go for the real deal. 

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.

You've heard by now that you can literally save 1,000’s of dollars on your dental implants or cosmetic dentistry in Tijuana. The numbers are tantalizing: Crowns for only $350-650 that cost $800 to $2,500 in the US. Dental implants with name brand units complete with crowns costing $4,500 or more in the US are only $2,100. by a certified implantologist in Tijuana.

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.
There are 3 kinds of dentists in Mexico doing advanced dentistry - generals, certified and board certified dentists. And one should know the difference between them when you cross the border searching for affordable crowns, and especially dental implants or a full mouth restoration or makeover.

Non-certified general dentists in Mexico are permitted to perform advanced dental procedures such as root canals, crowns, oral surgery and implants despite their lack of formal training and certification for advanced dental procedures. The Mexican government doesn't stand in the way of a poor general dentist trying to earn a living by trial and error on unsuspecting (usually us foreign) patients. 

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 and Read this paragraph over again as it's a real WTF statement.

A general dentist in Mexico can legally take a quickie weekend course in dental implants from an implant manufacturer or buy a whitening machine and call himself a cosmetic dentist. Some even call themselves 'Specialists.'  There's little truth in advertising south of the border. Especially when the ads are in English.  

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. 

Dental patients having large treatments performed by general dentists in Mexico risk having their expensive dental work having to be redone due to the general dentist's lack of training. After all – they never attended a specialist’s school to learn to do advanced dentistry the correct way.

Things that can go wrong include: Implants misaligned, crowns or bridges that are set too close, set with poor adhesives, new crowns that are poorly color matched, procedures that shouldn't be performed due to general health, gum or bone issues and worse - implants performed on patients who are not suitable candidates - the implants fail causing  infection and the implants having to be removed. 

Cosmetic dental makeover fail...

If having a root canal, crown or few - a certified dentist is who to look for and perhaps 10-15% of the dentists in Mexico are certified in a specialty. But if you really want the very best you need to go one level up. My opinion has always been that seeing a certified dentist can be like hiring a lawyer who didn't pass the bar exam. 

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:

Photo: Mexican dentists dancing in the streets over the new US National Health Care Plan which didn't do a thing to lower to cost of dentistry in the US. And don't you just love that pic!  - DM

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This article may be reproduced and reused so long as all links and author credit remain intact. Great Mexican Dental Vacations - Content Copyright, All rights reserved, todo las derechos reservados. David Mandich Cabo Mexico healthcare writer