Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Off to the dentist!

We haven't been to a dentist in Canada for over 12 years. We've had a fair bit of work done in Mexico though... and have saved thousands of dollars as a result. We found one dentist that we're really happy with, and she is located here in the farming town of Valle de Juarez.

And because her English is quite good, we recommended her to our caravan group. So a few months ago I made appointments for most of us.

And, I've been having a couple of issues that needed looking at. They've been a minor irritant for the past few weeks, but I was purposely waiting until we got here.

So yesterday morning Dr. Lissette had a look. The first problem is a gap that I had between two upper teeth and it seems to have grown since we were here in March. Food would get stuck in it, and it was especially annoying when eating meat. So she froze me up, removed a metal filling in the rear tooth, and rebuilt the filling while closing the gap at the same time. So glad to have that fixed.

The other problem is a lower tooth that has been causing me occasional pain. As well, more recently the gum at that tooth is sore. This tooth had a root canal about 25 years ago, and a gold crown put on it.

She did an x-ray of that tooth, with a fancy new digital x-ray machine that immediately shows up on her laptop computer screen. She showed me why the tooth needs to come out. I wasn't surprised. And the pain in the gum is due to an infection of that tooth. So she gave me a prescription and I have to return on the morning of the 31st to have it removed once the infection has cleared up. On the bright side, selling the gold crown will probably be enough to pay for the job!

Total cost of all of that? 300 pesos ($20.85 CAD, $15.85 USD). That does not include removing the tooth on the 31st.

Ruth also went in for a cleaning and inspection. Her only problem is a wisdom tooth that has never come in and is causing pressure against the bone. So an x-ray was required to diagnose this. After discussion, it was decided to leave it for now.

Total cost for Ruth was 400 pesos ($27.80 CAD, $21.15 USD).

Others were also totally happy with Dr. Lissette. The only problem with a couple of them was that because of Christmas and New Year holidays they were not able to do any bridge or crown work because it has to be sent out and there wasn't enough time.

Next time we come back here it will have to be for two weeks and not during holiday time. Everyone seems to love it here, and some of them haven't even seen the best parts yet!

While waiting at the dentist, we were surprised that our friends Heinz and Uli dropped in. They had stopped by the RV park and saw our signboard that mentioned the dental appointment schedule. They use the same dentist, so they knew where we were. They were headed to the new Rodriguez grocery store here, and wondered if we wanted to do any shopping and they would give us a ride back. Sure! Thanks for thinking of us!

Then, they took us out for lunch to the fish and shrimp taco place. Still as delicious as it was last March!

Delicious shrimp tacos.

Nice to see Heinz and Uli again, and we'll be seeing a lot more of them during our time here. Thanks again for lunch!

Today, we are taking the group into Mazamitla for a walk to the waterfall. Then this evening is our big Christmas Eve dinner!

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And in Canada...


  1. Awesome that you set dental appointments for the group...what happened to physical exams? I probably would have scheduled that also. I too had root canal done due to infection that I didn't know I had. My teeth never hurt and I never experienced any pain yet it showed up on computer xray screen on my two front teeth! Of course I had an arm and leg to get that done. Next time I'm taking a trip to Mexico near Yuma LOL I had my annual dental check up done last month and cleaning. With xrays and cleaning it was well over $300.00!!! What a cost difference between U.S.A and Mexico dental treatment.

    Your tacos look delicious. My daughter moved into a historic district and down the street is an old, old restaurant that serve street tacos. Everyone that's been there raves about it so next visit in that neighborhood, I'll try it and see for myself.

    1. Dental is what people are looking for not physical exams. We as Canadians get "free" physical exams through our Canadian Healthcare program in Canada, so why would we pay down here for it? And, I believe any of the Americans on our trip already have medical insurance back home so again they would have their physical exams done here and most people would want their own doctor anyways.

  2. I have not been to a Cdn dentist in 20 years. We just send the bill to our insurance company and they gladly pay in USD.

    1. Yeah, but there is no difference between a Canadian dentist and an American one. And if you have insurance, why would you care?

  3. We have our Mexican dentist next door to us in Los Algodones, and love her. Some years ago we drove around Lake Chapala and noticed the growth in the lake - has it been cleared out? It was while there we got our one time ever shakedown from a local cop. We were in a rental car and he stopped us to say our registration wasn't proper but for $20 he'd let us go. We argued some but finally gave in. Oh well... we liked the area but too many gringos, lol.

    1. Yes, we have been to Algodones as well when I needed a crown after having an emergency root canal in Mazatlan back in 2015 and it was definitely much cheaper than having it done back it Canada but it was still more expensive than if I was to have had it done down here in Valle de Juarez. In Algodones, they change in US dollars and for us Canadians that adds on 30% more to our bill whereas down here it is charged in pesos and it is a lower price to start with, so our rate of exchange is much better for us making it cheaper for us than Algodones.

      I know when we were in Jocotepec in March there was definitely stuff growing on the lake, not sure if it has improved or not as we didn't stop there this year.

  4. Wow, if only things were so easy here. If we stay longer in Mexico in the coming years (ie 1-2 months which sort of has been talked about) I will definitely look into getting dental done there. We pay our own way for medical and dental like you do and it would save so much money

    1. PS have a lovely Christmas Eve dinner and Merry Christmas!

    2. If you needed major dental work, you would be better off to book a trip to Mexico and get the work done down here. It would probably work out to be around the same price or less and you would also get a holiday out of it. For most work like a crown or a bridge you would only need a couple of weeks at the most, providing it isn't over any holidays. :-)

      Thank you for the Christmas greetings and Merry Christmas to you as well. We did have a fantastic Christmas Eve dinner and today we are having a pot luck brunch.

  5. Luckily we have Good Dental Coverage but if not we'd surely consider going to Mexico.
    Wishing all of you a Safe and Merry Christmas. Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Yep, if you have dental insurance then it probably doesn't make any difference. We don't have any so for us it makes total sense.

      Merry Christmas to you both!

  6. Feliz Navidad to the both of you tomorrow.

  7. We also attempt to make a run to Los Algodones when we go south for the winter. From what I understand most of them get their schooling in the US, but don't have to carry insurance, so guess that accounts for the low cost. The female we go to there, Lupita, seems very professional and competent.The only thing is cleaning, that I'd say isn't near as thorough. Merry Christmas group!! Enjoy watching your trip. Tell Mona and Roger(baby sis) howdy for us!!!

    1. Yes, I think lots of people head to Los Algodones but it is still cheaper yet when you head further south into Mexico. For us Canadians, we tend to get ripped off more in Los Algodones because they only charge in US dollars and as I mentioned in a comment above we have to add 30% on to the bill there. Down here in Valle de Juarez, the price is cheaper to begin with and we are charged in pesos so the exchange rate is much more favourable for us. Our dentist here is very professional, and the office that she shares with her father and her brother has all the latest technology and equipment. She is a root canal specialist but also does our cleanings and we find her to be as thorough if not more so than any dentist that we have been to in Canada. I think Roger was extremely happy with the service that she provided to him.

      I will pass on your greetings to them both as well as Molly and Scott. Have a Merry Christmas. :-)


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